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Baker's Dozen

Three Chords Good: Graham Parker's Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , October 8th, 2015 09:36

As Graham Parker & The Rumour prepare to play their final ever shows later this month, the prolific singer-songwriter talks Ben Graham through the 13 albums that have had the biggest impact on him as a musician


Little Feat - Sailin' Shoes
I was at a friend's place and he put on this record, and we were chatting and getting high or whatever, the usual thing, and he'd just played some other record. It was 1972 and I'm starting to write songs and starting to get an idea of how I might be able to do this. I may have already written or be just about to write things like 'Soul Shoes' and 'Back To School Days' which were on my first album. This album has got 'Tripe Face Boogie' on, and I'm hearing this and I'm thinking, what is this? Is this the Stones? No, he says, it's this band Little Feat. And then there's 'Willin'' on there, isn't there, a beautiful song, my god; what a piece of songwriting. So it's a deeply inspiring thing for me to get to a bit of Little Feat. And then there was Dixie Chicken and Feats Don't Fail Me Now; all good, and also you knew Lowell George played in Zappa's band, so you're just connecting a few more dots here. And of course, George was an unbelievable white soul singer, and there's not much of that around in '72. They never really made it that big in a way. They never really got up there in America with some of those other bands that had that Southern swampiness. If you play Little Feat to some people, some of their music, they think of it as Southern swamp boogie, and they say well, it's like the Allman Brothers. But I didn't really like the Allman Brothers. I'm sure they're very good, but although this has got elements of that it's deeper and the musicianship is way more experimental. But they were basically a bit overshadowed by the Allman Brothers and stuff like that. And of course when the '70s kicked in really and all these other things happened they were never going to get anywhere. They were going to be a musicians' musicians band.