GRAHAM PARKER & THE GOLDTOPS
BIG STIR RECORDS
Graham Parker and Goldtops released a brilliant album earlier in 2023, Last Chance To Learn To Twist, and it proved to be successful for them commercially and critically. They have now released an EP from that album. The title track, “Sun Valley” was one of the many highlights and it is the perfect choice for a single.
“Sun Valley” is a perfect pop/rock song. The arrangement is perfect, with the organ mixed in throughout. Lyrically, it is quite strong. “I lived in Sun Valley,” Parker sings. “Was as good as it gets/Then I brought the rain”. It is a beautiful song full of stellar images.
A live version of “Since You Left Me Baby” is a bluesy number, and when Parker and The Goldtops perform it live it has a much grittier sound than it does on the studio release. Martin Belmont’s guitar solo and musicianship throughout the song is magnificent. The Lady Bugs’ backing vocals are also a welcome addition.
The last track on the EP is another live recording, this time it is a cover of “That’s Life”, a song Frank Sinatra made very famous. Here, Parker does a straight version, and it fits his style and vocals perfectly. Geraint Watkins’ organ is phenomenal and the whole band comes together. It is a fun and exciting cover of an extremely well-known song. Parker may not steal it from Sinatra, but he clearly makes it his own.
This is a great little addition to Last Chance To Learn To Twist. It is a wonderful support to it and brings to mind the good old days of singles taken from albums with cool B-sides. This EP embodies that spirit, and it works on multiple levels.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: GRAHAM PARKER & THE GOLDTOPS – SUN VALLEY