Playlist.  Listen.


  1. I Discovered America [MP3]
  2. England's Latest Clown
  3. Ambiguous
  4. The Other Side of the Reservoir
  5. Suspension Bridge
  6. Love or Delusion
  7. Total Eclipse of the Moon
  8. Stick to the Plan [MP3]
  9. Somebody Saved Me
  10. Hard Side of the Rain
  11. Bullet of Redemption
  12. All Being Well


"The best thing Graham Parker's done since his 1970s heyday." —Popmatters

Graham Parker Don't Tell Columbus

BS 140 2007 $9.95
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Sometimes an artist is anointed a “legend.” Sometimes this artist’s body of work is so consistently lauded, of such ongoing interest and creativity, the audience might be tempted to take the level of craft for granted. Sometimes such an artist, after a time of flying beneath the radar, emerges with a run of stunning material ascending beyond time and genre. Sometimes this artist casts a shadow large enough they are known by just their initials. GP is such an artist and this is his time.

Thirty years into a storied career in rock ‘n’ roll that began with his band The Rumour (pre-saging new wave, pub rock and punk) Graham Parker finds himself at the absolute top of his game and in the midst of a extended creative hot streak. Don’t Tell Columbus crackles with desperation and redemption sung with rich, passionate power. And hooks. Lots and lots of effortless hooks. Yes, the new millennium has thus far been very good to GP and music fans reap the rewards.

Suffused with the heft of the epic, Don’t Tell Columbus’s lyrical and emotional resonance straddles the Atlantic and evinces GP’s stature as one of the most gifted writers in rock ‘n’ roll. From the personal and metaphorically grand “The Other Side of the Reservoir” to the overtly political and swinging “Stick to the Plan,” this album ripples with tension between the melancholic, the urgent and the hopeful. Best of all, it’s wrapped in his gifted brawny pop and blue-eyed soul smarts. Only GP can have you happily humming along to songs swaddled in desperate loneliness and internal mayhem.

It is unhealthy, perhaps even obscene, that someone should be able to come up with an album this good this far into their career.

... and the critics agree ...

"Don't Tell Columbus is a little masterpiece of snarling intensity and wry reflection, and Parker's singing displays a wide Dylan-esque streak that grounds his disappointed romanticism firmly in the pop-pundit tradition." —Chicago Reader

"If, as many claim, Elvis Costello stole Parker's angry young man mantle, here he steals it back and delivers sinuous grooves and righteous footstompers. Claims of a career high point aren't overstated." —Uncut

"Parker is in full smartass mode on these songs, the band is having a rambunctious good time, and Don’t Tell Columbus is a very early contender for Album of the Year." —Paste

"You can tell he was inspired in writing these 12 new songs, because they serve up verse after verse, each one sharper than the last, and the bare-bones pub-rock arrangements provide plenty of room for Parker to unleash some of the finest rock and soul singing of his career." —The Washington Post

"Don't Tell Columbus is his best disc ever." —Toledo Blade

"It takes two or three listens to take it all in. Parker’s melodies are so good they distract you from his barbed lyrics. They’re both too well crafted not to give your full attention. Play it through once for fun, then go back and revel in the wordplay. There’s plenty to entertain you, for a long time to come." —Creative Loafing

"Parker has proven that it’s possible for an artist’s music to mature and mellow without losing its edge. 'Stick to the Plan,' and 'England’s Latest Clown' possess both bite and brains." —Alarm Magazine

"Don't Tell Columbus is the work of a guy who has come to grips with his lot in life and is unafraid of sharing the grisly details of just how he got there." —Dallas Observer