http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/2da1b06270d70b2a77bbd8a260d0ba5f22b77534.jpg 12 Haunted Episodes

Graham Parker

12 Haunted Episodes

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4 0
May 18, 1995

Inconsistently brilliant, Graham Parker has soared (Howlin' Wind, Squeezing Out Sparks) and slumped (The Real Macaw) ever since starting out as a bardic pub rocker in 1976. His best work in years, 12 is also his subtlest. On "Pollinate," the writer famed for trenchant sarcasm sings "People think I'm filled with hate/They got it wrong, that's out of date," and this new gentleness — both in love-song thematics and folksy grooves — suits the tough guy well. "First Day of Spring" is flat-out lovely; "Haunted Episodes" exudes jazzy, muted elegance. Autumnal in mood, gracious and honest, this is music of a clean, unsentimental maturity.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »