There's a big gap between being a rock & roll classicist and actually turning out classics. Specifically, it's the difference between reaffirming traditional rock truisms and reinvigorating them - between, say. Tom Petty, whose rich and ringing minianthems meld half-a-dozen heartfelt homages, and Graham Parker, who aims higher without thinking about it.
Bruce Springsteen once called Graham Parker the only singer he'd pay money to see. Now Springsteen has gone even further and made a rare cameo appearance as a back-up singer on "Endless Night" from Parker's new album, "The Up Escalator" (Arista AL 9517).