Solo performer: Graham Parker (vocals, guitar).
Recorded live at Club Quattro, Tokyo, Japan.
The solo acoustic live set DISCOVERING JAPAN serves as a companion piece to Parker's previously released LIVE! ALONE IN AMERICA. Long before the idea of the "unplugged" performance became vogue, Parker stalked the world's stages with his acoustic guitar and a bellyful of anger. Though the pub band backing is stripped away, this set proves that Parker is not a performer who particularly needs support. If anything, his iconoclastic nature perfectly compliments the rigors of facing the audience completely alone.
JAPAN focuses on Parker's more recent fare (the stinging "Platinum Blonde," and the fragile "Long Stem Rose") and also gives due time to old chestnuts like "Watch the Moon Come Down." The real surprises, however, are the cover songs included here. Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry" gets deferential treatment as does Billy Idol's-- that's right, Billy Idol--"Sweet 16." The dark and steamy song is the most adventuresome moment on the record--you can't help but admire a singer who has never achieved massive commercial success sinking his teeth into an obscure song by another nearly forgotten rocker.