Monday, September 22, 2008

The Music Biz: Mercury Poisoning

Graham Parker: Mercury Poisoning


In 1979, after releasing four albums for Mercury Records, Graham Parker, frustrated with their distribution and promotion departments, wrote a parting shot, Mercury Poisoning, before heading for the greener pastures of Arista Records. While at Arista, he had the two strongest albums of his career - Squeezing Out Sparks and The Up Escalator. Mercury Poisoning was a red-headed step-child, no record company wanted much to do with a song that dissed one of their brethren. It had been released as an under-promoted single and included with a promotional-only radio station album. Now, it can be had as part of Master Hits, a collection of Parker's best.

No more pretending that advertising's dying in its nest
The company is crippling me, the worst trying to ruin the best
Their promotion's so lame, they could never ever take me to the real ball game
Maybe they think I'm a pet, well I got all the diseases
I`m breaking out in sweat, you bet, 'cause
I've got mercury poisoning, it's fatal and it don't get better
I've got mercury poisoning, the best-kept secret in the West

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