Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Essential Elsewhere

A selection of cornerstone albums to help you build an interesting collection of diverse Elsewhere  music. These essays will introduce albums which can lead you into whole threads of music -- be they power-pop, world music, European jazz, hip-hop, reggae, alt.country or just plain rock'n'roll. Areas you might not have otherwise considered or enjoyed.

Explore . . . and don't be afraid of going Elsewhere.

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The Mothers of Invention: Uncle Meat (1969)

The Mothers of Invention: Uncle Meat (1969)

While it is entirely possible to live a happy and fulfilled life without hearing any music by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, there really is no need to be so deprived given the extensive re-issue programme that was undertaken after his death in 1993. And, Lord protect us, it arrived all over again in 2012.  All the Zappa/Mothers albums are out there already on... more >>

The Uncle Meat Variations

9 Aug 2014    1

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Indian Classical Music (2014)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Indian Classical Music (2014)

Elsewhere makes judiciously considered entries under its Essential Elsewhere albums, and we avoid the obvious (no compilations, greatest hits and so on). Those are easy options and anyone with a laptop could pull together a serviceable, if only ordinary, "essential" collection. You could probably even do that for fairly obscure artists like Popul Vuh and Solomon King. But our... more >>

Devgiri Balawarl Dhun

14 Jul 2014

The Ornette Coleman Trio: At the Golden Circle, Stockholm. Vol 1 (1965)

The Ornette Coleman Trio: At the Golden Circle, Stockholm. Vol 1 (1965)

As far as I can see by looking back, Ornette Coleman is the first artist to have two entries at Essential Elsewhere, he has appeared previously with The Shape of Jazz to Come. Although, to be honest, he should also be here for Virgin Beauty (1988) but the damn thing is out of print. However this classic Coleman album recorded in Sweden is not just essential, but is now readily available... more >>

12 May 2014

Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (1964)

Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch (1964)

The sudden and unexpected death of saxophonist/flute player and clarinettist Eric Dolphy just months after these exceptional studio sessions for the Blue Note label robbed jazz of one of its most distinctive voices, and left many questions hanging about where the 36-year old might have taken his music. Already he had worked with Charles Mingus, Max Roach, George Russell and John... more >>

Something Sweet, Something Tender

17 Apr 2014

Peter Case: Peter Case (1986)

Peter Case: Peter Case (1986)

For six months after its release, at least three times a week, I would play this album. Night after night. I had been given a cassette tape which I had in the kitchen and while making dinner for my kids, only stopping to hear Alistair Cooke's Letter From America on the radio, Peter Case would be on permanant repeat. One night one of my boys came in and stood listening, for what would... more >>

Walk in the Woods

5 Sep 2013    3

Tom Waits: Orphans (Shock)

Tom Waits: Orphans (Shock)

The American journalist Robert Wilonsky once observed of Tom Waits' music, either you like the sound of a barking dog, or you buy yourself a cat. Those of us who love and admire Waits' work live with the sound of the barking dog. Waits may have often made a beautiful noise, but it was a noise nonetheless. From a bohemian barfly poet with an affection for the Beat Generation, Frank... more >>

Tom Waits: Road to Peace (from Brawlers)

23 Jun 2013    1

Steve Earle: Copperhead Road (1988)

Steve Earle: Copperhead Road (1988)

Of all the artists to emerge in the past two and a half decades, you can effortlessly make the case that Steve Earle has moved the most. With confidence, and often great success, he has worked within genres we might define as country, folk-blues, alt.rock, bluegrass, country-rock . . . Earle has been a provocative political voice (pro-Kerry, anti-Bush and the wars in Iraq and... more >>

Steve Earle: Back to the Wall

3 Apr 2013

Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation (1988)

Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation (1988)

There are some albums (such as Sgt Peppers) which so crystallise their period that you cannot imagine that era without them. Then there are others (The Velvet Underground's debut) which appear to stand so diametrically opposed to the prevailings movement of their time that it is usually only in retrospect their impact and importance can be truly appreciated. Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation of... more >>

Sonic Youth: Silver Rocket

18 Jan 2013    1

Small Faces: Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake (1968)

Small Faces: Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake (1968)

With Small Faces' brief catalogue of albums now remastered and reissued, their growth towards Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake -- famously in a round cover like a tobacco tin and with panels that opened out -- can now be traced to this, their finest moment. Singer/writer/guitarist Stevie Marriott was one the great British r'n'b singers and the band of singers/writers Ronnie Lane and keyboard... more >>

Afterglow (US stereo mix)

26 Nov 2012    1

Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)

Dennis Wilson: Pacific Ocean Blue (1977)

It was a tragic irony that Dennis Wilson, the only genuine surf-rat in the Beach Boys, should have drowned. But by 1983 when he died in the waters of Marina Del Rey, he was a spent force who had succumbed to alcohol, depression and cocaine -- and he'd only recorded one solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue in 1977. That was also a tragedy because POB suggested that if anyone could have carried the... more >>

Dennis Wilson: Friday Night

8 Sep 2012    1

Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (1968)

Blue Cheer: Vincebus Eruptum (1968)

For many decades I kept a clipping about Blue Cheer and this particular album inside the record cover, and of course when I went to look for it recently it was gone. But the gist of it was this: Blue Cheer were the loudest band in the whole history of ever, according to the writer, and when they recorded this monster in a North Hollywood studio they blew out all the speakers or the desk (the... more >>

Blue Cheer: Summertime Blues

23 Aug 2012    2

Little Richard: Here's Little Richard (1957)

Little Richard: Here's Little Richard (1957)

Among John Lennon's distinctive and funny drawings is a cartoon panel from '79 of him out walking with his son Sean. They encounter a character on the street who tells him "I've been getting in to jazz, man!". Lennon's witheringly funny reply is, "I've been trying to avoid it all my life". In his musical taste at least, Lennon was remarkably consistent. When he said... more >>

Ready Teddy

20 Aug 2012    1

Jeff Beck: Blow by Blow (1975)

Jeff Beck: Blow by Blow (1975)

Even the guitarist's biggest fans concede Jeff Beck rarely makes a truly satisfying album, but this -- the seventh under his own name -- was the exception. In 1968 after his stint in the Yardbirds came to a natural end, he formed what in retrospect was a supergroup. It included singer Rod Stewart, bassist Ronnie Wood, and journeyman drummer Mick Waller, plus guests Jimmy Page and John... more >>

Cause We've Ended as Lovers

19 Aug 2012

Albert King: Born Under a Bad Sign (1967)

Albert King: Born Under a Bad Sign (1967)

By the time Albert King started recording the music which would appear as his seminal Born Under a Bad Sign album, he'd been around and seen around for so long he'd reached a point – at age 43 – where he knew who he was and what his sound had to be. King's story until these sessions also mirrored the progress of the blues from its acoustic rural origins in the South to the... more >>

The Hunter

23 Jul 2012

Pere Ubu, The Modern Dance (1978)

Pere Ubu, The Modern Dance (1978)

It has become fashionable lately to speak of “post-rock” and cite bands such as Tortoise, Sigur Ros and Explosions in the Sky as being groups which use the tools of rock, but create music that isn’t identifiably within the rock genre. Of course nothing comes from nothing and there may just be precedents for post-rock -- such as Pere Ubu out of Cleveland who, in the mid... more >>

Chinese Radiation

14 Jul 2012

Downliners Sect: The Sect (1964)

Downliners Sect: The Sect (1964)

Some people live interesting lives . . . but when it comes time to check out their timing is appalling: the author Aldous Huxley (Brave New World, The Doors of Perception) died the same day John F Kennedy was shot (you can guess who got the greater coverage) and Dean Martin checked out on Christmas Day which isn’t the best time to get a nice obituary. Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy also... more >>

Downliners Sect: Be a Sect Maniac

24 Jun 2012

Jon Hassell: Dream Theory in Malaya (1981)

Jon Hassell: Dream Theory in Malaya (1981)

When I imported this album in 1981 it was on the basis of faith: faith that the Melody Maker writer who had hailed it was on the money, that Brian Eno who appeared as a collaborator and on whose EG Music imprint it appeared was right, that it would be as good as their previous collaboration, and that it would arrive intact. My faith was vindicated on all counts and the album has proved a... more >>

Jon Hassell

30 May 2012

Donna Summer, Bad Girls (1979)

Donna Summer, Bad Girls (1979)

In musical arguments, as with political ones, the area of grey between the black and white can be as big as the other two combined. History books say you were either a Beatles or a Stones fan, but my friends and I liked them both -- and the Four Tops, the Dave Clark Five, Lou Christie, Sam the Sham, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Roy Orbison and Dusty Springfield.  Sensible people... more >>

Donna Summer: Dim All the Lights

18 May 2012

Merle Haggard: If I Could Only Fly (2000)

Merle Haggard: If I Could Only Fly (2000)

At the time of this writing in mid 2012, Merle Haggard is 73 and actually, against every preconception we might have about his tough, booze-afflicted life and hard travelling -- he' still looking pretty good. At least, when he appeared at the White House in 2010 to pick yet another well-deserved honour he scrubbed up pretty well. Stories about Haggard are legion and legendary -- we... more >>

Crazy Moon

14 May 2012

T.Rex: Electric Warrior (1971)

T.Rex: Electric Warrior (1971)

By the time of the Tanx album in 1973, things were starting to go sour for T.Rex's frontman Marc Bolan. He hadn't cared when his old champion John Peel had dismissed his glam pop for its shallowness, or that Bowie and others were starting to snap at his heels. He was in fact oblivious to it all, he was far too busy being the star he always wanted to be. So he perhaps never noticed that the... more >>

T.Rex: Planet Queen

7 May 2012    2