From the Vaults

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Jack Nitzsche with Merry Clayton: Poor White Hound Dog (1970)

13 Oct 2014

There's quite an implosion of Stones' references which come with this track by the great producer, arranger, composer and Phil Spector protege Jack Nitzsche. He was commissioned to write the music for the film Performance which starred Mick Jagger and Keith Richards' girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. Nitzsche knew the Stones from when they visited the States in '64 and he was also music director... > Read more

Lou Christie: If My Car Could Only Talk (1966)

3 Oct 2014

Elsewhere has previously essayed the delights and confusion that Lou Christie's career threw up: the darkly romantic older woman in his life (who was allegedly some gypsy mystic), the soaring falsetto, the camp melodrama, the windshield wipers beating out their sexual rhythm on Rhapsody in the Rain . . . Producer Jack Nitsche who was on hand for this slice of  . . . . whatever the... > Read more

CC Adcock: Castin' My Spell (1999)

30 Sep 2014

One of the greatest producers, arrangers and composers was the late Jack Nitzsche who was -- among many other things -- Phil Spector's offsider and orchestrated River Deep Mountain High. You might also know him for the soundtrack to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, for having writen Needles and Pins with Sonny Bono for the great Jackie DeShannon, playing keyboards on some of the early... > Read more

Bob Dylan: Who Killed Davey Moore? (1963)

17 Sep 2014

Bob Dylan's Hurricane in '75 is one of the best known songs about a boxer -- but very early in his career Dylan also sang another about a boxer, the fighter Davey Moore who was knocked out by Mexico-based Sugar Ramos from Cuba during a bout in March 1963, spoke to the media afterwards (the illustration is taken from a famous post-fight photo) but then complained of headaches, slipped into a... > Read more

Lewis: Like to See You Again (1983)

1 Sep 2014

The story behind the obscure album L'Amour by a man known only as Lewis is as odd and out-of-sych as the cover photos. In '83 the handsome, well-groomed Lewis turned up at a rundown punk studio in LA, arriving in a white Mercedes convertible with his pretty surfer-girl girlfriend. He said he wanted to record an atmospheric album -- which he did -- and then he disappeared leaving barely... > Read more

The Beatles: Carnival of Light, perhaps (1967)

18 Aug 2014

Even more than the 10 minute version of Revolution (below), the most sought-after and obscure Beatles track is the so-far unreleased Carnival of Light, a free-form instrumental which was recorded for a psychedelic event at London's Roundhouse to take place in late January '67. McCartney said he'd give the organisers a sound effects tape to play and on January 5 the Beatles hunkered down --... > Read more

Simon and Garfunkel: A Simple Desultory Philippic (1966)

11 Aug 2014

When Simon and Garfunkel released their Bridge Over Troubled Waters album in 1970, many critics read the song The Boxer as an oblique attack on Bob Dylan whose career at the time was in limbo and he seemed to be abdicating music's frontline. The verse which was telling was: "In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade, and he carries a reminder of every glove that laid... > Read more

Haysi Fantayzee: Jimmy Jive Jive (1983)

8 Aug 2014

It's entirely possible that this British pop duo (with the svengali figure of Paul Caplin guiding their brief career) spent more time in make-up than they did on the charts: they knocked out four singles and an album  . . . but their chief feature was their risque glam-raggamuffin look which was used to greater effect by their contemporary Boy George. But their album Battle Hymns for... > Read more

Dinah Lee: He Can't Do the Blue Beat (1965)

4 Aug 2014

Answer songs or cash-ins were very common in the late Fifties and early Sixties (after success of The Twist it was time for Let's Twist Again etc) and the great and gutsy New Zealand singer Dinah Lee recorded this song -- penned and arranged by Mike Perjanick -- to keep the momentum going after her huge success with the single Do The Blue Beat in '64. That song had followed her... > Read more

Desire: Broken Heart (1985)

30 Jul 2014

You probably didn't need me to add the date for this one pulled From the Vaults. The hair says it all. Hers too. Desire were singer/keyboard player Suzie Divine and guitarist/keyboard player Gary Havoc, the latter being somewhat of a fixture on the New Zealand music scene at the time. He'd been in a few bands if I recall, certainly Gary Havoc and the Hurricanes during the late Seventies... > Read more

The Beatles: Across the Universe rehearsals (1969)

28 Jul 2014

The Beatles' Across the Universe had a slightly chequered history: the Lennon song first emerged in early '68 as a result of their time in meditation in India when Lennon felt relaxed and poetic. The verses contain some of his most evocative imagery and the chorus of "Jai Guru Deva" added a veneer of spiritualism to it. But despite its origins, recording it seemed to take... > Read more

Freda Payne: Bring the Boys Home (1971)

17 Jul 2014

Freda Payne is best known for her hit Band of Gold of 1970, but here during the Vietnam war era she's speaking for all those with loved ones abroad. This was a very direct message at a time when the boys were coming home in body bags, and a disporoprtionately high number were black soldiers. People got the message and this went to number 12 on the Billboard charts. Freda later... > Read more

Jethro Tull: The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles (1973)

14 Jul 2014    1

No one -- not even the members of Jethro Tull it seems -- can fully explain why this oddball spoken-word piece should have appeared in the middle of the album A Passion Play. The best Tull mainman Ian Anderson can come up with is because the rest of the album was so lyrically, emotionally and musically dense -- something about someone dying and going through stages in the afterlife -- is that... > Read more

Skip James: I'm So Glad (1931)

11 Jul 2014

Previously we posted Otis Rush's original of All Your Love which became one of Eric Clapton's defining versions in '65 (the kind of piece that got the "Clapton is God" graffiti writers going). So here now is Skip James with I'm So Glad which became simply an improv vehicle for Clapton in Cream just a few years later. James -- from Mississippi -- was one of the many bluesmen who... > Read more

White Town: Your Woman (1997)

10 Jul 2014    1

Long before there were overnight internet stars, there were -- and still are -- those who simply sat at home and made their songs on rudimentary equipment -- and then tried to sell them into the world. That is difficult, especially if you were Jyoti Mishra who is White Town. "I'm not exactly the easiest package to sell: some fat Asian bloke who does his own recordings? It's not going... > Read more

PJ Proby: Lonely Weekends (1965)

9 Jul 2014    1

One of the most pressing problems facing big voiced balladeers of the mid and late Sixties -- PJ Proby, Tom Jones, Solomon King, Engelbert Humperdinck and John Rowles among them -- was a lack of decent material. When the Beatles arrived writing and singing their own material (then the Stones and others) the whole landscape of popular music changed. Although a few songwriters had previously... > Read more

Max Romeo: Wet Dream (1969)

8 Jul 2014    1

The great Max Romeo has his War Ina Babylon (produced by Lee Scratch Perry) as an Essential Elsewhere album for its street politics and memorable songs, but this was the thing which got him a lot of attention. Produced by Bunny Lee at Studio One, understandably banned by the BBC ("lie down gal let me push it up, push it up"), not released in Jamaica, reaching number two on the... > Read more

Otis Rush: All Your Love (1958)

7 Jul 2014

One of Eric Clapton's most definitive and distinctive early statements was his cover of this song by the great Otis Rush, which appeared on the John Mayall Blues Breakers album of '65. You can hear his version at that link. What is interesting is just what a precision player Clapton was. He hears every nuance of Rush's version, but delivers a steely, crisp but deeply felt rendition... > Read more

Ivor Cutler: Life in a Scotch Sitting Room and Go And Sit Upon the Grass (1975)

27 Jun 2014

The Scottish poet and comedian Ivor Cutler (1923 - 2006) barely scraped the surface of wide public acclaim outside of the UK, and even there he was a minority figure. But he did appear in the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour in '67 after Paul McCartney spotted the eccentric, quietly spoken Cutler on a late night television show. In that Beatles film he played Buster Bloodvessel, the driver of... > Read more

Bob Dylan: The Usual (1987)

23 Jun 2014

Although in these days of online-everything there could be very few Bob Dylan songs described as rare, this one isn't too readily available . . .  unless you have the soundrack to the Eighties film Hearts of Fire on which it appeared. The movie itself -- in which Dylan plays an elusive and reclusive rock star, in very bad Eighties clothes -- was widely disparaged and didn't even get... > Read more