Graffiti off Brick Lane, London
Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

From the Vaults

Keep up to date with new articles on Elsewhere as they're added RSS Feed iconwith Rss or subscribe to receive a weekly e-newsletter with updates, giveaways

The Wailers: And I Love Her (1965)

The Wailers: And I Love Her (1965)

Although Bob Marley came to prominence in, and dominated, the Seventies, we often forget he was an exact contemporary of the Beatles in the Sixties. When they were in Abbey Road recording Can't Buy Me Love, the Waliers were in Studio One in Kingston asking the rude boys and razor gangs running wild in the streets to Simmer Down. Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingstone were also... more >>

Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Big Ones Get Away (1992)

Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Big Ones Get Away (1992)

There are three distinct but overlapping public faces of Native American singer/songwriter Sainte-Marie: the woman who wrote and sang Universal Soldier and the theme to the film Soldier Blue in the Sixties; the permanent cast member of Sesame Street between '76 and '81; and a lifelong activist in the Native American movement. But there was always much more to her: she is a much exhibited... more >>

Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Big Ones Get Away

Little Eva: The Trouble With Boys (1963)

Little Eva: The Trouble With Boys (1963)

When Little Eva died in 2003, most obituaries got in the story that she had been Gerry Goffin and Carole King's babysitter and, inspired by her odd dancing style, they penned The Locomotion for her, which was a massive hit in 1962. Little Eva -- born Eva Narcissus Boyd -- was 16 at the time.  That story seems unlikely or exaggerated, but it is true that Goffin-King also wrote... more >>

Howard Morrison: Howie the Maori/Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town (1982)

Howard Morrison: Howie the Maori/Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town (1982)

The late Sir Howard Morrison was a complex character. He was a master of self-placement in the public domain (at Michael Jackson's side when the singer visited) and although some skewered him for snuggling up to politicians and dignitaries, he was also a populist and popular figure, and someone who throughout his life quietly -- and sometimes overtly -- advanced various Maori causes. He... more >>

Unknown soprano: The Goodness of Chairman Mao is Deeper Than the Sea (1967)

Unknown soprano: The Goodness of Chairman Mao is Deeper Than the Sea (1967)

While there is doubtless some historic or artistic merit in many of tracks posted at From the Vaults, sometimes we pick them just because we can. There may well be artistic merit of some kind in this song and there is certainly historic significance. Whether that's enough to make anyone want to listen is another matter. Yes, the old record is scratchy and yes, Chinese sopranos can be an... more >>

Coast: Why; A Peace Medley (1970)

Coast: Why; A Peace Medley (1970)

The war in Vietnam threw up hundreds of songs -- taking about every political position imaginable -- but this track is interesting as an early example of a musical montage.  Not a "song" as such but a medley of vocal samples (including one from American Vice President Spiro Agnew), sound effects and hooks from anti-war songs by Neil Young and the Plastic Ono Band, this piece... more >>

The Nu Page: When the Brothers Come Marching Home (1973)

The Nu Page: When the Brothers Come Marching Home (1973)

The Nu Page were a one-single group signed to the Motown subsidiary label MoWest which released songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Thelma Houston and Tom Clay (whose version of Abraham Martin and John/What the World Needs Now is Love gave them a top 10 hit). Of Nu Page very little is known but this song -- celebrating the closing overs of American involvment in Vietnam -- had some... more >>

Bob Dylan:Belle Isle (1970)

Bob Dylan:Belle Isle (1970)

Because of the length and breadth of his catalogue, it is hardly surprising Bob Dylan should have appeared at From the Vaults from time to time (see here), not always with great, lost songs either. A few are real duds.  His myth-destroying Self Portrait double album of 1970 is one of those oddities you can return to and find the oddball rubbing shoulders with the truly awful and... more >>

The Buckinghams: Foreign Policy (1969)

The Buckinghams: Foreign Policy (1969)

Very few today would even remember the MOR group the Buckinghams from the late Sixties. Their big hit was Kind of Drag ("when your baby don't love you") -- although Hey Baby ("they're playing our song") got a little radio mileage. The Chicago-based Buckinghams (and think about that location in the late Sixties) were a close-harmony group like the the Ivy League out of... more >>

Bike: Save My Life (1996)

Bike: Save My Life (1996)

Unless you actually know Andrew Brough, he is one of the great lost figures in recent New Zealand rock. One of the songwriters in Straitjacket Fits alongside Shayne Carter, he jumped/was pushed in 1992 after their second album Melt and briefly re-emerged in the mid Nineties when he seemed to get the wind behind him with Bike which became a vehicle for his distinctive, melodic songwriting.... more >>

Ariel: Yellow Submarine (1997)

Ariel: Yellow Submarine (1997)

Another track from the often hilarious and sometimes worrying Plastic Soul Vol 4 album which is a compilation of mad Beatles covers, many from Russia. Ariel weigh in with two entries, A Little Help From My Friends and this tempo-challenging stab at Yellow Submarine which ends up waltzing down the Danube. The band – which these days seems to consist of five staid middle-aged... more >>

John Giorno: Suicide Sutra (1973)

John Giorno: Suicide Sutra (1973)

An important warning before you listen: Do not push play if you are suicidal, off your medication or are having a really hard time of it right now. Especially don't push play if you have access to a firearm. This disturbing piece was written by New York poet John Giorno (born 1936) and appeared as a piece on his Dial-A-Poem phoneline which he founded in the late Sixties. People could ring... more >>

The Inhalers: Nico on a Bike (1990)

The Inhalers: Nico on a Bike (1990)

When Nigel Beckford of Wellington got in touch two years ago about the album by the band Sven Olsen's Brutal Canadian Love Saga, he opened a door into a very strange and wonderful world. That album Songs From the Bottom of a Hilltop went into our Best of Elsewhere 2010 list and has, as expected, become a collector's item. There were only 400 pressed and it was an elaborate package of two... more >>

Golden Harvest: Give a Little Love (1978)

Golden Harvest: Give a Little Love (1978)

In the late Seventies, Golden Harvest from Morrinsville were briefly riding a wave of success. Their song I Need Your Love (see clip below) had been a huge hit and won them single of the year, and their self-titled debut album -- recorded at Stebbings by Rob Aickin with Ian Morris engineering -- delivered on their promise. With the exception of Dylan's All Along the Watchtower delivered... more >>

Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Monkberry Moon Delight (1972)

Screamin' Jay Hawkins: Monkberry Moon Delight (1972)

With Paul and Linda McCartney's Ram album being given the reissue treatment -- and album critically derided on release in '71 but a longtime Essential Elsewhere album and now picking up highly favourable reviews -- it is timely to post this track by the great Screamin' Jay Hawkins (who is interviewed here). Throughout his career McCartney to that point had drawn on interesting source... more >>

Johnny Cash: The Chicken in Black (1984)

Johnny Cash: The Chicken in Black (1984)

Fortunately for Johnny Cash he didn't die around the time he hit rock bottom in the mid Eighties. If he'd gone then -- before his career resurrection through the American Recordings and the Walk the Line film -- he might not have been remembered as the man-mountain solid rock of country, the troubled man of faith or the middle-finger rabble-rousing guy of that famous photo. Imagine if The... more >>

The Flys: Love and a Molotov Cocktail (1978)

The Flys: Love and a Molotov Cocktail (1978)

1977 was a confusing year in Britain: pub-rockers Dr Feelgood were at an all-time peak, the Sex Pistols, the Clash and others advanced the punk agenda, and off on the margins were power-pop bands which hadn't quite seen the changes coming. The four-piece Flys out of Coventry -- a little distant from the London scene -- were in the latter category, they knew a power pop-cum-New Wave riff but... more >>

Red Hot Peppers: Witchwood (1976)

Red Hot Peppers: Witchwood (1976)

New Zealand's short-lived but impressive Red Hot Peppers in the Seventies revolved around multi-instrumentalist Robbie Laven (originally from Holland) and singer-guitarist Marion Arts. Laven was quite a musical threat, he could apparently play about 50 instruments and on their debut album Toujours Yours he plays guitars, sitar, fiddle, lyre, qin, sax, dobro, banjo, mandolin, flute . . .... more >>

Elmer Fudd: The Fool on the Hill (1995)

Elmer Fudd: The Fool on the Hill (1995)

There have been thousands of covers and interpretations of Beatles' songs -- from the refined (orchestral and chamber groups) to the ridiculous (dogs barking out She Loves You), from jazz and Hawaiian (by way of Belgium see here!), from reggae to trip-hop and . . . well, then there were the Rutles (whose parodies were also covered). There are also these exception and bizarre collections... more >>

Bertha Lee Patton: Mind Reader Blues (1934)

Bertha Lee Patton: Mind Reader Blues (1934)

The last wife of Charley Patton, Bertha Lee was a fine singer in her own right -- and she probably had plenty of reasons to sing the blues. She was only married to Patton for about four years -- he died in 1934 -- but by all accounts their relationship was a volatile one. Honeyboy Edwards said, "Charley always had a lot of women. Men didn't like him much because all the women was... more >>