Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

From the Vaults

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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 >>

15 Jun 2012

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 >>

14 Jun 2012

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 >>

12 Jun 2012

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 >>

11 Jun 2012    2

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 >>

8 Jun 2012

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 >>

7 Jun 2012

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 >>

6 Jun 2012    1

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 >>

5 Jun 2012    7

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 >>

4 Jun 2012    1

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 >>

3 Jun 2012

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 >>

29 May 2012

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 >>

28 May 2012    2

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 >>

22 May 2012

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 >>

21 May 2012

Leon Russell: Back to the Island (1975)

Leon Russell: Back to the Island (1975)

Leon Russell is like the Kevin Bacon of rock: there are six degrees of separation between him and anyone else. Actually, that's not true. There are about three. Leon to the Beatles? Well he was at Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh so that takes care of that one . . . and opens enormous doors to others. And Leon to Dylan? Same gig, more and different doors opening. To Elvis? He... more >>

18 May 2012

Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan: Jimmy Berman (1971)

Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan: Jimmy Berman (1971)

Given they had so much in common -- a love of words, counterculture cachet, Jewish upbringing and so on -- it is a surprise poet Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan didn't write and record together more often. There was a session with poet Anne Waldman in 1968 (which had Arthur Russell on cello), others in '71 with a similar group (and a sitar player) and another in '81. Oddly enough it seems... more >>

17 May 2012

The Viscounts: Harlem Nocturne (1959)

The Viscounts: Harlem Nocturne (1959)

In the final month of the Fifties, the Viscounts covered this piece which Ray Noble and His Orchestra had introduced two decades previous. But to it the Viscounts brought a sleazy menace in the simple bass line and shimmering guitar behind a saxophone sound which comes at you from a shadowy back alley. It reeks of film noir sensibility. This moody track was included on the excellent... more >>

16 May 2012

Norman "Hurricane" Smith: Oh Babe, What Would You Say (1972)

Norman "Hurricane" Smith: Oh Babe, What Would You Say (1972)

Norman Smith was an unlikely chart-topper when he knocked Elton John off the top of the US charts with this, his second single: he was 49 at the time and prior to that his career had been firmly on the other side of the microphone as an engineer and a producer. But what a career he had enjoyed. In his late 30s he'd been taken on as a sound engineer at EMI's studios in Abbey Road and was... more >>

15 May 2012

Status Quo: When My Mind is Not Live (1968)

Status Quo: When My Mind is Not Live (1968)

For the past 40+ years, Status Quo have been a heads-down boogie band in denims and "rockin' all over the world". So it's hardly surprising people would know them for nothing more than that enjoyably reductive style. However . . . For a few years in the late Sixties the original band (with the inevitable line-up changes) flirted with trippy hippie rock of the psychedelic... more >>

14 May 2012

The Saints: (I'm) Stranded (1976)

The Saints: (I'm) Stranded (1976)

Bob Geldof once observed, "Rock music of the Seventies was changed by three bands -- the Sex Pistols, the Ramones and the Saints". That the Saints out of suburban Brisbane -- hardly the home of rock music, let alone an angry and intelligent version -- should be in that illustrious company comes as no surprise to anyone who followed their career from this exceptional debut single,... more >>

12 May 2012