The Album Considered

Unusual, over-looked and interesting albums pulled from the shelves at random for reconsideration

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THE BEE GEES: ODESSA, CONSIDERED (1969): All at sea in separate lifeboats

27 May 2024  |  4 min read  |  2

In 16 months from early 1967 when they returned to Britain after a trip back home to Australia, the Bee Gees cracked out a remarkable six hit singles and three albums. Their writing, recording and touring schedule was extraordinary, perhaps only matched by the Beatles' work ethic who were, for a time, their real chart rivals. But for a group which crafted tight radio pop there was a... > Read more

Melody Fair

TOM WAITS. THE HEART OF SATURDAY NIGHT, CONSIDERED (1974): Drunk on the moon again

20 May 2024  |  3 min read

Unlike other albums considered for this on-going column, this one by Tom Waits didn't come off the shelf at random. Although it sort of did. As mentioned previously, during the floods of 2022 Elsewhere's office was awash and so we lost around 800 albums and scores of CDs, books, travel journals and family photos. Among those so damaged were about 20 albums by a longtime favourite... > Read more

Shiver Me Timbers

ROD STEWART. SMILER, CONSIDERED (1974): All the way to the bank

12 May 2024  |  1 min read

When Rod Stewart's Smiler album came off the shelves at random for this on-going column it was probably the first time it had been on the stereo for 20 years, if not more. And it is a surprising album. Surprising in how lazy it was. Stewart as a songwriter steps back for an album of mostly covers and – in the case of Paul McCartney's lyrical lame but pleasant Mine for Me... > Read more

VARIOUS ARTISTS. ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK, CONSIDERED (early 1970s?): Travels in the time tunnel

6 May 2024  |  1 min read

Among the many good things about what Bob Seger called “old time rock and roll” is that you get more of it for less. Like on this album which boasts “24 terrific rock'n'roll tracks” and cost just $5 secondhand. That's about 20 cents a song. But this cobbled together collection for New Zealand's Music for Leisure Ltd is bizarre in what it considers rock'n'roll and... > Read more

THE BEATLES. BEATLES FOR SALE, CONSIDERED (1964): Cashing in and the start of cashing out

29 Apr 2024  |  3 min read

With a cynical title and a great cover photo, the Beatles' fourth album in 20 months was a mixed bag of excellent and different new songs alongside filler pulled from the back-pocket of their Hamburg trousers. It was a shameless cash-in for the Christmas market – recorded in October but not released until early December – and it was clear the songwriting team of Lennon-McCartney... > Read more

No Reply

CURVED AIR. PHANTASMAGORIA, CONSIDERED (1972): And now to the matter at hand

22 Apr 2024  |  3 min read

While there are plenty of songs about sex, there are fewer specifically about masturbation. We can readily think of Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark, Vanessa Daou's Long Tunnel of Wanting You and the Divinyls' I Touch Myself. But, with a few exceptions, songs about that touchy subject are often coded. Welcome then to a band who just got straight down to the job in hand: Britain's... > Read more

Over and Above

THE TREMELOES. THE TREMELOES, CONSIDERED (1971): Guitar group not on the way out

8 Apr 2024  |  3 min read

When the Beatles broke through in 1963 there were any number of other groups poised to ride in their wake. Many of them, in the manner of Fifties artists, put the name of the singer out front: Gerry and the Pacemakers, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Derry and the Seniors (in '61 the first Liverpool band to record an album) and others, like . . . Brian Poole... > Read more

Here Comes My Baby

MINNIE RIPERTON: PERFECT ANGEL, CONSIDERED (1974): La la la la da da bee doo . . .

17 Mar 2024  |  2 min read

When Minnie Riperton died in 1979 many were shocked, and not just that she should be taken so young at 31. Nor was it that she looked so full of cheeky life on the cover of her hit album Perfect Angel which contained the extraordinary single Lovin' You. It was that she died of breast cancer which was probably the first time many of her young soul/r'n'b followers had encountered that.... > Read more

RIP RIG + PANIC: GOD, CONSIDERED (1981): Post-punk demented dervish heart-attack jazz'n'rock funk

4 Mar 2024  |  3 min read

When you name your post-punk debut after an album by the great jazz saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk you have really upped the stakes and expectation. And when the band is formed around Mark Springer, Bruce Smith and Gareth Sager of the anarcho-punk Pop Group with guests Neneh Cherry and Ari Up of the Slits, then you know things are going to be . . . at very least, interesting. And the... > Read more

MARK WILLIAMS, SWEET TRIALS, CONSIDERED (1976): It was drag, and a drag

25 Feb 2024  |  2 min read

A bit later in life Mark Williams, originally from near Dargaville, could accept that the way he dressed – feminine clothes he'd made himself, eye-liner and make-up beneath a teased Afro bouffant – “almost looked like drag". "It was drag actually”. But that was later. At the time in the early Seventies when he started having hits, was on TV and... > Read more

Sweet Wine

ALBERTA HUNTER: WITH LOVIE AUSTIN'S BLUES SERENADERS, CONSIDERED (1961): And the blues shall not weary them

19 Feb 2024  |  5 min read  |  2

In 1961, the blues singer Albert Hunter – who'd been born at the end of the 19thcentury and had recorded with Fletcher Henderson, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Eubie Blake and many others – went into Rudi Van Gelder's studio to record with Victoria Spivey and Lucille Hegamin for the Prestige label. It was the first time she'd been in a studio in almost 20 years. She was 67... > Read more

CAT MOTHER AND THE ALL NIGHT NEWSBOYS. THE STREET GIVETH … AND THE STREET TAKETH AWAY, CONSIDERED (1969): The musicians not the music?

15 Feb 2024  |  4 min read

For the moment let's not worry about the music on this old album pulled from the shelves at random for consideration in this on-going series. The music will make itself known to us as we go. Let's instead just concentrate on the names involved, who they were, where they went and who they became. There is a story worth telling right there. The co-producer of this debut album by the New... > Read more

MARC RIBOT AND CERAMIC DOG. CONNECTION, CONSIDERED (2023): Wrecks small speakers . . . .

8 Jan 2024  |  2 min read

Although avant-guitarist Marc Ribot has appeared at Elsewhere under his own name, he is perhaps best known for his work on albums by Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Laurie Anderson and with Robert Plant and Alison Kraus. We profiled him as a "cosmopolitan guitarist without portfolio" here. Like fellow traveller Bill Frisell, Ribot can fit in. But in Ceramic Dog with... > Read more

Connection (title track)

THE SEEKERS: THE BEST OF THE SEEKERS, CONSIDERED (2023): You say goodbye, then wave hello

27 Dec 2023  |  4 min read  |  1

At some point in the late Nineties I interviewed Judith Durham of the Seekers, the Australian band which had half a dozen memorable hits in the Sixties. Their album The Best of the Seekers seemed to be in everyone's home at the time and is now readily found in charity shops and secondhand stores alongside Neil Diamond's Hot August Night. I can't remember if Durham was touring under her... > Read more

The Carnival is Over

DIONNE WARWICK; AN INTRODUCTION TO DIONNE WARWICK, CONSIDERED (2023): Impossible to walk on by her

28 Oct 2023  |  1 min read

Yes, she was sometimes a little flaky (adding an “e” to her surname at the recommendation of her astrologer, infomercials on the Psychic Network) and sometimes had a troubled life (marriages, big problems with the tax department). But at her peak in the Sixties – and in truth often enough since then for her to always be of interest – Dionne Warwick was a... > Read more

TEDDY PENDERGRASS: THE REAL TEDDY PENDERGRASS, CONSIDERED (2023): Sex and soul music

16 Oct 2023  |  2 min read

When the great soul singer Teddy Pendergrass was involved in car accident in early '83 which left him a paraplegic, he was at the height of his career as a crossover artist whose smooth style of bedroom ballads matched that of Barry White and Marvin Gaye. He had brought an emotional depth and sexual ache to many of his more recent songs (titles included Love TKO, Feel the Fire, I Can't... > Read more

It's Time For Love

DIANE HILDEBRAND: EARLY MORNING BLUES AND GREENS, CONSIDERED (1969): But what's the genre, Jac?

24 Sep 2023  |  2 min read

Some of the albums Elsewhere has pulled from the shelves at random for a consideration are a mystery: when, how – and often, why – was that acquired? However this oldie by a fascinating singer-songwriter does come with a backstory. It was a recent acquisition (2014) and I told the story of how it came to hand when I posted a track off it at From the Vaults shortly after.... > Read more

TOM WAITS. BONE MACHINE, CONSIDERED (1992): Skeleton-rattling sounds and buried beauty

4 Sep 2023  |  1 min read

In the early Nineties Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead observed that Bob Dylan still wrote the most beautiful tunes . . . didn't always sing 'em of course, but the melody was in there somewhere. With Bone Machine -- Waits' best album since Rain Dogs in '85 and clear contender for album of the year in '92 -- Waits penned a bracket of melancholy, beautiful ballads which recalled his best... > Read more

Tom Waits: Earth Died Screaming

DANGER MOUSE: THE GREY ALBUM, CONSIDERED (2004): Looking through a glass prism

7 Aug 2023  |  4 min read

When DJ Danger Mouse's innovative and crafted The Grey Album – a clever melange of Jay-Z's The Black Album and the Beatles' The White Album – appeared in early 2004 Britain's Mojo magazine was unimpressed. Under the heading “Let's Mock!” with a sub-head which read “bootleggers and imposters roam the land. What happened to keeping it real?” Mojo... > Read more

99 Problems

LOUIS ARMSTRONG. THE COMPLETE TOWN HALL CONCERT (1947): The Brother Bob of jazz?

23 Jul 2023  |  4 min read

Surprisingly, it's quite easy to get people under 30 interested in Louis Armstrong. Because they know nothing or very little about him beyond the name and that he was famous. For some reason. “Jazz, maybe?” Young people – unlike those a few decades older – aren't weighed down by the cliched images of Armstrong mugging around and, to some observers, looking... > Read more

Back o' Town Blues (recorded from vinyl)