The Album Considered

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SYBIL: SYBIL, CONSIDERED (1989): An album to walk on by

22 Mar 2021  |  1 min read

Pulling this album off the shelves at random has been an education. It is beautifully unplayed and of course there is no rational explanation for how it came to be on the sagging shelves at Elsewhere. But perhaps here might be an answer. This US r'n'b singer might not have done any serious chart damage in her homeland or the UK with this second album (#75 in the US, #21 in Britain) but... > Read more

JEAN-PAUL BOURELLY: JUNGLE COWBOY, CONSIDERED (1987): His avant-gotta direction debut album

15 Mar 2021  |  3 min read

In an interview with Elsewhere some years ago, Vernon Reid of the seminal black rock band Living Colour observed that once they got through the door of the hierarchy of the white rock critical community the access for other black rock bands slammed shut behind them. It was like, “We'll we've got our black rock band, why would we need another?” Something similar happened in... > Read more


8 Mar 2021  |  2 min read  |  1

In 1988 pianist George Shearing and singer Mel Torme appeared at the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts in Wellington. As a journalist I was there to cover it and scored interviews with everyone from David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet and Wynton Marsalis (the former I went on the town with, the latter I guided around the Michael Fowler Centre where he was to play) to Maxim... > Read more

ZAWINUL: DIALECTS, CONSIDERED (1986): Keyboard player speaking for himself

19 Feb 2021  |  2 min read

Keyboard player Joe Zawinul had recorded albums under his own name before this one, but the self-titled previous one had been in '71, 15 years back. In the interim he'd sprung to forefront of attention with Weather Report, the group he founded with saxophonist Wayne Shorter and bassist Miroslav Vitous which was not just in the vanguard of jazz-fusion in the Seventies but for many the... > Read more


15 Feb 2021  |  1 min read

There are always those artists you hold an unnatural affection for: Elsewhere's list includes Pere Ubu, the Dwight Twilley Band, the Unforgiven, Bob Seger (before he went soft), the Rolling Stones (in the Sixties), the Chills and Clean . . . And Redd Kross out of California who managed to weld power pop to indie-rock, like the Searchers or the Shoes on speed, urgency and the knowledge... > Read more

STEVIE WONDER: THE SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS, CONSIDERED (1979): Trimming and pruning required

8 Feb 2021  |  3 min read

Every now and again a book comes along and captures the imagination of many. Recently there has been the Oprah-approved The Secret and Eat Pray Love (“Now a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts!”). The late Sixties and Seventies seemed awash with popular books passed hand-to-hand: anything by Carlos Castaneda (drugs and enlightenment, man), Chariots of the Gods... > Read more

HOWARD MORRISON: BORN FREE, CONSIDERED (1968): Each time you look at a star?

1 Feb 2021  |  2 min read

There could be no greater proof of the random nature of Elsewhere's The Album Considered pages than this one pulled off a shelf. Few in their right mind would want to play this ancient, MOR release by Howard Morrison let alone write about it. And even fewer would want to admit to having it. (Disclaimer: Mine was in a box of free-to-a-good-home records which included Graham Brazier,... > Read more

TERRY RILEY: SHRI CAMEL, CONSIDERED (1978): Listening is easy with eyes closed

25 Jan 2021  |  2 min read

For most people, even if they haven't heard a note by him, their reference point for the career of Terry Riley is often distilled into just two words: In C. That was the title of his breakthrough, Sixties minimalist album (recorded for the first time in '68), a composition which allows for infinite flexibility. It has been performed by musicians from China and Mali, by Indian musicians... > Read more

THE RAINMAKERS: THE RAINMAKERS, CONSIDERED (1987): God, Little Richard and JD Salinger

18 Jan 2021  |  3 min read

As we've noted previously, some of the albums puled off our shelves to consider are a mystery when it comes to why they were there in the first place. But how this album by a rock'n'roll band out of Kansas City, Missouri ended up in residence is easy to remember. It came my way just before Christmas 1987 – my first year as a writer at the Herald – and was a gift from my... > Read more

PREACHER JACK: 3000 BARROOMS LATER, CONSIDERED (1984): Pass the bottle and praise the Lord

11 Jan 2021  |  1 min read

When Elsewhere pulls albums off the shelf to consider for this on-going column it is a random process. Sometimes they can be a forgotten classic, at other times pretty rubbish and then there are those where the question we ask ourselves, “How did I get this?” Our Album Considered pages have more than a few like the latter: albums that we didn't even know we had, and aren't sure... > Read more

GENE PITNEY: GENE PITNEY'S BIG SIXTEEN, CONSIDERED (1964): Teardrops topping the charts to dead alone in Cardiff

4 Jan 2021  |  4 min read  |  1

Although the British Invasion in 1964-65 severely damaged the careers of many US artists – pretty-boy male singers most notably – a few survived the incursions. And in the case of Gene Pitney, paths sometimes crossed. Before the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in February '64, Pitney from Connecticut had scored major hits with aching songs like A... > Read more

LEGAL REINS: PLEASE THE PLEASURE, CONSIDERED (1988): It's humpage Jim, but not as we know it

28 Dec 2020  |  1 min read

If there is any consensus about this American trio from LA – and believe me you search in vain for even just a few references to them – it was that they were ahead of their time. But that's actually the opinion of their drummer Tim Freund. He also said he couldn't understand why the band didn't make it adding “just goes to show even Clive Davis blows it... > Read more

DAVID LINDLEY AND EL RAYO-X; VERY GREASY, CONSIDERED (1988): A Caribbean cruise in your own backyard

21 Dec 2020  |  1 min read

Without going the whole Buble/Christmas album route, there is some music which is seasonal. And the Caribbean/Chicano/Louisiana warmth coming off this album by multi-instrumentalist and Ry Cooder-pal David Lindley is certainly one for summer listening. The album was produced by Linda Ronstadt who, along with Jackson Browne, adds backing vocals on one track: the delightful treatment of... > Read more

VARIOUS ARTISTS: OUT OF THE CORNERS, CONSIDERED (1982): Sisterhood was doing it for itself

7 Dec 2020  |  3 min read

When the New Zealand Herald wrote about this independent album of female artists released by the Web Women's Collective – which included the Topp Twins, Mahina Tocker, Di Cadwallader, Val Murphy and others – the article appeared on the Mainly Women page. To be fair to the Herald, it didn't have entertainment or album review pages at the time and so at least it did cover this... > Read more


16 Nov 2020  |  2 min read

In the early Eighties reggae was reeling after the death of Bob Marley, the figurehead of style he popularised and, for the great middle-ground audience, was the genre's most identifiable figure. But when reggae had broken in the early Seventies on the back of Marley and the Wailers' upward trajectory, it was apparent to close observers that the tiny island of Jamaica was awash with talent:... > Read more

OLIVER LAKE and JUMP UP: PLUG IT, CONSIDERED (1983): Forget art and argument, let's dance

9 Nov 2020  |  4 min read

First of all, you have to remember the period in which this album by saxophonist Oliver Lake arrived: Wynton Marsalis was making his career run on the back of his neo-conservative stance (hailing Ellington and early Miles, dismissing post-bop, fusion and free jazz etc) and in his corner he had the bullish critic and cheerleader Stanley Crouch. Marsalis being articulate, sharp, handsome and... > Read more

THE BETA BAND: THE 3 EPs, CONSIDERED (1998): The four amigos from Glasgow

3 Nov 2020  |  2 min read

By the time Scotland's Beta Band got to their self-titled debut album in '99, many writers and fans felt they had already done their best work. It has been on three separate EPs – Champion Versions ('97), The Patty Patty Sound and Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos (both '98) – which had enjoyed such a cult following that they were repacked as The 3 EPs which took their slacker... > Read more

Dry the Rain


19 Oct 2020  |  3 min read

Although we are right to celebrate our musical pioneers and predecessors, there is serious danger of falling into the myth of exceptionalism, the belief that New Zealand artists were all pretty great and those obscure albums being resurrected from secondhand stores are lost works of art. Well let's be frank, some artists were mediocre and very few albums from the Sixties particularly... > Read more

PAUL McCARTNEY: FLAMING PIE, CONSIDERED (1997): The man in the mirror stares himself down

12 Oct 2020  |  5 min read

The Eighties was a tough decade for many who had come to attention in the Sixties: any Best of 80s Bob Dylan compilation is scraping around; singers like Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black and Dionne Warwick all but disappeared for a while; Van Morrison's album were patchy, the Stones recycled themselves to lesser effect and most people couldn't name a Kinks album in the Eighties. And what of... > Read more

THE BUCKINGHAMS: KIND OF A DRAG, CONSIDERED (1967): The British Invasion from the Windy City

5 Oct 2020  |  3 min read

With their ever-so British name, Carnaby St attire and fashionably Beatles-style hair – not to mention their upbeat pop – the Buckinghams should have been contenders in the mid-late Sixties. And in a modest way they were: they enjoyed two top 20 hits here (Kind of a Drag in '67, Susan the following year) and five in the US (those two, plus Don't You Care, Mercy Mercy Mercy and... > Read more