The Album Considered

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THE ESCORTS: 3 DOWN 4 TO GO, CONSIDERED (1974): Souls on ice

27 Jul 2020  |  2 min read

It's unlikely you would confuse this group with the Merseybeat-era moptop band of the same name. The seven soul brothers here – who tap the great James Brown, Temptations, Smokey and the Miracles and a bit of the Stylistics and Floaters -- had done, or were serving time, at Rahway prison in New Jersey and the album title refers to the countdown on a sentence. The liner notes say... > Read more

YOKO ONO: THE REMIX ALBUMS, CONSIDERED (1996 – 2016): Offering her art to others

24 Jul 2020  |  5 min read

Given the sexist, racist and hurtful personal comments she received when she arrived in popular culture at the side of John Lennon, Yoko Ono was certainly entitled to release an album under the title Yes I'm a Witch. The wonder is that it took her so long. Yes I'm A Witch arrived in 2007 and Ono told Mojo's Mark Paytress she was happy with that title. “When people kept calling... > Read more

Rising (Thurston Moore remix, 1996)

BLACK UHURU: RED, CONSIDERED (1981): Reggae on the forefront

16 Jul 2020  |  4 min read  |  1

After the death of Bob Marley in May 1981, it seemed the biggest Jamaican reggae band in contention as his successor could be Black Uhuru. There was certainly a lot of their fine and sometimes fiery music about. The previous years had seen release of a self-titled collection of early singles which included new songs alongside some of their 45rpm classics: the broody Guess Who's Coming... > Read more

THE DURUTTI COLUMN: THE GUITAR AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS, CONSIDERED (1987): Man and machine music

3 Jul 2020  |  3 min read

Manchester's Vini Reilly -- who steered Durutti Column through scores of studio albums and many side-projects from the late Seventies until fairly recently -- probably only ever earned enough to pay the mortgage . . . and never enough to pay it off. Respected, nervous, anorexic and almost popular sometimes, he was always his own man. Reilly – in his mid Sixties at... > Read more

EDIE BRICKELL AND THE NEW BOHEMIANS, SHOOTING RUBBERBANDS AT THE STARS, CONSIDERED (1988): What she was and what she is . . .

28 Jun 2020  |  4 min read

Texas-born and based Edie Brickell was 22 in '88 when – on a Saturday Night Live session in New York to promote this debut album with the New Bohemians – she first saw Paul Simon. He was more than twice her age and enjoying global success (and some controversy) with the Graceland album . . . but troubling over a follow-up. He was taken with Brickell's performance and... > Read more

JOHN SINCLAIR: MOHAWK, CONSIDERED (2014): They gave him 10 for two . . .

25 May 2020  |  2 min read

In popular and political culture John Sinclair is best known for a small handful of things in the Sixties and early Seventies. He founded the White Panther Party, managed Michigan's MC5 and steered them into being a megaphone for radical politics (“We wanted to kick ass and raise consciousness,"), was one of the producers of the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festivals (although seems... > Read more

THE UNFORGIVEN: THE UNFORGIVEN, CONSIDERED (1986): The band that died with its boots on

16 May 2020  |  2 min read  |  2

Some time in the early Nineties I met up with two of the guys from Cracker at a bar in New York, and towards the end of our conversation the talk turned to what they had done before their alt.rock incarnation. John Hickman said he'd been in another band . . . and after a long pause said he'd been in a band called the Unforgiven, but that I wouldn't have heard if them. Not heard of them?... > Read more

All is Quiet on the Western Front

RICKIE LEE JONES: PIRATES, CONSIDERED (1981): Heartbreak, heroin and hope

13 May 2020  |  5 min read  |  2

Taken together with Tom Waits' Blue Valentine, Rickie Lee Jones' huge selling self-titled debut album of '79 – which sprung her top five hit Chuck E's in Love – recorded their love affair at it poetic peak. Waits sang her favourite song Somewhere from West Side Story on his for her. But the relationship dissolved quickly thereafter and, for her at least, painfully. Her... > Read more

JIMMY CLIFF: SPECIAL, CONSIDERED (1982): The harder they come the longer they run

11 May 2020  |  4 min read

Jimmy Cliff – arguably the most globally recognised Jamaican singer after Bob Marley – has been many things in his lifetime. Even before he broke through as the singer/star in Perry Henzell's exceptional 1972 film The Harder They Come, he had enjoyed success at the World's Fair in New York in '64 (with Derrick Morgan and Prince Buster). There he met Island Records' headman Chris... > Read more

CATE BROTHERS: IN ONE EYE AND OUT THE OTHER, CONSIDERED (1976): Southern soul brothers

7 May 2020  |  2 min read  |  1

You rarely find twins Ernie and Earl Cate, originally from Arkansas, in any recent rock or soul encyclopedias and reference books.  In fact, when Elsewhere went looking on our deeply bowed shelves they only appeared as a brief mention in an NME book from '78 between Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys (debut album produced by Jimi) and Harry Chapin. Fair enough, just four albums... > Read more

MILES DAVIS: ESP, CONSIDERED (1965): Old ways going in a new direction

3 May 2020  |  3 min read

The woman staring out of the cover of Miles Davis' 1965 album ESP was his wife Frances. It's an unusual cover: the photo by Bob Cato looks like a casual and informal snapshot with Miles on a recliner staring up at Frances almost quizzically and she engaging the observer/camera with a look of quiet surprise and a hint of fear. In his autobiography Davis says “[it] was taken in our... > Read more

TOMMY JAMES: MY HEAD, MY BED & MY RED GUITAR, CONSIDERED (1971): A walk in the spiritual country

29 Apr 2020  |  3 min read

Leaving aside the Mob connection for the moment, let's just acknowledge that Tommy James and the Shondells out of Michigan delivered a wedge of great danceable, pop-rock singles in the early Sixties (Hanky Panky, I Think We're Alone Now, Mony Mony) and some psychedelic pop in the latter part of that decade (Crimson and Clover, Crystal Blue Persuasion). Their story is confusing because... > Read more

TONTON MACOUTE: THEIR SELF-TITLED DEBUT, CONSIDERED (1971): The jazz-rock classical connection

25 Apr 2020  |  3 min read

It's likely the most familiar name on the 1971 debut album by British jazz-rockers Tonton Macoute isn't that of any band member or even engineer Martin Rushent (who went on to produce the Buzzcocks, Stranglers and Dr Feelgood among many others). It was that of the sleeve designer. Keef – photographer/designer Keith McMillan – is known for his work for the Vertigo label, and... > Read more

COUNTRY JOE AND THE FISH: ELECTRIC MUSIC FOR THE MIND AND BODY, CONSIDERED (1967): Psychedelic politico-pop

13 Apr 2020  |  4 min read

Vanguard Records out of New York was one of those courageous independent record labels where the owners – brothers Seymour and Maynard Solomon – recorded what they wanted and liked. In the Fifties and early Sixties that meant classical, blues and folk artists. On their roster were Joan Baez, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Mimi and Richard Farina from the folk end, and great blues... > Read more

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

30 Mar 2020  |  4 min read  |  1

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

NILS LOFGREN: THE EARLY CAREER, CONSIDERED (1975/1976): Head over heels for Nils

24 Feb 2020  |  6 min read

It's likely that most people who know Nils Lofgren for his brief periods with Neil Young (After the Goldrush, Tonight's the Night, Trans) and his long tenure in Springsteen's E Street Band would also be aware of his parallel solo career. But many might not be familiar with this talented singer, songwriter, guitarist and trampolinist and some excellent albums under his own name in the... > Read more

PETER GREEN: IN THE SKIES and LITTLE DREAMER, CONSIDERED (1979/1980): The slight return in the late Seventies

17 Feb 2020  |  4 min read

The sad story of Sixties singer-guitarist and songwriter Peter Green (born Peter Greenbaum in 1946, of Bethnal Green) probably needs little repeating but the bare facts look like this. After playing in a few local groups as a bassist (one featuring drummer Mick Fleetwood and briefly singer Rod Stewart), he emerged as one of the great blues guitarists in the mid... > Read more

PAUL McCARTNEY: PIPES OF PEACE, CONSIDERED (1983): Must try harder, lacks effort in class

30 Jan 2020  |  4 min read

By the mid Eighties, albums by Paul McCartney were becoming surplus to requirements. It wasn't just that people by that time had about all the McCartney in their life that they needed, but that there was a very discernible drop off in quality and effort, albeit on albums which were highly polished. Yes, he still cracked out popular singles. But... > Read more

YOKO ONO PLASTIC ONO BAND: BETWEEN MY HEAD AND THE SKY, CONSIDERED (2009): And Yoko got the band to play

7 Oct 2019  |  3 min read

When Yoko Ono released her artistically packaged Onobox in 1992 -- a six CD retrospective of a solo career which had ceased in the mid Eighties -- that would seemed to have been it from the most famous widow in the world. She was almost 60; had stopped recording because as she wryly noted "there seemed no great call" from the public for any more albums by her; and her attention... > Read more

Higa Noboru

YOKO ONO: TAKE ME TO THE LAND OF HELL, CONSIDERED (2013): As ever, Yoko is as Yoko does

9 Sep 2019  |  3 min read

As endearing as it is idiosyncratic, as brilliant as it is bonkers, Yoko Ono's 2013 album Take Me to The Land of Hell (with the Plastic Ono Band) mostly served to remind what a unique artist she has always been . . . whether you like what she does or simply never listened. After the forgettable aural postcards with her husband John Lennon in the late Sixties when they were clowns for... > Read more