The Bargain Buy

Elsewhere recommends interesting or Essential Elsewhere albums -- or useful collections by important artists -- which come at a low price. Build a real world collection of discs beyond what you have invisibly in your iPod, laptop or memory stick.

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THE BARGAIN BUY: Leonard Cohen; Old Ideas

24 Apr 2017  |  <1 min read

Although the late Leonard Cohen had numerous fans in this country who flocked to his concerts (and were rightly rewarded) some of his albums in the past decade went past most people. Hardcore Cohenites – which sounds very Old Testament when you write that – would have heard albums like Popular Problems of 2014 and this one from 2012 where he embraced the impending darkness... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bruce Springsteen Live 1975-85

12 Dec 2016  |  1 min read

When Bruce Springsteen released this thumping great three CD set ("over three and half hours of live music" and "eight previously unreleased tracks") his many naysaers were delighted when it seemed his record company had misjudged demand and record stores were returning the boxes by . . . umm . . . the boxload. But that was some months later and the set had sold four... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; The Legacy of Electronic Funk

31 Oct 2016  |  1 min read

Although not quite possessing the same stone-cold enjoyment of The Legacy of Disco in this budget-priced, three-CD series, here is where -- in the Eighties -- funk, post-disco, synthesisers and rhythm boxes met on the same dancefloor. The style has had a second life recently with the likes of Daft Punk and discussions about the legacy of the late Prince who -- while not represented here --... > Read more

You Wouldn't Have to Work At All, by Michael Henderson

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; The Legacy of Disco

23 Oct 2016  |  2 min read

While you expect old folks, conservative preachers and bandwagon politicians to dump on pop music, it's always a bit of a surprise when the music world turns on its own. Punks railing against prog-rockers you can understand, but when disco -- just a dance music -- emerged there was an astonishing outpuring of vile bile and vitriol coming from people in "music". Many of those who... > Read more

Groovin' You, by Harvey Mason

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dave Edmunds; Original Album Series

26 Sep 2016  |  1 min read  |  2

Because his running mates at the time Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello wrote better songs and had more distinctive voices, Dave Edmunds always ran a distant third. And when the Stiff label took off at the end of the Seventies, he was sometimes even further back in the rankings. Born out of the pre-punk pub-rock period in London, singer-guitarist Edmunds had first come to attention in the... > Read more

I Knew the Bride

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; Yacht Rock

19 Sep 2016  |  1 min read

Yes, it's a genre and the very name tells you what you need to know. This is music from – and for – guys who consider white boat shoes, long shorts and a Hawaiian shirt appropriate evening wear, and sing about their “beautiful lady”. It's mostly soft rock from the late Seventies and Eighties by people with neatly trimmed beards and the songs are excellent... > Read more

Love is a Mystery, by Robbie Dupree

THE BARGAIN BUY: Little Feat; Original Album Series (Rhino)

12 Sep 2016  |  2 min read

In a recent conversation with American guitarist David Becker -- who plays here next month -- he mentioned how the internet had made the whole of popular music history available to younger people. And what a gift that has been for the curious. "There are really only half a dozen names you need to know," he said in reference to rock music, "but after that they lead you... > Read more

Cat Fever

THE BARGAIN BUY: The B-52's; Original Album Series

15 Aug 2016  |  2 min read

To this day the remaining B-52's are ambivalent about the production on their self-titled debut by Island Records boss Chris Blackwell. As recently as this month the band's drummer Keith Strickland told Mojo magazine, "The sound was very sterile . . . it was very naked, there wasn't a lot of ambence. We were all pretty mortified with the way it sounded and I thought it was going to... > Read more

Work That Skirt

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bad Company; Original Album Series

8 Aug 2016  |  1 min read

The dinner table conversation turned to Bad Company because one of the guests announced he was going to see them in the States and, despite some agists jokes, we agreed that they were a damn fine rock band and Paul Rodgers a superb and largely underrated singer. He’d been in Free with BC drummer Simon Kirke and for their first incarnation – there have been many and they... > Read more

Deal with the Preacher

THE BARGAIN BUY: Terry Reid; Original Album Series

1 Aug 2016  |  1 min read

Because Elsewhere recently essayed the life and work of this British guitar-singer cult figure -- prompted by the release of material recorded at the time of his River album in '73 -- we are pleased to see this bargain-priced five CD set floating around. It's slightly odd in that, because Terry Reid label-hopped a little, it picks up his first three albums (River being his third),... > Read more

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Brunettes; Structure and Cosmetics

25 Jul 2016  |  <1 min read

There has been quite a developing lineage of what we might call cute-pop in New Zealand, and we could trace it back to the delicate and thoughtful Caterpillar and Butterfly albums by the Tokey Tones on Auckland's Lil' Chief Records. Cute-pop continues today with the likes of Princess Chelsea and Jocee Tuck, but after the short-lived Tokey Tones it fell to the Brunettes to carry the banner,... > Read more


11 Jul 2016  |  <1 min read

When Elsewhere reviewed this white-knuckle film about 18 months ago we noted that jazz bores wouldn't like it because . . . Why? Because they are jazz bores who dislike anything they consider lacks authenticity in the genre. Okay, it's unlikely that tutors in jazz academies are as emotionally brutalising as the antagonist here, but that takes nothing away from what is at the core of... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Trip to the Moon; Dusk

4 Jul 2016  |  1 min read

One of this country's quiet achievers -- so quiet that other than his radio presence on RNZ he goes past most people -- is Trevor Reekie, formerly in Car Crash Set, founder of Pagan Records (early signings were Bic Runga, Greg Johnson and many others whose careers took off) and the man helming his ocassional recording projects Cosa Nostra/Cosa 2/This Thing of Ours and Trip to the Moon.... > Read more

Vine Street Beat (ft Greg Johnson)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Marianne Faithfull; Faithfull, A Collection of Her Best Recordings

27 Jun 2016  |  1 min read  |  1

Elsewhere will concede immediately that we have always been mostly unpersuaded by Marianne Faithfull's much acclaimed genius. Her self-belief is admirable but often the evidence on many albums has come up well short of convincing. She is very good on self-mythologising and placing herself in great company, but over the long haul many of her albums seem exactly that, a very long haul.... > Read more

Strange Weather

THE BARGAIN BUY: Elvis Presley; Jailhouse Rock, Spinout (DVD)

13 Jun 2016  |  2 min read

Anyone wanting to see in stark contrast the sullen and moody Elvis of the rock'n'roll era of the Fifties and by comparison a kitsch by-the-number Elvis knock-off film from the Sixties should grab this double DVD release. Jailhouse Rock from '57 shows the sexy king of rock'n'roll as the lip-curling, angry young man who gets banged up in jail, meets a country singer whom he talks to be a... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Cilla Black; The Very Best of Cilla Black

6 Jun 2016  |  1 min read  |  1

Although in the last deacdes of her life she turned in to some weird Margaret Thatcher doppelganger (it was the new choppers as much as the hair, wasn't it?), no one could deny that when Cilla Black was a contemporary of the emerging Beatles in the mid Sixties she had a vocal power which could scrape clean pots on the far side of a crowded room (Your My World). She was however also capable... > Read more

Step Inside Love

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Monkees; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

16 May 2016  |  3 min read  |  2

By the merest twist of fate, the history of popular American music 50 years ago could well have been very different if just one man had got a different job. Stephen Stills -- a wonderful songwriter but even better guitarist who had his friend Jimi Hendrix on his first solo album -- was a mainspring of Buffalo Springfield and co-founder of Crosby, Still and Nash. But consider this, he... > Read more


THE BARGAIN BUY: Imagine Dragons; Night Visions + Smoke and Mirrors

2 May 2016  |  1 min read

If this pleasant, popular and pop-rocking outfit out of Las Vegas have somehow gone past you then let's bring you up to speed. They've picked up a swag of awards for their debut album Night Visions (2012) and its follow-up Smoke and Mirrors (2015) and although they have been pinned often as indie-rock they bring a lot of other influences beyond guitars into play. Open ears will hear... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Thin Lizzy; The Very Best of Thin Lizzy

25 Apr 2016  |  1 min read

It's always interesting having tradespeople around your area. A couple of years ago a bunch of Fijian Indian tilers moved in to do some work on neighbouring properties and all day I rejoiced in the very different and elevating sound of Radio Tarana. The guys working in the courtyard for a few days last week had a very different station on all day, The Rock at a guess but even if come... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: David Bowie: Nothing Has Changed

18 Apr 2016  |  1 min read

With David Bowie's passing there has been a landslide of merchandising – all the vinyl reissues, compilations and picture discs – but if you just want an interesting and sometimes left-field catch-all for yourself (many missed his final two decades) or to introduce the master to a younger person you can't go past this. This three-CD set looked a bit like a cynical... > Read more

Sue (long version)