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.

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

THE BARGAIN BUY: Neil Finn: Out of Silence

11 Dec 2017  |  <1 min read

Our long-running Bargain Buy column -- cheap-as-chips CDs through JB Hi-Fi -- has somewhat taken a back seat lately because so many people are streaming and more and more are looking to vinyl. That is why we instituted our Hi-Fi Vinyl column. But . . . we also came upon Neil Finn's most recent album Out of Silence. Now it might not seem like our traditional cheap-as CDs but -- at... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Beatles Collection (4 DVD set)

9 Dec 2017  |  1 min read

Our regular Bargain Buy series has most recently given way to our Hi-Fi Vinyl pages because we get that people are moving from CDs (still good in the car though) to streaming. But there is always a place for cheap DVDs in this NetSkyFlixYouTube world. And the other day at JB Hi-Fi we came upon this four DVD set for a paltry $22. It's a broad synopsis of the Beatles' career... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Steve Earle: Copperhead Road

28 Aug 2017  |  1 min read

Because Steve Earle's gritty Copperhead Road of '88 has long been an Essential Elsewhere album there's probably no need to re-address it here. You check this link for the details of why it is such a standout. But in brief it is that marriage of political and social engagement, an outsider's view of the path most travel, comes with real world drug references and had contributions from... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Nirvana; In Utero

9 Jun 2017  |  <1 min read

Has it been almost 25 years since this, Nirvana's final studio In Utero? After the unexpected success of Nevermind, Kurt Cobain wanted to re-establish their outsider and gritty position and so this was originally recorded with producer Steve Albini. After that the story gets a little more complex (Scott Litt coming in to make some sonic changes) but from the cover inward this was a... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Roy Orbison; The Very Best of

29 May 2017  |  <1 min read  |  1

It goes without saying, surely, that everyone should own some cornestone Roy Orbison songs, if not the excellent Monument Years box set. Orbison was a genius when it came to conveying pain, hurt and even self-pity (but without the lachrymose overkill of someone like Johnny Ray). Orbison's hurts were mature and deep, but also just below the surface. And with his dramatic voice he conveyed... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash at San Quentin (Sony Legacy)

22 May 2017  |  1 min read  |  1

The reputation of the late Johnny Cash is supported by such strong poles that even his worst moments cannot shake his legacy. Those hefty props include his early Sun sessions, his themed albums of train, Indian and cowboy songs, his inclusive television shows, the performances and recordings at Folsom and San Quentin prisons, the American Recordings with Rick Rubin and a few more.... > Read more

San Quentin

THE BARGAIN BUY: Electric Light Orchestra: The Very Best Of ; All Over the World

15 May 2017  |  <1 min read  |  1

With the imminent release of the remixed Sgt Pepper's on its 50 anniversary (released May 26 in various versions from single CD and vinyl to box set), it's timely to listen again to Jeff Lynne's ELO, widely considered the band which picked up the mantle of the Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour style and took it off into a series of pop hits. This 20-song collection reminds you just how many... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Guns N’Roses Greatest Hits

8 May 2017  |  1 min read

As rock and pop culture goes about celebrating anniversaries (and the inevitable expanded edition reissued albums) here’s one to consider: it was 30 years ago when Guns N’ Roses sprang out of LA clubs with their debut album Appetite for Destruction which topped the US Billboard and New Zealand charts, and launched their career on the back of great songs like the glorious six... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bob Seger; Ultimate Hits, Rock and Roll Never Forgets

1 May 2017  |  1 min read  |  2

Elsewhere is a place with few rules but there are two: that Cher be worshipped as the goddess she is, and that Bob Seger should be spoken about in the same breath as other great Michigan rockers like Mitch Ryder, MC5, the Stooges and the White Stripes. Bob Seger should have been as big as them all and he certainly had his shots at fame from time to time. His... > Read more

Still the Same

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