THE BARGAIN BUY: The La De Da's

 |   |  1 min read

The La De Da's: On Top of the World
THE BARGAIN BUY: The La De Da's

New Zealand may not have much of a lineage of purely politcal rock music, but there has always been a strong thread of social dissent. Punks certainly didn't invent songs about boring people living in the suburbs (there were dozens in the psychedelic era of course) and any number of mid-Sixties bands stood in opposition to whatever normal life might have beckoned.

Among the greatest songs were Social End Product by the Blue Stars, but Auckland's La De Da's also tossed out two great singles, one a cover and the other an original -- and both raged against social norms.

How is the Air Up There, the cover, contained the great line "next time I'm in prison row", the implication being the singer has already been in the slammer. Their original was equally tough.

Don't You Stand in My Way -- also driven by fuzz guitar -- was a warning plain and simple: back off.

Right from the start of their career, the La De Da's -- notably guitarist Kevin Borich, keyboard player Bruce Howard and bassist Trevor Wilson -- wrote for the band, although their sets and albums were typically made up of covers (Small Faces, tough r'n'b and garageband rock).

But even their covers were done with their own edge. Their version of Crispian St Peter's Pied Piper was hardly an invitation to follow and they also dug into Little Red Book (a surprising song from Burt Bacharach), Land of a Thousand Dances, Parchman Farm, I Got My Mojo Working and so on.

Later in their career they went a bit hippie (Thank You For the Flowers, their rock opera) but this single 28-song disc pulls together all their hits, better album tracks and raw power (well, raw and powerful for its era).JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

In the absence of the Rolling Stones, the La De Da's on a good night sometimes seemed a very adequate substitute.

And that this good value collection comes in at a tidy $12.99 from JB Hi-Fi store here ensures that it is this week's Bargain Buy -- and a bit of a history lesson at the same time.

Share It

Your Comments

Bryan - May 3, 2011

The literal soundtrack to my teen years.
fyi. I started a La De Das Facebook group a while ago http://is.gd/pQsxAG

Cheers.

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bob Dylan; Studs Terkel's Wax Museum

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bob Dylan; Studs Terkel's Wax Museum

There are an interesting number of radio and live broadcasts of the young Bob Dylan becoming available these days (like this, this and this), presumably because the songs are out of copyright... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Johnny Winter; Original Album Classics

THE BARGAIN BUY: Johnny Winter; Original Album Classics

As the sole proprietor of Elsewhere and a massive Bob Seger fan, I would never casually doubt My Bob-Man who sang "rock'n'roll never forgets". But Bob, in truth it does. For anyone... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Tahuna Breaks: Reflections (Chewy/Rhythmethod)

Tahuna Breaks: Reflections (Chewy/Rhythmethod)

While I understand the wide appeal of Fat Freddy's Drop -- a laidback distillation of reggae, soul and so forth -- it is too mellow for my taste. Tahuna Breaks -- who also distill elements of... > Read more

The Creeps; She's Gone (1986)

The Creeps; She's Gone (1986)

One of the chief pleasures of being a fan of garageband rock -- that retrogressive genre between primitive pop and raw rock -- is that you never have to be surprised. Garagebands sound much the... > Read more