The Bargain Buy

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THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Guys with guitars?

19 Aug 2013  |  4 min read  |  1

Here's a simple question with an unusual answer. Given all those Bargain Buy album sets in the Sony "Original Album CLassics" series -- everyone from Simon and Garfunkel, to Elvis, Billy Joel and Santana . . . which set has been selling the most in New Zealand through JB Hi-Fi stores? It is one of the most unexpected answers because the guy never seemed to have much a profile... > Read more

Rock and Roll People

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Beatles: Revolver

12 Aug 2013  |  2 min read  |  1

This Bargain Buy column has already noted the album which seemed to bottle the spirit and joy of Beatlemania. With the Beatles from '64 with its covers and originals showcased the breadth of music and invention of the group at that early stage . . . but as noted in that brief article here, they moved so rapidly few others could keep up. A longtime Essential Elsewhere album has been Rubber... > Read more

I'm Only Sleeping

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: What happened to hippies?

5 Aug 2013  |  3 min read

Indeed, just what did happen to hippies? Well, some stayed true to the code, others became yuppies, some argued computer technology was the new path to universal peace through better communication, some just stayed stoners or ended up homeless and drifting,, most had kids and that rather changed things, and others . . . Who knows? People took their own direction. One thing is clear:... > Read more

Life is a Lady/Holiday

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Are you ready for the country?

2 Aug 2013  |  1 min read

When I interviewed Kris Kristofferson in 2005, he said with a laugh, “I’ve recently been shown a lot of respect from the country music people. You know, there have been times they‘ve acted like they were embarrassed by me.” Country audiences felt the same way about Willie Nelson -- loved him when he wrote Crazy which Patsy Cline had a hit with, went off when he hung... > Read more

Sugar Man

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Funk soul brothers (and sisters)

29 Jul 2013  |  2 min read

In a previous Bargain Buy column we bemoaned that the great Isley Brothers had been unfairly overlooked by rock's history writers. I guess that's because most of those scribes are white and tend to favour white acts. Might also explain why Sly and the Family Stone have been similarly relegated. Yet those two acts delivered up some of the most soulful and funky rock music around, and we... > Read more

Ohio/Machine Gun

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: It's only rock'n'roll

26 Jul 2013  |  2 min read

We've pitched these Sony Original Album Classics previously so let's turn to spotlight on the loud, stadium-rock collections in this series. You want widescreen stadium rock which was big on melodies and power ballads? You want parent-baiting music or something to annoy your kids? These sets -- five albums for just $20 from JB Hi-Fi stores (here) should be ideal. It's all about... > Read more


THE BARGAIN BUY: The Warner Music albums

22 Jul 2013  |  <1 min read

Although we've recently shone the spotlight on the Sony Music 5CD sets (for a mere $20) it is worth noting that Warner Music have opened up a huge chunk of their back-catalogue at a budget price. And Warners -- especially during the Seventies and Eighties -- had some of the biggest selling artists ever. You don't sniff at sales of  over 40 million on Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, or pretend... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: It's jazz, maaan

15 Jul 2013  |  3 min read

As we noted previously about these budget price five CD sets, the advantage are many: You get a better overview of the artist concerned; you can pick up classic albums dirt cheap (and get another couple thrown in); and song-per-song they work out cheaper than downloading through legitimate channels. It's also useful to note -- especially with these below -- that many of these albums... > Read more

Vulcan Princess

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: Pop-pop pop music

12 Jul 2013  |  5 min read

You can't help notice how cheap it is to get into popular music these days as record companies repackage and recycle albums in small and economic sets. The advantage of these budget-price sets are many: You get a better overview of the artist concerned; you can pick up classic albums dirt cheap (and get another couple thrown in); song-per-song they work out cheaper than downloading... > Read more

We're All Alone

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Beatles: With the Beatles

8 Jul 2013  |  1 min read  |  1

November 22 2013 sees two significant anniversaries, it will simultaneously be the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F Kennedy and, on a happier note, the release in Britain of the Beatles album With the Beatles. This was the record which kick-started Beatlemania and you can almost hear screaming behind joyous originals (It Won't Be Long, All My Loving, I Wanna Be Your Man),... > Read more

It Won't Be Long

THE BARGAIN BUY: Che Fu; Original Album Classics

1 Jul 2013  |  1 min read

Given his low profile on CD since his presciently titled Beneath the Radar in 2005, these aren't just the only albums you need by this exceptional singer/songwriter but are in fact the only ones. Che Fu came to define the intelligent face of hip-hop with is meticulously crafted music, lyrics which had something to say and a rare, soulful voice which was flexible and nuanced. His songs... > Read more

Flaxmat Theory

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; 100 Hits, American Songbooks

24 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

What with Rod Stewart's enormously successful series Great American Songbook, some might be asking . . . just what is in this "songbook"? Fair question because it does seem bottomless -- and often goes by that even more slippery description "standards". The songbook doesn't really exist as such, but a loose working definition would be songs which have been much... > Read more

What a Difference a Day Makes

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dragon; Original Album Classics

17 Jun 2013  |  1 min read  |  1

Although they never made a truly satisfying album -- let alone a classic -- Dragon certainly delivered one very good and largely forgotten one: O Zambezi of 1978. The previous album Running Free had spun off the  single April Sun in Cuba and had been a major step away from their former incarnation as a kind of prog-rock outfit. The tougher, more taut, disciplined pop-rock sound started... > Read more

Midnight Groovies

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; 100 Hits, Garage and Bassline

10 Jun 2013  |  <1 min read

Those who know their garage and bassline better than Elsewhere -- and there will many, many in that category -- will doubtless pull this collection apart for its omissions. But frankly 100 tracks across five CDs seems pretty substantial in its own right and there are certanly some name players here: So Solid Crew, Wideboy, Biblotek, DJ Luck and MC Neat, Bob Sinclar, Midnight Circus, some... > Read more

21 Seconds

THE BARGAIN BUY: Dave Dobbyn; Original Album Classics

4 Jun 2013  |  1 min read

Dave Dobbyn has been so much a part of the cultural furniture in New Zealand for decades that it's hard to remember there was a period when he struggled. After the early successes of the bands Th'Dudes and DD Smash then a solo career and the huge hit Slice of Heaven (with Herbs) he went to Australia . . . and in the early Nineties had to start at the bottom again. His excellent album Lament... > Read more

Bindman's Bend

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Essential Mariah Carey

27 May 2013  |  1 min read

In critical circles it seems fashionable -- if not obligatory -- to revile Mariah Carey for her overwrought vocal mannerisms which have been adopted by the generation which grew up listening to her and Whitney and now over-emote their way into the frontline of television talent shows. Let's not judge an artist by their following -- or their stupid public statements, something she's not alone... > Read more


THE BARGAIN BUY: ZZ Top; The Very Best of ZZ Top; Rancho Texicano

20 May 2013  |  1 min read  |  1

In a few weeks -- perhaps far too soon for many -- the first 10 ZZ Top albums are being reissued in a box set. That's a whole lotta Top -- perhaps far too much for many -- but, if we might be serious about them for a moment, the Top emerged with a distinctive and disciplined brand of Texas blues and over time it morphed slowly into radio-friendly pop with little compromise on their part.... > Read more

Just Got Paid

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; 100 Hits, 80s

13 May 2013  |  1 min read

Yes, it's easy to tick off who isn't represented among these 100 hits of the decade that discovered synths -- Prince, Madonna, Bowie, every decent hip-hop act, the paisley underground bands, alt-indie rock from the US, post-punk UK bands . . . But this still manages a fairly decent pop overview of a period where Hot Chocolate and Sheena Easton rubbed hairstyles with Culture Club, Duran... > Read more

Golden Brown

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Who: The Kids are Alright (DVD)

6 May 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

Elsewhere is of the very firm persuasion that some things should be compulsory. Nothing too outrageous . . . but Mad magazines free to every school child rather than bottled milk, shoes on aircraft and not bare feet, and that every aspiring musician should be made to watch the Who doco The Kids Are Alright. As a documentary about the most important years of a very important band it is a... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Various Artists; 100 Hits, 50s

29 Apr 2013  |  1 min read

If you are looking at what prompted Frank Sinatra to denounce rock'n'roll of the mid Fifites as "played and written by cretinous goons", this five CD collection gives you the answer. It's non-chronological but the 100 songs here are arranged so that the first three discs favour the popular MOR which was so prevalent before Elvis. So you get Alma Cogan (one of John Lennon's... > Read more

Cold Cold Heart