From the Vaults

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Sunidhi Chauhan and Vishal: Naa Puchho (2007)

20 May 2024  |  <1 min read

More scenes from the global village? While walking through Kuala Lumpur's Little India I heard this track rocking out of the speakers in a small record shop. I was transfixed: urban, English language in place, Hindi in others, samples from car horns, block rockin' beats, ellectric guitars, hip-hop in the house . . . As it turned out this was from the soundtrack to a Bollywood... > Read more

The Beatles: It Won't Be Long (1963)

12 May 2024  |  1 min read

The album With the Beatles captured the essence of Beatlemania of the period. In the US some of the tracks, along with I Want to Hold Your Hand and songs from their Please Please Me debut album in Britain, were repackaged into Meet the Beatles. And that was what Americans heard. Then there was the US Beatles' Second Album which was very rock'n'roll and a pretty good as a compilation.... > Read more

Yes: Every Little Thing (1969)

6 May 2024  |  1 min read

Recently when the Beatles' 1964 Beatles For Sale album came off the shelf for reconsideration we noted that McCartney's songs seemed lighter in the comparison with Lennon's darker songs like No Reply, Baby's in Black and I Don't Want to Spoil the Party. Among McCartney's songs was Every Little Thing (predominantly sung by Lennon however) and, of all people, the emerging prog-rock band Yes... > Read more

The Buckinghams: Foreign Policy (1969)

28 Apr 2024  |  <1 min read

Very few today would even remember the MOR group the Buckinghams from the late Sixties. Their big hit was Kind of Drag ("when your baby don't love you") -- although Hey Baby ("they're playing our song") got a little radio mileage. The Chicago-based Buckinghams (and think about that location in the late Sixties) were a close-harmony group like the the Ivy League out of... > Read more

Deana Carter: Did I Shave My Legs for This? (1995)

21 Apr 2024  |  1 min read  |  1

Country music most often tells character stories, and Deana Carter -- named for Dean Martin -- nailed it with this title track from her '95 debut album. And when success came it had been hard won: She'd tried her hand in music without much success, tended bar and cleaned urinals, and graduated from university in Tennessee as a rehab therapist. But her demos caught the attention of... > Read more

The Goldebriars: Sing Out Terry O'Day (1964)

14 Apr 2024  |  2 min read

One of the pleasures of digging around through old vinyl for Elsewhere's pages From the Vaults is in discovering the occasional overlooked classic, the rare or the just plain peculiar. Rummaging through discount bins takes time but there are often cheap rewards, in this case very cheap. What attracted me to this $3 album wasn't just the fact the two women were wearing kimonos and had... > Read more

Texas Jim Robertson: The Last Page of Mein Kampf (1946)

8 Apr 2024  |  <1 min read

Texas-born Jim Robertson was one of those who sang about the Second World War and knew what he was talking about. No stay-at-home, when he was rejected by the army he enlisted in the marines and saw action in the Pacific then ended up in Japan after their surrender. At almost two metres tall, he'd been raised on a ranch, learned guitar and banjo from his father, and in the late Thirties... > Read more

Lee Harvey: Crawfish for Elvis (1991)

1 Apr 2024  |  <1 min read

Lee Harvey was, if I am not mistaken, Chris McKibbin who was briefly on New Zealand's Flying Nun label. So briefly I believe he only did the one EP entitled Security 198 and I seem to recall he went off to Ireland at some point thereafter. The latter may not be true, but his EP was certainly a very interesting one in that it roved from fairly straight acoustic ballads to experimental... > Read more

Octopus: I Am the Walrus (1971)

25 Mar 2024  |  <1 min read

Although they muck up some lyrics, this live version of John Lennon's classic – recorded at the Storthfield Country Club in Derbyshire – isn't a bad stab at a very difficult song. But it's who was in this band which had fallen under the wing of impresario Larry Page that is most interesting. The band was based around brothers Paul (vocals/guitar) and Nigel (bass). The... > Read more

The Wonders: That Thing You Do! (1996/1964)

22 Mar 2024  |  1 min read

In his Grammy-grabbing career -- between Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan, You've Got Mail and The Green Mile -- Tom Hanks did a small, cute, mostly inconsequential and slight pop movie, That Thing You Do! Clearly this story of an imaginary one-hit wonder pop group from Pennsylvania in '64 was something close to his heart. He wrote the story and directed the... > Read more

Young Guv: Couldn't Leave U If I Tried (2022)

18 Mar 2024  |  <1 min read

A recent disc which came with a copy of a British music magazine alerted us to the power pop charms of Brooklyn-based Young Guv who on this song – which opened his 2022 album Guv III – distills the sound of the Shoes, Searchers, Raspberries and . . . Well, as we've said previously, power pop is a genre which announces and defines itself in the name: pop music gently powered up.... > Read more

Rachel Sweet; Stranger in the House (1978)

11 Mar 2024  |  1 min read

While no one actually used the word "jailbait" at the time, you can bet the idea passed through a few music writers' heads when the photos of Rachel Sweet came across their desks from Stiff Records. Actually, that's not entirely true: Stiff used the word about their young signing. Sweet -- from Akron, Ohio -- was just 16 when she broke through in Britain. But in the States she had... > Read more

Charles Bukowski: I've Always Had Trouble with Money (1970?)

4 Mar 2024  |  <1 min read

The notorious barfly-poet Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) lived longer than most of those who have been careful and healthy and, like Keith Richards, used his body as a laboratory (for booze in Bukowski's case). But he was no drop-down drunk (well, he was but . . .) and wrote often funny but moving prose poems and short stories. He inspired generations of followers (some of whom of course... > Read more

Tole Puddle: Frodo (1973)

26 Feb 2024  |  1 min read

From the late Sixties and far too far into the Seventies, the world was awash with bands -- mostly British -- who were immersed in Tolkien lore. Some like Led Zeppelin and T. Rex managed to incorporate it into whatever else they did, others were so drippy hippie that it became a lifestyle where their cosmology was determined by hobbits. There were bands named for characters and animals in... > Read more

Harry Partch: And on the Seventh Day, Petals Fell in Petaluma (excerpt, date unknown, possibly Sixties)

17 Feb 2024  |  1 min read  |  1

When Tom Waits swerved left from his barroom piano ballads and into using new or found sounds on his clank'n'grind albums in the mid Eighties, he was hailed as an innovator . . . but conspiciously few followed him down that path. These days albums where musicians use unusual instruments are increasingly common and any number will name-check American composer/instrument builder and musical... > Read more

Agnetha Faltskog: Jag var sa kar (1967)

12 Feb 2024  |  <1 min read

Previously at From the Vaults we have pulled a track by Benny Andersson from his pre-Abba band the Hep Stars. That came from an album Before Abba, only available at the Abba Museum in Stockholm. Here as promised then is another from that album, the first major solo hit for Agnetha with a song she wrote herself. It was inspired by the break-up with her boyfriend when she was 17 (the... > Read more

Jacques Dutronc: Le Responsable (1969)

5 Feb 2024  |  2 min read

Because British and American pop and rock dominated the Sixties, very few artists from outside those regions – we make exceptions for Canadians like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band and Leonard Cohen – made it into the ears of anyone but their own people. Yes, Kyu Sakamoto from Japan had a big hit, as did Los Bravos from Spain (although they weren't all Spanish). But France... > Read more

Pink Martini: Splendor in the Grass (2010)

29 Jan 2024  |  <1 min read

Popular culture being what it is, a group that can enchant one week is but a faded memory within months: anyone remember Polyphonic Spree? Pink Martini out of Portland were a bit like that. They were the project of the rather wonderful Thomas Lauderdale who founded the ensemble in the late Nineties to deliver his singular vision of Hollywood orchestral music from the romantic Forties,... > Read more

The Score: Please Please Me (1966)

22 Jan 2024  |  1 min read

Manchester band the Score was short-lived, just one single released at the end of 1966 when the world of pop was moving in a more psychedelic and exploratory direction after the Beatles' Rubber Soul and Revolver, and the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations single and Pet Sounds. So the Score covering what by then was a hoary old Beatles' song which they'd left behind seems like a strange choice.... > Read more

Elvis Costello: You Hung the Moon (2010)

15 Jan 2024  |  1 min read

On his 2010 album National Ransom, Elvis Costello gave dates and places for where his songs were located. In You Hung the Moon (a saying which means you were terrific/great/wonderful) he locates the song in "a drawing room in Pimlico, London, 1919". That date puts it just after the end of World War I (1914-1918).  It starts with Costello setting the scene at a... > Read more