From the Vaults

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Moving Sidewalks: I Want to Hold Your Hand (1968)

12 Feb 2015  |  <1 min read

Elsewhere always enjoys finding odd versions of Beatles songs (we've had them barked by dogs and bellowed by tuneless Russian sailors) but this one isn't so much strange as . . . unusually unexpected, in a good way. Moving Sidewalks were the Texas band in which the young Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top found his feet and buzzing guitar style, which so impressed Eric Clapton at this time he went... > Read more

The Savage Rose: A Girl I Knew (1968)

11 Feb 2015  |  1 min read

Since Richie Unterberger wrote Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll: Psychedelic Unknowns, Mad Genuises, Punk Pioneers, Lo-Fi Mavericks and More in 1998, many of the artists he unearthed (Wanda Jackson, the Chocolate Watch Band, Roky Erickson, Can etc) have enjoyed some considerable cult -- and sometimes even mainstream, success. Jeez, Sandy Denny whom he singled out even had a 19 CD set (yes,... > Read more

Joe Tex: Buying a Book (1969)

10 Feb 2015  |  <1 min read

The great Joe Tex has appeared at From the Vaults previously (with his wonderful soul screamer'n'stomper I Gotcha from '72) but this -- his 21st single (out of 33 US r'n'b chart hits between '65 and '78) -- deserves special mention. A narrative that is part (im)morality tale, philosophy-cum-humour and a bit of street-soul in the chorus, Buying A Book came out of Muscle Shoals and -- while a... > Read more

Doris Duke: To the Other Woman, I'm the Other Woman (1970)

9 Feb 2015  |  1 min read

After Doris Duke - born Doris Curry then later singing as Doris Willingham -- recorded her album I'm a Loser at Capricorn Studios in Macon, Georgia in '69 with Jerry Williams Jnr they found it a hard sell and her solo career -- after years of session work and as a back-up vocalist -- looked finished just as it had begun. "I damn near lost everything with that one," said Williams... > Read more

Moana and the Moahunters: Treaty (1995)

6 Feb 2015  |  <1 min read

February 6 has always been an important date in New Zealand's short history. On that day in 1840 a treaty was signed at Waitangi between the indigenous Maori people and the British crown. Over the many decades since, the Treaty of Waitangi has been a discussion point and Waitangi Day -- a national holiday -- was, especially in the fractious Nineties and beyond, a flashpoint for Maori... > Read more

Candi Staton: Another Man's Woman, Another Woman's Man (1969)

5 Feb 2015  |  <1 min read

This song -- which has Dan Penn, George Jackson and Martin Green as co-writers -- is so elementally simple as to be little more than a pure outpouring of emotion when sexual desire overwhelms common sense. The great Candi Staton could frequently turn out such achingly real and raw emotion (Me and Mrs Untrue) and here she taps into her life experiences (marriages), but she was equally at... > Read more

Tom Waits: What Keeps Mankind Alive? (1985)

4 Feb 2015  |  1 min read

How do you describe Hal Willner? Is he an arranger (yes), producer (definitely) or a facilitator (most definitely)? Over the years he has brought many diverse artists together on projects to celebrate and reinterpret the work of composer Nino Rota, Thelonious Monk, and most recently the Rogue's Gallery collection of pirate ballads, sea songs and shanties. The cast on these projects has... > Read more

Lou Reed: Foot of Pride (1992)

3 Feb 2015  |  1 min read

At the time of the 30th anniversary concert celebration at Madison Square Garden in October '92 of Bob Dylan's debut album -- with a happy Dylan performing -- few would have thought the subject of the night was on the cusp of a comeback. He'd been through what we might call the Appalling Eighties and no amount of recent, whishful-thinking and revisionist articles by writers today can deny... > Read more

Ron Wood: Seven Days (1979)

2 Feb 2015  |  1 min read  |  1

Back when he was "the salaried Stone", guitarist Ron Wood -- before he became Ronnie -- was regularly knocking out solo albums. Of course he could call on some stellar assistance and across the three solo albums prior to Gimme Some Neck from which this track is drawn -- I've Got My Own Album To Do ('74), Now Look ('75) and Mahoney's Last Stand ('76) -- he has guests Mick Jagger,... > Read more

Noel Coward: London Pride (1941)

30 Jan 2015  |  1 min read

A glance at the year puts this classic Noel Coward song into the context of its era. It was the height of the Second World War and London was being battered by the Blitz. Coward was real Londoner who, when playing truant from school, would roam the streets and watch the trains at Clapham Junction and Victoria Station. It's no coincidence then at he was at Paddington Station when the... > Read more

Rev. C.L. Franklin: The Eagle Stirreth Her Nest (1953)

29 Jan 2015  |  <1 min read

The Reverend C.L. Franklin has been mentioned previously at Elsewhere, but only in regard to his daughter Aretha. But Clarence LaVaughn Franklin (1915-94) deserves a mention here in his own right because dozens of his powerful, metaphorical and musical sermons in Detroit were recorded by Chess . . . and he was a man who loved jazz and r'n'b. He was quite a charismatic figure who had been... > Read more

Leon Russell: Sweet Mystery (1979)

28 Jan 2015  |  1 min read

Careers rise and fall all the time in popular culture, but few with the perfect arc of Leon Russell's. In the mid Sixties he was an anonymous session pianist playing on albums by Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Herb Alpert and Gary Lewis and the Playboys, five years later he had two Beatles (George Harrison, Ringo), three Stones (Mick, Bill and Charlie), Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, Joe... > Read more

Lightnin' Hopkins: Automobile (1949)

27 Jan 2015  |  <1 min read

Bob Dylan aficionados should get a copy of this on 33 1/3rpm record and play it at 45, or at about 40rpm. And lo! It sounds perilously close in many ways -- an inspiration if nothing else -- for Bob's Leopard-Skin Pill Box Hat. Dylan had seen the great Lightin' Hopkins on television a few years before he [Dylan] arrived in New York to haunt the downtown folk clubs and soak up... > Read more

Aretha Franklin: This Bitter Earth (1964)

23 Jan 2015  |  1 min read

It is standard received opinion that it wasn't until the great Aretha Franklin left Columbia Records for Atlantic (and sessions in Muscle Shoals with Jerry Wexler), that her career got serious traction. The phrase that is most heard is "Columbia didn't know what to do with her". And while that is true -- her first songs were bluesy and then they shifted her over to their pop... > Read more

Mark Dinning: Top Forty, News, Weather and Sports (1961)

22 Jan 2015  |  <1 min read

The rather sad Mark Dinning has appeared at From the Vaults previously because he was the voice on the great death ballad Teen Angel of '59 which had been written by his sister Jean. That's a classic, but this isn't because it was recorded when his career was on the skids after that initial flush of success and the alcoholism which it allowed him. If there's anything interesting about... > Read more

Dinah Washington: Embraceable You (1946)

21 Jan 2015  |  <1 min read

The Gershwin brothers' Embraceable You, written in 1928, became a jazz standard and down the decades has been covered by an extraordinarily diverse range of artists from Nat King Cole, Doris Day and Judy Garland to Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker and Art Tatum. Oh, and Liberace, Frank Sinatra and more recently Rod Stewart on his Great American Songbook Vol 3 album in 2004 . .  which... > Read more

Shawn Phillips: Landscape (1972)

20 Jan 2015  |  1 min read  |  2

Back in the late Sixties/early Seventies, the American folk-rocker Phillips was known for two things: the astonishing length of his hair, and a soaring falsetto. And although he was moderately successful at the time -- bigger than a cult, not a chart topper -- he barely gets a mention in rock or folk encyclopedias today. That's surprising given he performed at the Isle of Wight... > Read more

Susanna and the Magical Orchestra: Love Will Tear Us Apart (2006)

19 Jan 2015  |  <1 min read

The Susanna here is Norway's Susanna Wallumrod and the Magical Orchestra is keyboard player Morten Qvenild . . . and this Joy Division classic is right in their frame of reference because her vocals often work this ethereal and moody area, usually on originals. She is quite some esthete also -- her siblings are renown musicians also -- and among her recent collaborators have been jazz... > Read more

Faster Pussycat: You're So Vain (1990)

16 Jan 2015  |  1 min read  |  1

Jac Holzman's Elektra was one of the most diverse record labels in the last half of the 20th century. He started it in 1950 and the first recording pressed (just a couple of hundred copies) was of a modern classical lieder by composer John Gruen and sung by Georgiana Bannister which Holzman -- a student at St John's College in Annapolis, Maryland -- recorded on a portable tape recorder and had... > Read more

Mose Allison: Parchman Farm (1957)

15 Jan 2015  |  1 min read

Mose Allison is a jazz and blues singer whose songs have been covered by a surprising number of rock artists . . .  surprising because when you hear Allison's originals -- as in this case, typically swinging, groove-driven by drummer Nick Stabalus and bassist Addison Farner -- it sounds a very long way from how they turned out in the hands of people like Blue Cheer or the Who in the... > Read more