From the Vaults

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Dierks Bentley: What Was I Thinkin' (2003)

23 Aug 2013  |  4 min read

One of the features of country music which make it a great soundtrack when driving is that the songs often tell stories. Sometimes those narratives are maudlin and sentimental, sometimes they really hit a spot in the heart -- and sometimes they are just kinda dumb fun. Like this one. In '04 while driving across the Southern states, this song by Bentley -- his major label debut single... > Read more

Bob Marley and the Wailers: Let the Lord Be Seen in You (1965)

22 Aug 2013  |  1 min read

Bob Marley only had about seven high-profile years between No Woman No Cry and Redemption Song, about the same length of time the Beatles had between Please Please Me and the break-up. But of course, like the Beatles, there was Bob before and after that. After that was, notably, the posthumus album Confrontation in '83 which contained Buffalo Soldier, one of his greatest songs. And... > Read more

The Incredible String Band: No Sleep Blues (1967)

21 Aug 2013  |  1 min read

In a recent interview with Elsewhere the great producer Joe Boyd spoke about the Incredible String Band whom he had worked with -- until they got into Scientology and then things went rather odd in the ISB camp. From hippies to thrusting self-interested capitalists. Just like that. And the music went a bit lousy too. Boyd also noted that although had great success at the time, these... > Read more

The Buggs: Liverpool Drag (1964)

20 Aug 2013  |  1 min read  |  1

Elsewhere takes no end of cheap delight in unearthing various Beatles tributes (by dogs, by the soon-to-be Cher), copyists, weird cover versions and so on. But to find the Buggs' sole album for a mere $5 in a secondhand record shop was a discovery of the first order. This group from Liverpool cashed in on the Beatles songs (they cover I Want to Hold Your Hand and She Loves You) but also... > Read more

Unknown artist: The Spelling on the Stone (1989)

16 Aug 2013  |  1 min read

Of the innumerable "Elvis is Alive" hoaxes, this song has to count as having one of the best/funniest back-stories. So let's get this right: Elvis wanted you to believe he was just pretending to be dead . . . but he really wanted you to know he was alive by singing this song? That just like, sooooo, doesn't work. Right?  Good song though: the lyrics refer to the... > Read more

Flesh D-Vice: Legend of Lugosi (1989)

14 Aug 2013  |  1 min read

This is just here for those of us old enough -- and perhaps dumb enough -- to remember the sheer visceral power and life-threatening live shows that this band (from Palmerston North? I will stand corrected) delivered. They were in . . .  yoooooooour face. I have a few blurry and rather damaged memories of Flesh D-Vice . . . one of them most certainly involves a jug (for overseas... > Read more

Legend of Lugosi

Bob Dylan: Pretty Saro (1970)

11 Aug 2013  |  1 min read  |  1

Perhaps this is cheating because this song/clip (below) doesn't come from Elsewhere's voluminous Vaults, but from Dylan's own. In about 10 days Dylan will release another installment in his Bootleg Series (for comments on some previous ones see here) and this one is more interesting and anticipated than most. That's because he is releasing songs from around his Self Portrait double... > Read more

Atlanta Rhythm Section: Imaginary Lover (1979)

6 Aug 2013  |  <1 min read  |  1

There's no real reason for this particular installment of From the Vaults other than the sheer silliness of it. The trick here is to look at the video clip first before you play the sample track: what you get is singer Ronnie Hammond up front of the Atlanta Rhythm Section who were a band of seasoned session musicians pulled together producer/songwriter Barry Buie in Atlanta in the early... > Read more

The Ramones: Spiderman (1995)

5 Aug 2013  |  <1 min read

Further proof that the Ramones' sound could be applied to almost any kind of B-grade pop and rock (and sometimes genuine platinum sounds) and always coming up sounding like itself. In '95, Ralph Sall of Bulletproof Recording had the idea of getting lots of alt.rockers to record songs which appeared on Saturday morning carttoons and kids programmes. And so you got an album Saturday Morning:... > Read more

Tom Verlaine: Souvenir from a Dream (1978)

2 Aug 2013  |  1 min read

After the exceptional Television fell apart in '78 following their classic debut Marquee Moon and the lesser Adventure, guitarist/singer and writer Tom Verlaine dropped from sight for a year. During that time he quietly went about recording his self-titled debut album in two and three day sessions. With a core of Television bassist Fred Smith and Patti Smith's drummer Jay Dee Daugherty... > Read more

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

1 Aug 2013  |  <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

NRA: Bruce McLaren (1991)

30 Jul 2013  |  1 min read  |  1

The ferocious NRA (Not Really Anything) were one of those Flying Nun bands of the late Eighties/early Nineties that you either got, or steered well clear of. Live, they were not for the faint-hearted so it was perhaps no surprise they should record this salute to New Zealand's famous racing car driver and the thrill of speed and twisted metal. They seem to have disappeared from... > Read more

Bob Dylan: That's All Right Mama (1962)

29 Jul 2013  |  2 min read  |  2

It's possible only obsessive Dylanologists and those with far too much time on their hands would know the full story behind those many outtake albums (and bootlegs) which have emerged over the years and collect studio sessions from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan album. That was the Dylan album from '62 which famously had him and his girlfriend Suze Rotolo on the cover. He was a folkie back... > Read more

That's All Right Mama (take one, 1962)

Jona Lewie: You'll Always Find Me in the Kitchen at Parties (1980)

25 Jul 2013  |  <1 min read

Stiff Records in the UK pulled together an unlikely roster of acts in the late Seventies from Elvis Costello to Ian Dury, Rachel Sweet to Jona Lewie, Larry Wallis to Graham Parker and Wreckless Eric. Lewie was in his early 30s when Stiff picked him up (Rachel Sweet was 17) and he'd already had his career: he'd played boogie woogie piano in jazz bands as a teenager, toured in a band which... > Read more

Scorpio Rising: Peace Frog (1992)

24 Jul 2013  |  1 min read

For a short while Scorpio Rising out of Liverpool seemed to point a new direction in British rock post-Stone Roses. They formed the year of the Stone Roses' impressive debut and had a similarly psychedelic approach to rock guitars and dance beats. After their single Watermelon and EP IF, they were in demand on the live circuit, released their album Pig Symphony and were doing all the right... > Read more

Van Morrison: On Hyndford Street (1991)

23 Jul 2013  |  1 min read

By the time Van Morrison released his double album Hymns to the Silence in '91, many of his longtime followers had moved on -- some disappointed by so many uneven albums, some just having enough Van in their lives. Over two discs, Hymns to the Silence was just too much Van, and even the most generous reviewers had to note many songs were not a patch on the Celtic soul he had previously... > Read more

Bob Dylan: Take Me As I Am (1970)

22 Jul 2013  |  2 min read  |  3

It's now been confirmed that the next installment in Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series -- due August 23 -- finds him revisiting the Self Portrait period (and a few years either side it would seem). This is interesting and perhaps even courageous since that double album from 1970 was met with critical derision ("Greil Marcus' Rolling Stone review famously opened with "What is this... > Read more

John Lennon, Child of Nature (1968)

15 Jul 2013  |  <1 min read

Give them credit, the Beatles were always incredibly productive and even on their holidays -- like the six weeks that Lennon and Harrison spent in Rishikesh with the Maharishi -- they were frequently writing. Not everything was a masterpiece of course, and this demo by Lennon betrays a bit too much of the hippie communing with the world around him. It was a few months after the Summer of... > Read more

World Party: You're All Invited to the Party (1990)

8 Jul 2013  |  1 min read  |  1

Because he wrote She's the One which became a hit for Robbie Williams in 1999 -- and more so because he was sidelined for four years by a brain aneurysm in 2000 -- little has been heard of Karl Wallinger (who is the sole constant in World Party) since his creative peak in the mid Nineties. At that time he'd cracked the Grammy-nominated album Goodbye Jumbo and followed it up with the equally... > Read more

Ian Dury: Razzle in My Pocket (1977)

2 Jul 2013  |  1 min read  |  2

With Will Birch's biography and the film of his life Sex and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll (Andy Serkis as Ian), there was something of a revival and re-appreciation of Ian Dury recently, a bit more than a decade after his death at age 57. Dury came to the punk era as someone more than a decade older than most performers, and he had considerable stage experience: his band Kilburn and the High Roads... > Read more

Ian Dury: Razzle in My Pocket