NZ Music: Top Five
For NZ Music Month, the Sunday Star is asking for readers' favourite five NZ albums "of any style, from any era." Here's mine. For regular readers, there'll be few surprises.
- Inside Out - Graham Brazier
Quite simply NZ's finest rock album, crowned with our finest 'rebel' song, 'Billy Bold' -- an anthem worthy of the name.
- Plugged in and Blue - Hammond Gamble
Great electric blues and originals from a highly underrated guitarist of great expressive genius, with that guitar showcased here much better that his otherwise superb solo album 'Every Whisper Shouts.'
- Donald McIntyre's humane Hans Sachs from the classic Sydney performance of Wagner's Die Miestersinger von Nurnburg.
Not specifically a "New Zealand album" I guess, but the performance of this world-class New Zealander here is so magnificent and so dominates the show that it demands inclusion.
For a young teenager (me) who had to steal his way into town to try and hear these songs and this attitude, the record captures a moment in time that spelled promise for me and for the musos featured. 'It's Bigger Than Both of Us' was strong competition for this, but even as a double just not quite strong enough.
- Kiri Te Kanawa singing Richard Strauss' 'Four Last Songs' might seem a world and a lifetime away from 'AK79' (and it is), but as bookends for a life of hope and promise fulfilled, and with these four songs (as the sleeve says) "sad, serene, suggest[ing] the completion of a journey, a journey from spring to winter, from morning to evening, from youth to old age," they seem to me the perfect complement.