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Hailed as one of the greatest self-made singer/songwriters of the 20th century, Elton John was, to most people, a comical yet over-the-top guy with “larger-than-life” glasses at the piano. Eternally enshrined in ebony and ivory alongside Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder, these men were the pioneers of legendary MOR, or “middle of the road” music as we know it.

After hitting on writer Bernie Taupin in 1967, they soon became a car-like family of Lennon and McCartney. Blues rock, prog, slow-downs and wrist-snapping ballads came easy for the songwriting duo, and the uncontrolled mix on 1973’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was no exception.

By the time of its release in October of that year, Elton John was already basking in the glory of his February 1973 debut album, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, an undeniably special album. top ten singles. ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ spent eight weeks at number 1 in the US, and ‘there’ was also a number one album for him.

Ian Beck presents us with a color illustration of Lowry on the cover, which I think completes the musical content within perfectly. Not unlike Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins , we’re shown a young “Elt” walking through torn-up posters into another world, complete with a dazzling pair or red platform shoes and a miniature piano. Blurred and deliberate, this album captures what a classic should be, even on its original release. It’s a known fact that all the greatest albums ever recorded have this unique album cover. I can’t find an album that didn’t have that.

This colorful album certainly justifies its proud position as one of the greatest albums of all time in many ways. Rich in content, it goes through all genres worth trying. It proved that the music she discovered in her early years could be just as terrifying as her growing wardrobe. It may not resonate or resonate with the discerning ear, but this mini-epic of observational genius at the point of disaster allows the album to earn a respectable place in any diverse record collection.

On the flat side, however, it’s dated, which is always a difficult concept for a classic album. While many listeners under the age of thirty will happily dismiss this perfect album as one of their father’s finest recordings of reflective moments, his young, free-spirited youth has much to learn from this dangerously arrogant legend. . Let’s not forget that this was the era before Elton covered cartoons, the ‘can’t give a monkey’ era…everything before that fateful first collaboration with Sir Tim Rice. , worth listening to.

The artist’s first double album, not the last, begins with the depressing song “Funeral of a Friend”. As we’re introduced to the very sad bells, wind chimes and organs we can expect when we’re really sad, what we hear is something akin to a Rick ‘The Rock Wizard’ Wakeman line. This is Elton’s attempt at prog rock and ‘Yes’ style. With swirling synths and humming guitars, it’s a classic example of prog rock. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but you’d be surprised if an Alan Parsons project accidentally lurks in your record collection.

‘Love Lies Bleeding’ opened the show, featuring the glittering shoes of our familiar ‘Glam Rock’ John. Other songs on this same tinny theme include the self-titled “Grey Seal,” the tongue-in-cheek lesbian-themed “All Young Girls Love Alice,” the awkwardly fast “Your Sister Can’t Twist” and the ever-so-great, “Saturday’s Fit For Fighting.” ” Yes, but not on those platforms, you…

The 1972 album Honky Chateau included “Harmony,” “Social Illness,” and Monroe’s autobiographical “Candle in the Wind.” With its piano backing and lazy lyrics, these tunes may be Elton John’s best ballads, somehow returning to those early years. with very few people around them, they could create a soothing yet dangerously meaningful sound. The only difference here is the prominent string element on the album, as opposed to the album’s “Honky Chateau.” Given these ballads on “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” they fully creating a full, polished sound and then tapping the future path of the iconic John ballads we’ve come to love and hate.I personally liked the slightly rawer approach to the songs on ‘Honky Chateau’, but that’s down to personal preference.

Reggae (I can see you cry!) also makes guest appearances on this eclectic album, but we’re relieved when Elton decides not to take on the calypso lifestyle altogether. Stifled beyond recognition, reggae as we know it is John doing his best to break out of the piano style.

I don’t like the song, which was written as a joke about an incident when a studio in Jamaica refused to cooperate with me when I was recording the album. That being said, we have to understand that this songwriter was an experiment that he was going to get at some point after this point, so we forgive him for once. The title “Jerk Off Jamaica” probably refers to the general feeling of being stuck in a hotel room writing instead of being in a studio that just isn’t having a ball.

When we realize the time is right and we become artists, we can enjoy this musical roller coaster ride with great enthusiasm. Amazingly non-commercial, it was a space for the artist to fully breathe during the most creative period of his life. In his later years, overwhelmed by too much money and regime production, artists above a certain age simply weren’t allowed to be free thinkers, and still aren’t. Maybe what we have on this album is a huge piece of music history. When we also remember who was around at that time with a special album; Mike Oldfield, Inception and the indomitable Pink Floyd, that’s when we can do “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” with ease.

It marks a specific point in time for the experiment. It’s a shame that today’s music world is afraid to see that kind of expression because there’s no room for it anymore. Making quick money and green stuff pushed talent away once and for all.

For this album, put on the Kaftan, light the cane, and if you’re of a certain age, travel back in time to a time when music was….well…music.

Music by Elton John, lyrics by Bernie Taupin.

Elton John – piano

Davey Jonstone – Electric guitar/acoustic and backing vocals

Dee Murray – Bass and backing vocals

Nigel Olsen – drums and congas

DJM Records 1973.

Recorded (eventually) at Strawberry Studios somewhere in France.

Bought on vinyl for four pounds, South Coast Record Collectors Fair.

© Michelle Hatcher ‘sam1942’ 2006.

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