Wednesday, June 13, 2007

289. Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

Track Listing

1. Funeral For A Friend (Love Lies Bleeding)
2. Candle In The Wind
3. Benny And The Jets
4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
5. This Song Has No Title
6. Grey Seal
7. Jamaica Jerk Off
8. I've Seen That Movie Too
9. Sweet Painted Lady
10. Ballad Of Danny Bailey
11. Dirty Little Girl
12. All The Girls Love Alice
13. Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n' Roll)
14. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
15. Roy Rogers
16. Social Disease
17. Harmony


Yesterday I wrote how much I liked discovering acts that I'd never paid attention to or that I just didn't know about. Today is a different case and one which is at the same time pleasing but also tinged with shame, and that is liking stuff that I previously thought I hated... that is the case with Rod Stewart and Elton John. Of course there are reasons to hate them still, but it is sad when people make some great albums and then slip into a world of mediocrity.

This album is actually a good example of what I am talking about here. Take the very famous second track here, Candle In The Wind. This song has been made and remade to exhaustion, dedicated to Diana and that little kid with AIDS and some other people. Curiously, however it was never improved form the original version found here, all Elton John did with the song was make it overplayed, rob it of any lyrical power it might have had and ruin what is a pretty powerful Pop arrangement into something trite. Candle In The Wind is by no means the best song in this double-album, it is actually one of the worst and sappiest, but the fact that it is actually quite an interesting song to listen to with fresh ears tells you something about this album. The song is really not that complimentary of Marilyn Monroe, who it is supposedly about, it is a song about the shallowness imposed on you by fame and the ruthlessness of the press. And what a fragile and sad woman she was.

All the album is pretty good, Candle In The Wind has been ruined for ever by Elton John himself and there are a couple of skippable novelty tracks, but the same is not true of the title track, another song up there with Rocket Man and Tiny Dancer. If there is anything wrong with the album it is the fact that it becomes boring towards the middle, after a very strong start, but it redeems itself towards the end with great tracks about lesbianism (All The Girls Love Alice) and street fighting (Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting).

This is probably Elton John's best album and even if you must skip the second track and maybe a couple of the novelty songs (Jamaica Jerk Off and Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n' Roll) aren't that good) you will find it very much worth listening to, if you can get over the fact that it is Elton John. So get it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
2. Funeral For A Friend (Love Lies Bleeding)
4. Benny And The Jets
5. Harmony

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is the eighth album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1973. It is regarded by many as his greatest effort. With worldwide sales of 15 million it is his best selling studio album. In 2000 Q magazine placed it at number 84 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 91 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was recorded at the Château d'Hérouville, where he had previously recorded Honky Chateau and Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player. The amount of material was such that Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was released as a double album, his first. This album had originally been planned to be recorded in Jamaica, since the Rolling Stones had recorded Goats Head Soup there. Technical difficulties, coupled with political unrest in the country at the time forced the band to make an early departure without any productive work getting done.

Here you go a nice montage of Elton John singing Goodbye Yellow Brick Road:

No comments: