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Music Review: Elton John- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

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If you were going to have any Elton John CD in your collection, from an era, when he was simply at his most creative and best, then this is the one to go for. Considered one of his masterpieces, it came out at a time when Elton and his writing partner, Bernie Taupin, had already begun to establish themselves as a formidable writing duo. 

Blasting us from the first track, "Funeral For A Friend/Loves Lies Bleeding", it shows us straight away why John and Taupin had such an influence in synthesizer rock. Just listening to the song, with it's frenzied piano pounding and its mix of classical and rock components, it makes you think that it would make one hell of an opener to an Elton John concert during this period, and how amazing it would have been to see Elton in his prime.

The whole album comes off as a very pop-savvy album, that takes many twists and turns into different genres, suiting the name Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  There are so many different genres infused on this CD that it has a little something for everyone.

Originally the album was supposed to be recorded in the Caribbean, but political unrest changed this. However, that did not stop Elton from infusing some lush tropical influences into the album, especially on "Jamaica Jerk-Off", with its reggae inspired beats and melodies and steel drum grooves.

Elton then switches genres to R&B with his number one hit, "Bennie And The Jets". It is a jaunty little number, which has strong beats, and is strengthened by John's extraordinary piano skills. Ironically, John felt that the song was too boring, and didn't think it would become a hit. It was his producer Gus Dudgeon that added the whistles, and the audience clapping to give it that live feel.

Then there is the Stones influenced music style "Dirty Little Girl", before the album switches to rock with tracks such as "Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting" and "You Sister Can't Twist"

But while Elton John and Taupin experimented with many different music genres, two things did stay the same- the strong lyrics, and wonderful melodies. Two things that always seemed to work well for John and Taupin.

The fact is none more evident than on the Marilyn Monroe tribute, "Candle In The Wind", which makes your heartbreak just a little over the tragedy that was Marilyn Monroe. The lyrics say it all “and it seems to be you lived you life/like a candle in the win/never knowing who to cling to/when the rain set in/…your candle burned out long before/your legend ever did."

"Saturday Night…" was written after Elton and Taupin decided they were writing in too much an American style, and wanted to write something purely English. It became their first hit single, peaking at number one in the UK top ten.

This album is a must-have for your collection, and I would consider this probably his best album of all time. It's a sentiment that many Elton John fans feel, and Rolling Stone ranked it as number 91 on their top ranking 500 albums. Considered a double album with its 17 tracks, you will not be sorry to have this in your CD collection.

Songs not to miss: "Saturday Night’s Alright", "Bennie And The Jets", "Harmony", "Candle In The Wind", and "Funeral For A Friend".

I give this album 5/5

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  • Evan

    Elton John is talanted in 1975 he hepled Neil Sedaka reborn his music career

  • Evan

    i do like Olivia Newton John but i would be caught wearing a t – shirt of Elton John more