ELTON JOHN REVISITED (2016): Once was a well-known gun

 |   |  2 min read

ELTON JOHN REVISITED (2016): Once was a well-known gun

Elton John's new album Wonderful Crazy Night is his 33rd studio release . . . so speculating just for a moment that there are people out there who might say, "Yeah, heard of him but . . ."

Let's help them out just a little by offering a few starting points into his vast and diverse catalogue.

A kind of "how to buy Elton" as it were . . . or at least how to listen to these albums from the past for free on Spotify.

(And we are looking at albums as a whole, not just ones which had a few great singles on them.)

We begin with . . . 

Elton_John___Tumbleweed_ConnectionTumbleweed Connection (1970): His third album although very few heard his Empty Sky debut until after Your Song and Take Me to the Pilot from his self-titled second album took off.

Elton's longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin was just 20 and infatuated by the American West and The Band when he wrote the words which Elton took straight into country-rock punctuated by ballads and closing with the furious Burn Down the Mission.

His first fully satisfying (almost concept) album. And if it impresses go straight to Madman Across the Water ('71) which was criticized at the time but still stands up today (and got a second life when Tiny Dancer appeared in the film Almost Famous).

For more on Tumbleweed go here.


Elton_John___Goodbye_Yellow_Brick_RoadGoodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973): One of the few essential double albums from the decade which seemed to be spawning them on a weekly basis.

The emotional and musical breadth of the 17 tracks ran from flat-tack rock'n'roll (Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting) to poignant ballads (Candle in the Wind), angry stories (Danny Bailey) and the honky-funk of Bennie and the Jets.

If you are impressed – and you should be – then move on to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (75) and its belated sequel The Captain and the Kid (2006).

For more on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road go here


Songs_from_the_west_coastSongs From the West Coast (2001): If you look at release dates you wil spot the yawning chasm in his career. Not entirely fair perhaps but he wasn't suited to disco and far too many albums in the Eighties and Nineties were patchy, and that might be being charitable.

But after plenty of indifferent albums, this blend of country, rock and stories sounded like classic Elton again, even if by this time hit singles eluded him.

He also wasn't recording as much as he used to but before his next really good one (below) he did The Captain and the Kid and also his long overdue duet with Leon Russell, The Union

Eltonjohn_thedivingboardcoverThe Diving Board (2013): In his almost 50 year career Elton had enjoyed a number of “return to form” albums and this was one.

Serious, adult and less rocking than some, but his piano playing had rarely been as accomplished.

It was Elton as most people wanted him, sounding like Elton.

And as with all these above, another with lyricist Taupin.

Which might tell you “how to buy Elton”?

There is much more about Elton John at Elsewhere starting here

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Absolute articles index

MARTHA DAVIS OF THE MOTELS INTERVIEWED (2014):  Still in total control

MARTHA DAVIS OF THE MOTELS INTERVIEWED (2014): Still in total control

Martha Davis, frontwoman for a seemingly endless parade of band members as the Motels, has rarely stopped writing and performing since the first Motels line-up formed in 1971. Fame... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ZOOGZ RIFT: Speaking more than Frankly

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . ZOOGZ RIFT: Speaking more than Frankly

Because his music and career was so diverse, heretical and dispirate, few would try to follow in the footsteps of Frank Zappa. He seems to have spawned no progeny. With one notable exception:... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Cilla (DVD)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Cilla (DVD)

When Cilla Black died unexpectedly in August -- she was 72 but somehow seemed at least a decade younger -- the many obituaries focused predominately on her early years as a pop star (essentially... > Read more

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND explores a Hollywood treatment of mental illness

GUEST WRITER SARAH JANE ROWLAND explores a Hollywood treatment of mental illness

Much of the hoopla surrounding Anatole Litvak’s 1948 drama The Snake Pit focused on the treatment of its subject matter. It was one of Hollywood’s first attempts to tackle... > Read more