Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


Ago 23 2011, 21h42

This was the first album I ever bought with my own money. A couple of months earlier I had been treated by a great aunt to a trip to Harrods for my 13th birthday. I was allowed to choose one item from the store as a present and emerged with a copy of

I had been seduced by the beautiful Roger Dean artwork and the memories of listening to, my friend, Adam's copy of The Yes Album. Unfortunately, when I got home and played it, I didn't like the music much. It was navel-gazing psychedelic and progressive - everything that punk would later rebel against.

So when my own purchase, I was going to be more careful. I chose an artist that I had often enjoyed on top of the pops (Not to mention having heard Adam's Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player). The artist was short, plump and balding wearing flamboyant clothes, glasses and hats. He looked exactly like a Reginald Dwight desperately trying to be an Elton Hercules John (and that was indeed the case).

I bought

It was a perfect choice. The music was excellent piano based rock/pop while the subject matter included many forbidden subjects of interest to an adolescent: lesbianism (All The Young Girls Love Alice, prostitution (Sweet Painted Lady) and violence (Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting).

Elton John's success had begun when he had met Bernie Taupin in the offices of DJM Records. They had started working together as composer and lyricist with immediate spectacular results such as Your Song and Border Song.

Unlike many song writing partnerships , they work completely separately. First Bernie writes the lyrics, like poems. He passes them to Elton, who then composes the music at the piano. It is perhaps surprising, given the apparent lack of interact, that they seem to work better with each other than with other song writing partners.

Interestingly this album opens with a rare instrumental, Funeral for a Friend.


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