Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In Musical Praise of: Elton John

(BBC Online)

Born Reg Dwight, one of Watford's greatest enthusiasts has entertained for the past thirty-six years .
A gifted piano player, Elton John started off by being involved in a band called Bluesology, before starting a song-writing partnership with Bernie Taupin and acting as a session musician. He released his first solo album in 1970.
Since then, Elton has enjoyed a mixture of heady success and iconic fandom. Like David Bowie and Cliff Richard, he has collaborated with a variety of musicians from John Lennon, to Queen, to George Michael, to Burt Bacharach, to Eminem, to The Who, to Billy Joel, to Morcambe and Wise! ;)
His songs are usually melody driven, with lyrics that not only hit at the heartstrands, but also have a poetry of it's own.


Skuds said...

You must be a mind-reader. I was listening to some old EJ in the car the other day and wondering if you had done an appreciation of him, but surely Elton deserves more than that!

I'll admit I can't get too excited about much that he did between Blue Moves and Peachtree Road (a real return to form) but its worth remembering just how massive he was in the 1970s, and not just as a singles artist.

Between 1970 and 1976 he released 13 albums (2 of them doubles) plus a greatest hits. Can you imagine anyone doing that now? It is even more remarkable than Stevie Wonder and his run of albums between Fullfillingness and Songs In The Key Of Life.

Although much of his 80s songs now sound dated (like a lot of everyone else's songs from the 80s) older songs like Someone Saved My Life Tonight and Your Song still sound as good as they ever did.

And of course, the Captain Fantastic album itself must surely contain the best-ever recorded drum sound, and Gus Dudgeon, the producer, still won't let on how he managed it.

Anyone who has not really listened to Elton John for over twenty years should treat themselves to either the greatest hits or a couple of the classic albums (Caribou, Captain Fantastic, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Don't Shoot Me, etc.) on remastered CD or give the Peachtree Road CD a listen.

Paul Burgin said...


I would have written more, but bear in mind I was pressed for time!
I get the impression that in the 1970s, he was the biggest thing since the Beatles, he certainly got his work cut out.
Personal favourites of mine include Your Song, Rocket Man, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting(Just for the riff, I don't advocate gang fights on any night, let alone Saturdays), Candle In the Wind, Bennie and the Jets, Philadelphia Freedom, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, The One, Made In England, I Want Love, This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore, and Are You Ready For Love.
And I would have prefered Lennon and Elton do have done more collaborative work than Whatever Gets You Thru the Night and a cover version of Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds

Kerron said...

I'm Still Standing (Yeah yeah yeah).

He has been a legend for Watford FC.

He's Watford's finest...even if he was born in Pinner. :-)

Elton, we are proud of you!!!

Paul Burgin said...

I thought you would have a high opinion of him!
BTW Is Elton still President of Watford FC?

Kerron said...

Something like that, yeah.

Paul Burgin said...

Still standing eh! ;)