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ALBUM REVIEW

ELTON JOHN

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HONKY CHÂTEAU

Released - May 1972, MCA Records. Produced by Gus Dudgeon

Elton John
- Lead & Backing Vocals, Piano, Organ, Mellotron
Davey Johnstone - Lead, Rhythm & Slide Guitars, Mandolin, Banjo, Synthesizer, Backing Vocals
Dee Murray - Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals
Nigel Olsson - Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals

Additional Personnel - Jean-Luc Ponty - Violin

All songs written by Elton John and Berine Taupin

SONG RATING
Honky Cat   10.0
Mellow   10.0
I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself     8.7
Susie (Dramas)     7.2
Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time)   10.0
Salvation     6.1
Slave     6.0
Amy     6.2
Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters   10.0
Hercules     8.8
Ave.   8.30

REVIEW

Elton John's star started to really shine bright after the release of this master. Honky Chateau starts out upbeat with the happy go-lucky "Honky Cat" and then turns real mellow with "Mellow". Both of these songs are good enough to carry the whole album if they had to, but there are two more songs on this one that are even better. "Rocket Man" being one of them, it's one of  Elton's best tunes ever. The synthesizer along with John's powerful vocals make this song soar high. "Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters" is another masterpiece. Great lyrics tell the story about the hard life in Spanish Harlem, New York City,  and how the rich are blind to it all.

There are other songs on this one to grab your attention. The lyrics on "I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself" would earn this album a warning label if it was released today. This song about teenage blues opens with the line "I'm getting bored being part of mankind.... this race is a waste of time..." and keeps building up steam from there. "Hercules" is another winner and closes the album out the way it stated - upbeat. Yes, this record will put a smile on your face!

This is the first full studio album to feature Elton's live band, which had been backing him on the road for a few years prior. This group clearly was the best band Elton ever had. Up till this album, because of legal matters set by EJ's record company, they were only allowed to play on one song per studio album with Elton. Thank goodness Elton got that mess cleared up before this LP was recorded. He basically told his label that now that his act was a hit, only he would decided who played on his albums.

-- Keno 2001

To listen to some soundclips from HONKY CHÂTEAU or to purchase it click on:Elton John - Honky Chteau

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