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(8 reviews sent in so far)
Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player
June 10, 2009
This record stands out amongst anything from 1973 - there can be no doubt about that. It's gay sex and coke. Europe and horns, France and wine, blue hues not blue moves, sorry seems to be the least important concept. Honky cat takes us into a new world of spiritual release, love and sex mixed up and derelict congregations of men with nothing to do. The "Criminal" or the "Creeper." Rock and roll is alive and well. Teleology is the idea that one era improves another. When the going gets tough, put on the tough song. It's a new century and a new one for Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player.
To listen to some soundclips from Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player or to purchase it, click on either Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (CC Music) or Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player (Buy.com)
July 25, 2009
Yesterday I took a nap to this. I do not intend this as an insult but only as background into my experience.
This is a bright record if not a cheery record. A departure from their last sound - Elton John, Bennie Taupin and the same band. It's nothing out of the ordinary but at the time it was. Ragtime and gospel permeate the ten tracks. And you can only call it Elton. It's the coke and the drinking and the camaraderie that are the root. I hear Moondance, The Band, The Who and Sly and the Family Stone.
It's impossible to deny "Rocket Man (I Think It's Gonna Be A Long, Long Time" is the cream of the crop. I don't know, though, where would you have put it in the sequence?
April 17, 2005
What a great album! Elton John's Honky Chateau is a masterpeice. The album was released in 1972. This was when Elton started to get more popular in the United States. This was also the perid of time when he started to release 2 albums a year.
The album starts off with the classic "Honky Cat" (10.0) with excellent piano solos and vocals. The next song, "Mellow" (10.0) slows down the album with a blues feel. "Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" is next. (9.0) This song has very controversial lyrics. The music is great though, so no reason to skip it. Next song is "Susie", which speeds the album up. (10.0) This song is great with a few drum solos in it. "Rocket Man" closes the first side of the album and what a classic to do it with. (10.0)
The second side starts off with probably the two weakest songs on the album "Salvation" (7.0) and "Slave" (6.0). These songs are ok, but after hearing them a few times, I just skip over them. "Amy" is probably one of Elton's most underated songs with great electric violin solos and piano. (10.0). The next song is "Mona Lisas and the Mad Hatters", also a classic. (10.0) Its one of my favorite songs to play on the piano. The album closes with "Hercules", which is a good song with good music. Its a fast paced song that is right to close the album. (8.5)
Overall, this album is one Elton's finest. His string of albums of in the
70's were all excellent. No other artist has come close to his excellent output of albums,
except for the Beatles. This was one of the albums that helped propell Elton John to one
of the greatest and most famous rock and roll superstar in the world.
To listen to some soundclips from Honky Chateau or to purchase it click on: Honky Chateau [Bonus Track] or Elton John - Honky Chateau - MP3 Download
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
July 24, 2009
Reading through this is like navigating at sea. It's a double-album. Its strongest points are the songs that jam.
When I was a preteen I recorded several songs from here onto cassette so I could hear them. Alas, they faded in quality so I no longer could hear "This Song Has No Title" for the pretty little thing it is.
The best points are "Candle In The Wind" and other sweeping generalizations. Listen, there are no best songs but definitely some weaker tracks.
The word diluted arises because there is no single "beauty" but more a thread, a backbone. Perhaps it's a record that leaves you not wanting more. That could have its advantages.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
By Joseph H
December 11, 2004
As far as double albums with all original songs, is there really another one comparable? Some might argue the Stones Exile, and it's close, but Goodbye Yellow Brick Road had more hits (the title track, "Candle in the Wind", "Bennie and the Jets",and "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting"). And man, the B-sides on this album could've made another entire platinum album ("Harmony", "Grey Seal" "Roy Rodgers" and "I've Seen That Movie Too").
The album opens with the 11 minute composition of "Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding". Elton's vocals don't start until about the 6th minute, but the guitar, lyrics and vocals of "Love Lies Bleeding" is one of his, Bernie's and the band's most passionate. Aside from the songs mentioned previously, also check out "This Song Has No Title", "Sweet Painted Lady", and "All the Girls Love Alice".
All in all, if you like the Elton John/Bernie Taupin team, quality studio albums that helped define the 70's, a mix of classic rock with intelligent plaintive ballads, check this one out.
To listen to some soundclips from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road or to purchase it click on either Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (CC Music) or Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Buy.com)
MADMAN ACROSS THE WATER
May 7, 2004
One of my favorite Elton albums. Madman Across The Water was released in 1971. The first two songs on the album have become huge hits ('Tiny Dancer' and 'Levon'). The third song "Razor Face", is a pretty good song and I like the vocals sung by Elton, as well as the piano. The next song is "Madman Across the Water", with a great piano and strings. It is still one of my favorites to play on the piano. Next song is "Indian Sunset", it opens with Elton singing all by himself for the first minute. The chords are excellent and so are the strings. The next song, "Holiday Inn", is one of my favorites. Then comes "Rotten Peaches", I love this song, it has mostly the same chords in a different order, but still great. The next song is the worst on the album, "All the Nasties", the choir in the background just does not sound good. The closing track "Goodbye", is a depressing song, both lyrically and musically, but still a fitting track to close the album (Hence the name).
Madman Across The Water is a classic Elton John album. This album shows his talent and why he has had such a long and successful career.
MADMAN ACROSS THE WATER
By Jeff Siegmann
September 29, 2002
Madman Across The Water is a more cynical view of America
following Elton John and Bernie Taupins first tour of America and is in stark contrast to
the more idealistic Tumbleweed Connection. Perhaps the greatest criticism of the
album is the heavy handed use of strings to the point of being almost pretentious. This
could however be seen as a promise of things to come. Paul Buckmaster's orchestral opening
to 'Have Mercy On The Criminal' on the Don't Shoot album is nothing short of
electric. That said, this is a an album full to the brim with great music. It opens with
'Tiny Dancer' (a staple of Elton John concerts today), a song inspired by Bernie Taupin's
wife at the time Maxine Feibelman. The second track, Levon is also a favorite at Elton's
concerts today. Both of these songs open with brilliant piano intros. 'Razor Face'
features Rick Wakeman on organ. A song about an old man (Razor Face) it's not my favorite
track, but a catchy number none the less. 'Madman Across The Water' was recorded a number
of times including one during the Tumbleweed Connection sessions. The version on
this album features Davey Johnstone on acoustic guitar which has a more laid back approach
than the Mick Ronson electric guitar on the Tumbleweed sessions recording. A brilliant
song. The opening to 'Indian Sunset' features Elton John a capella. As the songs
progresses, the dynamics change building to a crescendo, falling away for the verses and
building again to the tragic close. 'Holiday Inn' along with 'All The Nasties' are perhaps
the two most cynical tracks reflecting the dissatisfaction Bernie Taupin perhaps felt for
some aspects of America and the music industry in general. 'Rotten Peaches' fails to
capture me even after more than 20 years since I first bought the album on vinyl.
'Goodbye' features Elton John alone on piano and is a ballad in the way only Elton John
does them and while not an inspired finish to the album, it allows the listener to sit
back and relax after what can only be described as a cutting but entertaining listen. As a
keyboard player, I find the piano on this album more complex than most Elton John albums
of this period and the musicianship as a whole more inspiring.
Of particular interest to anyone with an a leaning toward contemporary music history are the session musicians who include Rick Wakeman, Chris Spedding, Herbie Flowers, Ray Cooper and Diana Lewis (remember the synthesizer from 'The Cage' on the Elton John album) along with some early favorites including Caleb Quaye, Roger Pope and Dave Glover. Nigel Olsson, Davey Johnstone and the late Dee Murray also feature on some tracks.
To listen to some soundclips from MADMAN ACROSS THE WATER or to purchase it click on either Madman Across The Water - Buy.com or Madman Across the Water - CC Music
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
March 22, 2004
Having most of the Elton albums at home, this is one of my favorites. Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy was released in 1975 and was one of the last albums in Elton's career to make it on the charts in the 70's (Rock of the Westies, released in '75 and Blue Moves, released in '77 were the last) Captain Fantastic explored new territories and did not use the piano as the main instrument on some of the songs.
All the songs on the album talk about Elton John and Bernie Taupin's experiences writing songs and other stories about before they became famous. For example, "Someone Saved my Life Tonight" is about Elton trying to kill himself right before he was going to get married to a woman he didn't love. Bernie walked in on him and saved his life by pulling him out of the oven.
The album opens with the title track, mostly consisting of guitars, drums and an organ in the background."Tower of Babel" is also a good song, one of my favorites. "Bitter Fingers" has excellent keyboard skills. "Tell Me When the Whistle Blows" is a pretty good song with nice background brass sections and violins. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" is definitely a classic and is still played on radio stations all the time. "Gotta Get A Meal Ticket" is all electric guitars and drums. "Better of Dead" is a short song, but I like the piano in it. "Writing" is a nice relaxing song with an organ and bongos and other percussion instruments. "We All Fall in Love Sometimes" is mostly Elton and his piano until the end where the other instruments come in. "Curtains" is the only reason I gave this album a 9. This is definitely the worst song on the album.
To listen to some soundclips from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy or to purchase it click on: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
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