- Album name: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
- Artist name: Elton John
- Year: 1973
- Number of discs: two
- Label: MCA Records
- Collection: Selman
- Distinguishing characteristics:
- Something crossed out in black magic marker at the top center of the front of the album
- “1.99” sticker at the top right of the front of the album
- Buy it on Amazon: $30.99
Level of familiarity before listening
I’ve never listened to this record before, but I recognize a few of the songs on it by name, and guess this is supposed to be a big and important record in Elton John’s career.
Previous Elton John records that I’ve reviewed:
- Caribou: 1/5
- 11-17-70: 3/5
- Tumbleweed Connection: 2/5
- Madman Across the Water: 2/5
What I expected
I want to believe that, because I’ve heard some of these songs, I’ll enjoy hearing them again, but if I’m being realistic, just the thought of Candle in the Wind makes me dread this.
What it was actually like
Weirdly, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road opened like a Moody Blues record and I thought I might have put the wrong thing on, but no, this was definitely Elton John, and I didn’t like it, but parts of it were definitely all right.
Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n Roll), for example, was probably the closest to being a good song. I thought it just needed a little work to be at Sha Na Na level. Social disease was also all right.
Overall, I was impressed at the level of rock-style electric guitar throughout the record, such as on Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting – one doesn’t usually think of Elton John songs as being particularly guitar-heavy – but distressed at the amount of piano. I really think Elton John could have created much better music by focusing on a rock style and minimizing non-rock instrumentation.
Probably the strangest song was Jamaica Jerk-Off, which was very reggae, almost to an embarrassing degree (and I actually love reggae). I wish he had done it more like how Led Zeppelin did D’yer Mak’er.
3/5: interesting, but not for me
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