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Elton John|Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Celebration)

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Celebration)

Elton John

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It was designed to be a blockbuster and it was. Prior to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John had hits -- his second album, Elton John, went Top 10 in the U.S. and U.K., and he had smash singles in "Crocodile Rock" and "Daniel" -- but this 1973 album was a statement of purpose spilling over two LPs, which was all the better to showcase every element of John's spangled personality. Opening with the 11-minute melodramatic exercise "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" -- as prog as Elton ever got -- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road immediately embraces excess but also tunefulness, as John immediately switches over to "Candle in the Wind" and "Bennie & the Jets," two songs that form the core of his canon and go a long way toward explaining the over-stuffed appeal of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. This was truly the debut of Elton John the entertainer, the pro who knows how to satisfy every segment of his audience, and this eagerness to please means the record is giddy but also overwhelming, a rush of too much muchness. Still, taken a side at a time, or even a song a time, it is a thing of wonder, serving up such perfectly sculpted pop songs as "Grey Seal," full-bore rockers as "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and "Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock & Roll)," cinematic ballads like "I've Seen That Movie Too," throwbacks to the dusty conceptual sweep of Tumbleweed Connection in the form of "The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34)," and preposterous glam novelties, like "Jamaica Jerk-Off." This touched on everything John did before, and suggested ways he'd move in the near-future, and that sprawl is always messy but usually delightful, a testament to Elton's '70s power as a star and a musician.

© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Celebration)

Elton John

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1
Funeral For A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding (Remastered 2014 / Medley)
00:11:07

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

2
Candle In The Wind (Remastered 2014)
00:03:49

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

3
Bennie And The Jets (Remastered 2014)
00:05:23

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

4
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Remastered 2014)
00:03:13

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

5
This Song Has No Title (Remastered 2014)
00:02:23

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

6
Grey Seal (Remastered 2014)
00:04:00

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

7
Jamaica Jerk-Off (Remastered 2014)
00:03:38

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

8
I've Seen That Movie Too (Remastered 2014)
00:05:58

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

9
Sweet Painted Lady (Remastered 2014)
00:03:54

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

10
The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-1934) (Remastered 2014)
00:04:23

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

11
Dirty Little Girl (Remastered 2014)
00:05:00

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

12
All The Girls Love Alice (Remastered 2014)
00:05:08

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

13
Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock'n' Roll) (Remastered 2014)
00:02:42

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

14
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) (Remastered 2014)
00:04:55

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

15
Roy Rogers (Remastered 2014)
00:04:07

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

16
Social Disease (Remastered 2014)
00:03:43

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Leroy Gomez, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

17
Harmony (Remastered 2014)
00:02:45

Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2014 This Record Company Ltd.

Album review

It was designed to be a blockbuster and it was. Prior to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John had hits -- his second album, Elton John, went Top 10 in the U.S. and U.K., and he had smash singles in "Crocodile Rock" and "Daniel" -- but this 1973 album was a statement of purpose spilling over two LPs, which was all the better to showcase every element of John's spangled personality. Opening with the 11-minute melodramatic exercise "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" -- as prog as Elton ever got -- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road immediately embraces excess but also tunefulness, as John immediately switches over to "Candle in the Wind" and "Bennie & the Jets," two songs that form the core of his canon and go a long way toward explaining the over-stuffed appeal of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. This was truly the debut of Elton John the entertainer, the pro who knows how to satisfy every segment of his audience, and this eagerness to please means the record is giddy but also overwhelming, a rush of too much muchness. Still, taken a side at a time, or even a song a time, it is a thing of wonder, serving up such perfectly sculpted pop songs as "Grey Seal," full-bore rockers as "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" and "Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock & Roll)," cinematic ballads like "I've Seen That Movie Too," throwbacks to the dusty conceptual sweep of Tumbleweed Connection in the form of "The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34)," and preposterous glam novelties, like "Jamaica Jerk-Off." This touched on everything John did before, and suggested ways he'd move in the near-future, and that sprawl is always messy but usually delightful, a testament to Elton's '70s power as a star and a musician.

© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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