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Elton John - Rock Of The Westies

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Rock Of The Westies

Elton John

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Less than four months after issuing the landmark and autobiographical Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Elton John re-emerged with a new band and a slightly modified sound. However, the departure of bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson began a deceleration in terms of John's success, which rivalled only the Beatles' and Elvis Presley's in terms of global acclaim. The revamped band grew to include new associates James Newton Howard on keyboards and Kenny Passarelli on bass as well as drummer Roger Pope and guitarist Caleb Quaye, who had both performed with John as far back as his first long-player. (He also retained the services of guitarist Davey Johnstone and percussionist Ray Cooper from the most recent lineup.) Musically, Rock of the Westies maintains the balance of harder-edged material and effective ballads. In fact, one of the album's strongest suits is the wide spectrum of strong material. The ballsy no-nonsense "Street Kids" and the aggressive gringo rock of the ZZ Top sound-alike "Grown Some Funk of Your Own" contrast with the poignant power balladry of "I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)" or the dark and brooding tale of addiction on "Feed Me." Perhaps inspired by the crossover R&B appeal of "Philadelphia Freedom," the up-tempo "Island Girl" bears a distinct and danceable groove that lies somewhere between a slightly Jamaican vibe and disco. Perhaps more soulful in the traditional sense are the boogie-based "Hard Luck Story" or propulsive Bo Diddley beat that drives "Billy Bones and the White Bird." While the increasingly fickle public as well as lack of a strong follow-up to the chart-topping single "Island Girl" may have prevented Rock of the Westies from becoming the heir apparent to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, in the wake of John's flawless predecessors it remains a strong and worthwhile entry that also set the stage for its follow-up, Blue Moves.
© Lindsay Planer /TiVo

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Rock Of The Westies

Elton John

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1
Medley: Yell Help / Wednesday Night / Ugly
00:06:15

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Bells, Tambourine, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Harpsichord, Synthesizer, Clavichord, AssociatedPerformer - LaBelle, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

2
Dan Dare (Pilot Of The Future)
00:03:29

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Clavichord, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

3
Island Girl
00:03:41

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Banjo, Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, Marimba, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Synthesizer, Mellotron, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

4
Grow Some Funk Of Your Own
00:04:47

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Bells, Castanets, Tambourine, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

5
I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford)
00:05:26

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Piano, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

6
Street Kids
00:06:25

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

7
Hard Luck Story
00:05:16

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

8
Feed Me
00:04:00

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Bells, Vibraphone, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Clive Franks, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

9
Billy Bones And The White Bird
00:04:25

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Bells, Tambourine, Maracas, Kettledrums, AssociatedPerformer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Piano, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

10
Don't Go Breaking My Heart
00:04:35

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Kiki Dee, MainArtist

℗ 1976 This Record Company Ltd., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music Group, Inc.

Album Description

Less than four months after issuing the landmark and autobiographical Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Elton John re-emerged with a new band and a slightly modified sound. However, the departure of bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson began a deceleration in terms of John's success, which rivalled only the Beatles' and Elvis Presley's in terms of global acclaim. The revamped band grew to include new associates James Newton Howard on keyboards and Kenny Passarelli on bass as well as drummer Roger Pope and guitarist Caleb Quaye, who had both performed with John as far back as his first long-player. (He also retained the services of guitarist Davey Johnstone and percussionist Ray Cooper from the most recent lineup.) Musically, Rock of the Westies maintains the balance of harder-edged material and effective ballads. In fact, one of the album's strongest suits is the wide spectrum of strong material. The ballsy no-nonsense "Street Kids" and the aggressive gringo rock of the ZZ Top sound-alike "Grown Some Funk of Your Own" contrast with the poignant power balladry of "I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)" or the dark and brooding tale of addiction on "Feed Me." Perhaps inspired by the crossover R&B appeal of "Philadelphia Freedom," the up-tempo "Island Girl" bears a distinct and danceable groove that lies somewhere between a slightly Jamaican vibe and disco. Perhaps more soulful in the traditional sense are the boogie-based "Hard Luck Story" or propulsive Bo Diddley beat that drives "Billy Bones and the White Bird." While the increasingly fickle public as well as lack of a strong follow-up to the chart-topping single "Island Girl" may have prevented Rock of the Westies from becoming the heir apparent to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, in the wake of John's flawless predecessors it remains a strong and worthwhile entry that also set the stage for its follow-up, Blue Moves.
© Lindsay Planer /TiVo

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