JOHN - CLASSIC ALBUM SELECTION
John is one of those artists that are hard to judge objectively.
These days he seems to represent everything awful about celebrity
culture, financial extravagance and royal sycophancy, and has
made such awful records over the last 30 odd years that it’s
difficult to think of him as anything more than a bit of a joke.
It’s easy to forget that during the first half of the 1970s,
ol’ Reg released a series of great albums in remarkably
quick succession – albums that should, in many ways, be
considered as pivotal as anything by Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd,
and probably would be if they hadn’t been recorded by anyone
So this box set is a welcome reminder of just how good John (and
lyric writer Bernie Taupin, as vital a component to these songs
as anyone else) was. Containing five albums released between 1970
and 1973 – Elton John, Tumbleweed
Connection, Madman Across The Water,
Honky Chateau and Don’t Shoot Me
I’m Only The Piano Player – it’s a
remarkable collection of powerful, emotive music.
And there is a lot of stuff here you’ll know and love, whether
you realize it or not – Your Song, Tiny
Dancer, Honky Cat, Rocket Man,
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Daniel,
Crocodile Rock… evocative, haunting, sometimes
lively, mostly introspective songs that make it clear just how
John became so big. These are matched by lesser known, but still
impressive tracks that range from the semi-conceptual numbers
on Tumbleweed Connection (evoking the old West) through to the
powerful Madman Across the Water.
While Elton John might not be the name that spring to mind when
people talk about ‘classic rock’, these are five albums
as classic as any you’ll hear from that period and –
alongside Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, missing
here – are all pretty damned essential.
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