Elton John – Album Review (Part 2)

by Emilio Pérez Miguel on August 13, 2009

(This is part 2 of the review. It discusses the remastered version. The original LP is dealt with in Part 1.)

All the “classic” Elton John albums were re-released in the mid 90s, remastered and with some bonus tracks to offer fans an incentive that would justify the purchase, as well as giving both fans and newcomers a sort of parallel overview of the songs that were released concomitantly yet left off each particular album.

The “Elton John” album is considered one of the best bonus-tracked releases along with the “Captain Fantastic” reissue. It includes three additional tracks: the b-side to “Border Song”, and a single of its own (Rock & Roll Madonna/Grey Seal). Of course, the name Grey Seal rings an immediate bell as the song was to be recorded anew with Elton’s classic band for the successful “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album in 1973. The consensus is that the later-day version is more cohesive, yet this early take has historic value since it stands as Elton’s recorded debut on electric piano.

Now, the other two bonus tracks have more than just historic value. The b-side to “Border Song” goes by the name of “Bad Side Of The Moon”, and it features one of Elton’s loudest early performances, backing a set of lyrics that express feelings of oppression that are not that far removed from those of “The Cage”. The difference is that in this particular case the subjugation is an internal perception, and not something caused by a physical barrier.

And the final bonus track has Elton paying homage to a man that exerted an influence on his music that many are unaware of: Jerry Lee Lewis. Of course, those who are unaware such a nexus exists are the ones familiar only with Eton’s late-day numbers (IE, ballads). If you gave any of those individuals a copy of Elton’s first live record (11-17-70) they would put a face worthy of being uploaded to YouTube in a bid to become a new meme.

It was really worth enumerating these tracks as the album’s score goes a notch up if they are present. Of course, the remastered CD also comes complete with the obligatory liner notes, and these add even more icing. Try and get it if you can. The original record is more than worth a spin on its own right. But the upgraded CD showcases Elton’s raunchier side even better, and these tracks help you fill the canvas that “Take Me To The Pilot” and ”The Cage” had  started to stencil on the LP.

Rating:

8/10 (Original LP)

8.5/10 (Remastered CD)

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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John) – Album Review | MusicKO
January 12, 2010 at 6:38 am

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Betty August 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm

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Betty

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