Blue Moves

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
The immense creativity that had spurred Elton John to realize no less than 11 studio albums in under seven years was beginning to show signs of inevitable fatigue. The same can be said as well of the artist's unfathomable physical stamina, which had included practically nonstop touring around the globe since the early '70s. Although initially Blue Moves 1976 was summarily dismissed by both critics as well as longtime enthusiasts, the double LP has since gained considerable stature within John's voluminous catalog. While comparisons were inevitable to the landmark two-disc Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1973 song cycle, most similarities in musical style and content end there....
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
The immense creativity that had spurred Elton John to realize no less than 11 studio albums in under seven years was beginning to show signs of inevitable fatigue. The same can be said as well of the artist's unfathomable physical stamina, which had included practically nonstop touring around the globe since the early '70s. Although initially Blue Moves 1976 was summarily dismissed by both critics as well as longtime enthusiasts, the double LP has since gained considerable stature within John's voluminous catalog. While comparisons were inevitable to the landmark two-disc Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1973 song cycle, most similarities in musical style and content end there. John's band had expanded to include the talents of James Newton Howard keyboards/orchestral arrangements, Kenny Passarelli bass, Roger Pope drums, and Caleb Quaye guitar -- the latter pairing had actually performed with John as far back as his first long-player, Empty Sky 1968 -- as well as Davey Johnstone guitar and Ray Cooper percussion from the "classic" early-to-mid-'70s lineup. As the title suggests, Blue Moves is a departure from the heavier Rock of the Westies 1975. Instead, the album purposefully focuses on moodier and more introspective sides -- such as the single "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" the effort's sole hit, the achingly poignant "Tonight," and "Cage the Songbird," the latter of which is particularly noteworthy as it recalls the life of Edith Piaf in much the same way that "Candle in the Wind" had immortalized Marilyn Monroe. "One Horse Town," which John briefly revived as a dramatic show opener during late-'80s live performances, is one of Blue Moves' most powerful and straight-ahead rockers. The lively string arrangement by Howard stands as one of the finest contributions to his short-lived tenure in this band, which for all intents and purposes dismantled after the album was recorded in March of 1976. Other standouts include the full-tilt gospel vibe of "Boogie Pilgrim" -- which features backing vocals from both the Cornerstone Institutional Baptist and the Southern California choirs under the direction of Rev. James Cleveland -- "Crazy Water," the haunting ballad "Idol," as well as the set's closing R&B vamp, "Bite Your Lip Get Up and Dance!." While Blue Moves is a far cry from essential entries such as Tumbleweed Connection 1971 or Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboys 1975, the bright moments prove that John could still offer up more than average material. It is also worth mentioning that this effort marked the end of John's initial collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin, who would resurface some three years later, albeit haphazardly on 21 at 33 1979.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/9/2006
  • Label: Polygram Uk
  • UPC: 731453246720
  • Catalog Number: 532467
  • Sales rank: 29,831

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elton John Primary Artist, Piano, Harmonium, Harpsichord, Keyboards, Vocals, Electric Harpsichord
Toni Tennille Vocals, Background Vocals
Cindy Bullens Vocals, Background Vocals
Crosby & Nash Background Vocals
London Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Graham Nash Vocals, Background Vocals
The Brecker Brothers Horn
Michael Brecker Horn, Horn Section
James Newton Howard Organ, Synthesizer, Clarinet, Conductor, Keyboards, Electric Piano, Mellotron, Group Member
David Sanborn Horn, Saxophone, Soloist, Horn Section
Bruce Johnston Background Vocals
Davey Johnstone Dulcimer, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Sitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar, Soloist, Group Member
Gene Page Strings
Kenny Passarelli Bass, Group Member
Joe Chemay Vocals, Background Vocals
Curt Becher Background Vocals
Harry Bluestone Leader
Randy Brecker Horn, Horn Section
Paul Buckmaster Conductor
Clark Burroughs Vocals, Background Vocals
Ray Cooper Percussion, Conga, Glockenspiel, Gong, Marimbas, Tambourine, Triangle, Vibes, Shaker, Tubular Bells, finger cymbals, Roto Toms, Bell-tree, Group Member
Cornerstone Choir Vocals, Choir, Chorus
David Crosby Vocals, Background Vocals
Martyn Ford Strings, Performing Ensemble
Carl Fortina Accordion
Gene Morford Vocals, Background Vocals
Ron Hicklin Vocals, Background Vocals
Michael Hurwitz Cello, Soloist
Jan Joyce Vocals
Jon Joyce Background Vocals
Roger Pope Drums, Group Member
Caleb Quaye Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar, 12-string Guitar, Soloist, Guitar (12 String Acoustic), Group Member
Ray Conga, Glockenspiel, Gong, Marimbas, Tambourine, Bells, Vibes
Barry Rogers Horn, Horn Section
Richard Studt Leader
Dani Davey Mandolin, Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar
James ? Organ, Synthesizer, Electric Piano, Clavinet
Technical Credits
John Stewart Engineer
James Cleveland Director
James Newton Howard Arranger, String Arrangements, Orchestral Arrangements, Accordian Arranger
Bruce Johnston Arranger
Curt Becher Arranger
Paul Buckmaster Arranger
Arun Chakraverty Engineer
David Costa Art Direction
Daryl Dragon Arranger
Gus Dudgeon Producer, Engineer, Liner Notes, Remixing
Phil Dunne Engineer, Remixing
Mark Howlett Engineer
John Kurlander Engineer
Earle Mankey Engineer
John Reid Management
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