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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [Super Deluxe Edition]
     

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [Super Deluxe Edition]

by 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 Ten 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

Overview

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 Ten 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 that go a long way toward explaining the overstuffed 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. The 40th Anniversary edition of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road expands the album to a whopping five discs. The first CD is devoted to the album itself, while the second combines nine covers by contemporary acts with B-sides, outtakes, and other stray tracks from the mid-'70s; the third and fourth discs showcase an excellent live show from 1973 at Hammersmith, leaving the DVD to present the 1973 documentary Elton John & Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye to Norma Jean and Other Things. The covers have nothing compelling but are usually pleasant, with the highlights being Band Perry's insistent read of "Grey Seal," John Grant's contemplative "Sweet Painted Lady," Imelda May's swinging "Your Sister Can't Twist," Fall Out Boy's balls-out "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," and Zac Brown Band's "Harmony," which keeps the song rooted in the '70s. The bonus tracks are a weird batch, containing some singles that popped up on the '90s Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player expansion and "Philadelphia Freedom," a non-LP 1975 hit that has nothing to do with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, but they're all good: "Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)" and "Screw You (Young Man's Blues)" are hard, humorous rockers and "Step into Christmas"/"Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who'd Be a Turkey for Christmas)" is one of the great '70s rock Christmas singles, with the flip being one of the rare songs from a superstar that sounds designed for Dr. Demento. The live show is energetic and deep, illustrating how strong John's catalog already was and how good he was in front of an audience. There's not a bad note of music here, and it's worthwhile for the superfans.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/25/2014
Label:
Mercury
UPC:
0602537534807
catalogNumber:
3753480
Rank:
135522

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
  2. Candle in the Wind
  3. Bennie and the Jets
  4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  5. This Song Has No Title
  6. Grey Seal
  7. Jamaica Jerk-Off
  8. I've Seen That Movie Too
  9. Sweet Painted Lady
  10. The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34)
  11. Dirty Little Girl
  12. All the Girls Love Alice
  13. Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'N' Roll)
  14. Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
  15. Roy Rogers
  16. Social Disease
  17. Harmony

Disc 2

  1. Candle in the Wind
  2. Bennie and the Jets
  3. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  4. Grey Seal
  5. Sweet Painted Lady
  6. All the Girls Love Alice
  7. You Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'N' Roll)
  8. Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
  9. Harmony
  10. Grey Seal
  11. Grey Seal
  12. Jack Rabbit
  13. Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)
  14. Screw You (Young Man's Blues)
  15. Candle in the Wind
  16. Step Into Christmas
  17. Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who'd Be a Turkey at Christmas)
  18. Philadelphia Freedom
  19. Pinball Wizard

Disc 3

  1. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
  2. Candle in the Wind
  3. Hercules
  4. Rocket Man
  5. Bennie and the Jets
  6. Daniel
  7. This Song Has No Title
  8. Honky Cat

Disc 4

  1. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  2. The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34)
  3. Elderberry Wine
  4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  5. I've Seen That Movie Too
  6. All the Girls Love Alice
  7. Crocodile Rock
  8. Your Song
  9. Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

Disc 5

  1. Introduction
  2. An Exceptional Self
  3. I'd Like to Become a Legend
  4. Superior Lyrics
  5. Rocket Man
  6. I Was Always Convinced I Was Going to Be Famous One Day
  7. In England They Come to Bop Around
  8. Harmony
  9. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  10. Too Much Flannelling
  11. The Château
  12. Candle in the Wind

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elton John   Primary Artist,Organ,Piano,Electric Piano,Vocals,Mellotron,farfisa organ
Kiki Dee   Background Vocals
Davey Johnstone   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Guitar,Steel Guitar,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar,Guitar (Leslie)
Jim Keltner   Drums
Leroy Gomez   Saxophone
Ryeland Allison   Drums
Peter Asher   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Background Vocals
Jason Bonham   Drums
Ray Cooper   Percussion,Tambourine
David Hentschel   ARP
Dee Murray   Bass,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Nigel Olsson   Drums
Dave Priseman   Acoustic Guitar,Trumpet
Waddy Wachtel   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Victoria Asher   Background Vocals
Graham Sharp   Banjo
Prince Rhino   Vocals
Darrel Higham   Electric Guitar
Nigel   Conga,Drums,Tambourine,Background Vocals
Stephen Hilton   Synthesizer
Bill Cinque   Bass Guitar
Clay Cook   Piano,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Mellotron,Hammond B3
Steve Aho   Percussion
Ann Marie Calhoun   Mandolin,Violin,Viola
Coy Bowles   Acoustic Guitar
Jeff Alan Ross   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Mellotron,farfisa organ,Wurlitzer
Steve Rushton   Drums
Gare   Bass Guitar
Jimmy de Martini   Violin,Background Vocals
John Driskell Hopkins   Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Chris Fryar   Drums
Miguel   Background Vocals
Ed Sheeran   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Background Vocals,Cajon,Shaker
Hunter Hayes   Guitar,Percussion,Wurlitzer
Chris Loco   Keyboards
Sam Ellis   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Emile Waldteufel   Composer
Elton John   Composer,Executive Producer
Pete Townshend   Composer
Peter Asher   Producer,Executive Producer
Paul Buckmaster   Arranger
Tom Burns   Engineer
Bill Curbishley   Executive Producer
Gus Dudgeon   Producer
Jeff Griffin   Producer
David Hentschel   Engineer
Nathaniel Kunkel   Engineer
Del Newman   Orchestral Arrangements
Bernie Taupin   Composer
David Larkham   Art Direction,Illustrations
Ben Robinson   Engineer
Robert Rosenberg   Executive Producer
Geoff Zanelli   String Arrangements
Marguerite Monnot   Composer
Sammy Lerner   translation
René Rouzaud   Composer
Stephen Hilton   Programming,Engineer,drum machine,Percussion Programming,Keyboard Engineer,Additional Production
Michael Ross   Art Direction,Illustrations
Bryan Forbes   Director,Producer
Clay Cook   Producer
Matt Mangano   Producer,Engineer
Chris Bolster   Engineer
Ian Beck   Cover Illustration
David Scutt   Illustrations
Patrick Stump   Producer
Zac Brown   Producer
Seth Morton   Vocal Engineer
John D. Marks   Composer
Freiderich Hollaender   Composer
Miguel   Producer,Vocal Engineer
Ed Sheeran   Producer
Emma Shalless   Producer
Chip Madinger   Memorabilia
Hunter Hayes   Producer
Jeff Gartenbaum   Engineer
Chris Loco   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Kevin Wicks   Memorabilia
Julie Madinger   Memorabilia
David Bodoh   Memorabilia
Wes Sideman   Engineer
Alfred Newman   Composer
Jack Doe   Memorabilia
Alexis Fury   Essay
Toots Taupin   Composer
Reggae Dwight   Composer
Meredith Cook   Memorabilia

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