Elton John

Classic Albums: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

BY Ian DanzigPublished Jun 1, 2002

The "Classic Album" study of Elton John's 1973 masterpiece "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" delves into the songwriter's prolific oeuvre just after his career had taken off. Interview footage appropriately focuses on the songwriting duo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin discussing tracks in detail and their ultimate status as songwriters forced to record their own material. This was an Elton John at the peak of his powers. As guitarist Davey Johnstone points out, Elton was so prolific "he wrote songs like I make a chicken sandwich" and they were releasing two albums a year at the time. There's not much shocking insight here but the DVD is a great companion piece for Elton John fans with plenty of ‘70s footage full of great clothing, big glasses and footage from the original recording session. Interesting stories of note include how "Bennie and the Jets" succeeded on black radio, their initial misstep of attempting to record in Jamaica before ending up in France and Elton John's acknowledgement that "Candle In The Wind" should never be heard again. Detailed looks at obvious tracks like "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" are augmented by great coverage of one of the few songs on the album that hasn't been overexposed, "The Ballad of Danny Bailey."

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