Friday, 24 February 2017

What we're listening to: Elton John 'Honky Chateau'

There were 3 extraordinary Albums from Elton John and Mr. Taupin that appeared one after the other. Tumbleweed Connection 1970, Madman 1971 (his greatest record and already covered in this blog) and this Honky Chateau Album from 1972.

There were others, 'Yellow Brick Road' (ranked best EJ Album by Rolling Stone Readers Poll, Madman ranked 2, Tumbleweed ranked 4, Honky Chateau ranked 5), 'Don't Shoot me' and 'Captain Fantastic' spring to mind too.

Recent listeners think of Elton John from "I'm still standing" and The Lion King. Don't. He is such an extraordinary talent and Bernie Taupin such a terrific writer, you miss a lot if you "discard" him. 

'Madman' in fact, is one of the greatest Albums of all time and Honky Chateau doesn't come far behind.

Simply, there is no award in the music business that this man hasn't won times over.

Born Reg Dwight, he started collaborating with Bernie in 1967, aged 20 although he had formed a Band 'Bluesology' in 1962. 

Taupin famously wrote the lyrics on his own in one room handed them to Reg who then wrote the music in another.

Backed (and in the writers view, importantly backed) by Nigel Olsson and Dee Murray (ex Spencer Davis Group) of course Davey Johnstone/Gus Dudgeon later too, it was the infamous LA Troubadour gig in 1970 (and there's a great doc about that which you should watch) which broke him into the US. 

Recently I watched 'The Eagles' story documentary and Glenn Frey said he was at that gig and noted that it was the pivotal musical moment that changed him.

Honky Chateau was his first US Number One record and his 5th Album.

The name came from where it was recorded, in a French Chateau.

'Rocket Man' of course is the best known track here but from the bluesy opening of 'Honky Cat' it just runs from magical song to magical song. The whole band is here - Davey, Dee, Gus (producing) and Nigel. 

You will not be anything but knocked over by this and the three Elton Albums should be in everyone's collection. Really. Next week we'll do Tumbleweed Connection too, so you'll have a view on all three. The man is a genius. 

Ah, the memories of this.....she packed my bags last night. 

Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog (you can search them in the Search top left on the Blog)
......Gallagher & Lyle 'Breakaway': Warren Zevon 'Excitable Boy': Donald Fagen 'The Nightfly': Supertramp 'Breakfast in America': George Michael 'Listen without predujice': Radiohead 'The Bends': Beyonce 'Lemonade' Album of the year 2016: Oddisee 'The mix Tape': Soul 11 Soul 'Club Classics': Jennifer Warnes 'Famous Blue Raincoat':Art Garfunkel 'Watermark': REM 'Out of Time': Van 'Keep me Singing': Frank Sinatra 'Songs for Swinging Lovers': Al Stewart 'Year of the Cat': Stevie Ray Vaughan 'Texas Flood':Frank Ocean 'Blond': Jimmy Buffett 'Son of a Sailor': Marc Cohn 'Marc Cohn': Bill Withers 'Complete Sussex and Columbia': Hendrix 'Electric Ladyland': ABC 'Lexicon of Love': Rickie Lee Jones 'Rickie Lee Jones': Billy Joel "Glass Houses": Rodriguez "Cold Fact": Prefab Sprout 'Steve McQueen'; Chet Baker 'Live 64-79'; The Stone Roses 'Stone Roses'; Joe Jackson 'I'm the Man'; Oasis 'Morning Glory'; Bob Dylan 'At The Budokan'; Van "It's too late to stop now Volume 2/3/4"; Air 'Moon Safari'; Talking Heads 'Stop Making Sense'; Lynyrd Skynyrd 'One for the road'; Marvin Gaye 'Whats Goin on'; Mercury Rev 'Deserters Songs'; Dave Matthews 'Crash'; Beyonce 'Lemonade'; Prince 'Sign O the times'; Daft Punk 'Random Access Memories'; Amy Winehouse 'Back to Black';Police 'Outlandos D'Amour'; Michael Jackson 'Off the Wall'; Carole King 'Tapestry'; Beatles 'Red Album'; Sex Pistols 'Never mind the Bollocks'; Sam Cooke 'Live at Harlem Square'; The Doors 'LA Woman'; Thin Lizzy 'Live & Dangerous'; Kendrick Lamarr 'Butterfly'; Aretha Franklin 'Amazing Grace'; Clapton '461'; Massive Attack 'Blue Lines'; The Clash 'London Calling'; Chris Isaak 'At The Filmore'; Bob Dylan 'Street Legal'; Bad Company 'Straight Shooter'; Jackson Browne 'Love is Strange'; Lou Reed 'Transformer'; Steely Dan 'AJA'; Stones 'Black+Blue'; Stephen Bishop 'Careless'; Nils Lofgren 'Night after Night'; Mike Oldfield 'Tubular Bells'; Neil Young 'Harvest'; Led Zep '4'; David Bowie 'David Live'; Van Morrison 'It's too late to stop now'; Wings 'Band on the Run'; Rod Stewart 'Atlantic Crossing'; Ryan Adams 'Heartbreaker'; Santana 'Essential'; Bob Dylan 'Desire'; Roxy Music 'For your pleasure'; Bob Marley 'Legend'; Stephen Fretwell 'Magpie'; James Taylor 'Sweet Baby James'; Deep Purple 'Machine Head'; Springsteen 'Darkness on the edge of town'; Leon Bridges 'Coming Home'; Eagles 'Hotel California'; Jungle; Aretha 'Soul Queen'; Neil Young 'After the Goldrush' ; Zappa 'Overnite Sensation'; Fleetwood Mac 'Rumours'; Keith Jarrett 'Koln Concert'; Doobies 'Southbound'; Stevie Earle 'I feel Alright'; Tom Waits 'Closing Time'; Pink Floyd 'Dark Side'; Van Morrison 'Moondance'; Eric Church 'Caught in the Act'; Randy Newman 'Little Criminals'; Elton John 'Madman across the water'; Patti Smith 'Horses'; Doobies 'Captain and Me'; Steely Dan 'Can't Buy a Thrill'.