August 23, 2010

"Harmony, gee I really love you, and I want to love you forever, and dream of the never, never, never leaving harmony."

Today's theme song.

IN THE COMMENTS: c3 said:
Professor: Your age is showing. 70's Elton John. Now I have to know which of his early albums did you most like. (This is not a trick question.)
Frankly, Elton John is after my time. I thought when "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" came out that he was actually leaving — going back to his plow or whatever (hmmm) — and the career trajectory had arced and landed. Ha. But I did have a job back then — reading magazines! — where we played the radio, and I found some of his songs quite catchy. I liked the 3 albums I had: "Madman Across the Water," "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player," and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." I still recommend these. They're great fun. And if you buy any of that music using those links, you will be painlessly contributing to the Althouse blog. My favorite Elton John song is "Daniel."

52 comments:

Lem said...

Buy the World a Coke

EnigmatiCore said...

Have you quit doing time for me, or are you still the same spoiled child?

Great song, with some unexpected lyrics.

c3 said...

Professor;
Your age is showing. 70's Elton John. Now I have to know which of his early albums did you most like. (This is not a trick question.)

traditionalguy said...

Harmony is two walking together in agreement. Agreement can only happen when each risks telling the truth. Thus a narcisist is ruled out. Without significant agreement, the best people ever achieve is an armed truce.

traditionalguy said...

Sir Elton and our own Sir Rushbo displayed a harmony among them. Each thereby learned something good from the other. When immigrants bring the best parts of their culture here it is wonderful. We just need the time to intermix with them and a common language. Disaster only happens when one culture wants to eliminate the other by conquest, like Sharia law does slowly, and like Major Hassan's one man death squad does quickly.

Christopher said...

I actually have the "Friends" soundtrack album, if any of you know that one.

victoria said...

Oh, my god, Tumbleweed Connection. This album is perfection. In these days of itunes downloads, where I am the champ, this is one of the 5 cd's I still have in my cd player. Others, Take 5 (Dave Brubeck), Getz and Gilberto (With the Girl from Ipanema), Whipped Cream and Other Delights (The TJB At their Best) and a Charlie Brown Christmas.

This is Elton at his most creative. I actually saw him 4 times in the early 70's including his seminal concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and at The Troubador in 1970.

Yeah, yeah, I am old and this totally dates me. Who cares, when awesomeness is in the room, bow to it. EJ I loved you in the early 70's, later not so much.


Vicki From Pasadena

victoria said...

Christopher, I have that soundtrack too, awesome. And I have a copy of "Empty Sky" an album that was released only in the UK


Vicki

MadisonMan said...

The only Elton album I ever bought (excluding Greatest hits) was 21 at 33.

lemondog said...

Elton best when doing piano only.

He is one hell of a piano player.

lemondog said...

But who deny the sweetness of this

victoria said...

Song... "Tiny Dancer"


Vicki

edutcher said...

c3 said:

Frankly, Elton John is after my time. I thought when "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" came out that he was actually leaving — going back to his plow or whatever (hmmm) — and the career trajectory had arced and landed.

Sir Elton was inflicted on the world at the tail end of the 60s, but he was really a 70s (as in "The Decade Taste Forgot") guy. That said, he was part of the scene well into the 80s (and maybe 90s, not sure).

I wish you'd been right about "Yellow Brick". I think for most guys, he is right up (or down, if you prefer) there with Michael Bolton.

Pogo said...

Like Paul McCartney, Cat Stevens, and Bono, Elton John seemed to have been replaced by a soulless zombie at the peak of his powers.

One day we will find all of the real guys together, putting on The Sound of Music in a mine in Chile.

El Pollo Real said...

He is one hell of a piano player

So please don't shoot him.

amba said...

My favorite Elton John song is "Daniel."

Mine, too.

We've had this conversation before, when Anna Nicole Smith's son died.

Pogo said...

Yeah, 'cause we're all in the mood for a melody, and he had us feelin' alright.

amba said...

Or then again, maybe "Sacrifice." It's a tie.

Christopher said...

Tumbleweed Connection. Yep. I'm going to put that on right now, it's amazing.

Vicki, great to hear you have Friends (I don't have Empty Sky). We may be the only two people who knows it exists. I could never be certain its best moments were truly good since it's associated in my mind with a certain someone.

rhhardin said...

Baby's got blue eyes. Elton turned into a crooner.

(Donuts make your brown eyes blue. Crystal Gayle)

t-man said...

Oh Professor,

You know that for some commenters and readers here, there can be no such thing as "painlessly contributing to the Althouse blog."

WV: Rahstie: An early Jamaican TV show about a loving and dependable collie

lemondog said...

Tumbleweed Connection.

Hard driving Burn Down The Mission

save_the_rustbelt said...

At my age and life experiences "I'm Still Standing" has some meaning and a catchy tune (and one of the greatest videos ever).

Martin said...

Daniel! Me too.

Rumpletweezer said...

Took the girl who seduced me away from my high school sweetheart to see Elton at the Baltimore Civic Center in '72. Great concert. Skanky girl.

Nena's 99 Luftballons Song said...

Elton's 60th birthday concert, "Don't let the sun go down on me" has got fractals and we studied fractals in advertising from the book "Chaos" by James Gleick.

A fantastic dvd.

E-L-T-O-N . . . E-L-T-O-N . . . E-L-T-O-N . . . E-L-T-O-N . . . E-L-T-O-N, 5 Elton John concerts in my lifetime.

howzerdo said...

Daniel is my favorite song of his too.

Peter V. Bella said...

B b b Benny and the Jets.

c3 said...

Frankly, Elton John is after my time.

Wait a minute, how can this be? As Edutcher pointed out Reg came out on the scene (though he hadn't yet come out) in the late 60's and his first big hits were in the early 70's. I guess I need to understand when your time is?

If I understand your career correctly you and I are about the same age. Mr. Dwight's first hit was "Border Song" 1970. I'm confused

Anyway, my interests in Elton John's music hits its peak with Goodbye Yellow Brick in 1973. Thereafter he turned decidedly and resolutely commercial. (Though I have to admit a distinct fondness for "The One")

"Tiny Dancer" is just such a nice, fun song. That scene from "Almost Famous" encapsulates it so well.

Other favorites, "Rocket Man", "Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters", "Honky Cat", and many on Yellow Brick Road.

I did the Father of the Bride dance with my daughter to "Your Song" (Moulin Rouge version).

OK, i'm done....

TMink said...

Daniel was pop drivel to my ears. Too easy.

I think Elton's records were brilliant until the Brown Dirt Cowboy when he lost his verve.

But before then, just some of his great work is: Love Song, Burn Down The Mission, Levon, Madman Across The Water, Rocket Man, Mona Lisas and Madhatters. Elton was a genius and could rock hard or break your heart at his whim.

I still listen to that stuff every month.

Trey

c3 said...

Like Paul McCartney, Cat Stevens, and Bono, Elton John seemed to have been replaced by a soulless zombie at the peak of his powers.

I believe Mr. "Stevens" would object to the "soulless" label these days.

AST said...

I agree with the Prof, but I'd add
Honky Château; I have a lot of his later albums, but they haven't held up like Madman, Honky Château, Don't Shoot Me and Yellow Brick Road.

After that he turned into Liberace.

Chip Ahoy said...

Oleta Adams sings the shit out of Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me as a spiritual on the Two Rooms album of Elton John covers by famous artists who who were inspired by him. Bon Jovi covers Levon, and whatever you may think of him, he throws himself at that song. On the CD booklet Bon Jovi says, "I wish I had written that song." Kate Bush covers Rocket Man as Reggae. Wilson Phillips covers Daniel more sweetly than Elton John could possibly, and Sinead OConnor covers Sacrifice so that your hair stands up.

Check it out, Check-It-Outers.

Michael said...

Never a big Elton fan, but I do like "Don't let the sun...", even if it's mostly for the following, non-musical reason.

When Elton finally came out, he gave an interview about how risky his sex life had been and how lucky he was to still be alive. The tone was "don't do what I did". The UK's Sun newspaper ran the front page headline summarizing the interview as "Don't let your sons go down on me."

I love the English.

victoria said...

Thank you lemondog. Was talking to my 24 year old daughter about early EJ last week. Phew, some great, soul searching music going on at the beginning. My college roommate and I went to see Elton in 1971 at Anaheim convention center, right across the street from Disneyland. 1000 ft and a million miles apart.

"Lately, I've been thinking, about my Amorena."

Sign


Vicki

Will Cate said...

"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is a tour de force, Elton's ultimate statement in his recording career. I was 13 when that album was released -- I can still remember vividly how the opening tracks, "Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding" would knock me out whenever the local FM rock station would play it.

I love it today, just as much as I loved it 37 years ago.

victoria said...

I have Sirius, and they played "Love lies bleeding" over the weekend. Phew!
Listening to Tumbleweed now.



Vicki

DaveW said...

My all time favorite was Love Lies Bleeding. Came out around the time my sister died of bone cancer at 15 years-old after 2 years of decline. I was then a 25 year-old Marine.

Trooper York said...

His Tony Danza song is very nice.

Howard said...

11-17-70 is a great listen. It's a live studio performance for some radio show, forget which. Pure unadulterated Elton.

c3 said...

Listening to "Love Lies Bleeding"

Unfortunately Elton John had the tendency to go over the top. But it is one of those "greatest maudlin songs of the '70's"

Among others Nilson's "I can't live (if living is without you)"

or Eric Carmen's "All by myself".

(trivia question of the day:

"All by myself" is based on what classical piece?)

dpwich said...

Also have Empty Sky & Friends...both pretty good. EJ was best as that early trio with Nigel Olson & Dee Murray.

One of my favorites: First Episode at Heinton.

SteveR said...

Honky Château is my fav. Saw him in 1973, very memorable and unpluggrd in 93 just piano and percussion. Tend to think early stuff (with Taupin was best).

Ken Pidcock said...

Honky Cat was at the top of the jukebox when I started college, so I enjoy hearing it.

But I have to go with Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding. One of the most complicated pop songs there is. And, for some reason, my iPod seems to love it.

Ralph L said...

Who does Bernie Taupin have to sleep with to get a tag on this blog? Those aren't Elton's words you quoted.

(Though I have to admit a distinct fondness for "The One")
Plus you get to look for the guy's package as he rotates in the video.

Pogo said...

My favorite Elton John song was (Let's get) Physical.


"Let me hear your body talk"
Man, that's writing.

Ralph L said...

That was Olivia Nudeon John.

LarryK said...

Honky Chateau was a very good album, which ended with a trio of great songs (Amy, Monas Lisas and Mad Hatters, and Hercules). Two other Elton albums that stand out, and which aren't getting much love in the comments, are Caribou and Rock of the Westies. Both are filled with weirdness that works, and show Elton/Taupin at their most eclectic. Everything after Westies is drivel.

victoria said...

Howard, i have 11-17-70 too. His performance of "Honkytonk Woman" is outrageous.

Actually Taupin wrote "Tiny Dancer" about the woman who became his first wife.



Vicki

Trooper York said...

Bernie Taupin married Tony Danza?

Wow that gay marriage thing started a lot earlier than I thought.

jgm said...

11-17-70 is my fave, tho T-weed Connection is great and I listened the grooves off of GYBR back in the day.

amba said...

I like "Levon," too. And "Tiny Dancer." And way way back, "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" with Kiki Dee was really catchy.