Elton John
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


4.0
excellent

Review

by clairvoyant USER (24 Reviews)
April 13th, 2007 | 44 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Elton John shows us why Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is sometimes hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time. Big hits like Bennie and the Jets and the title track mix with rockers such as Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting to make a classic album.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is the eighth album by legendary singer-songwriter Elton John. After obtaining his first #1 single in American with Crocodile Rock off the album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, Elton John needed another big album to top it all off. What he and lyricist Bernie Taupin constructed was one of the most legendary albums in rock and roll. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road reached number one in both the UK and US and also scored another US #1 hit in Bennie and the Jets. This album was also ranked 84th by Q magazine on their 100 Greatest British Albums ever, and 91st on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Along with the big hit Bennie and the Jets, many other songs were hits and/or received constant radio airplay. What made the album so big is that it features everything that is good about Elton John on it. Epic synthy pieces, ballads, and rockers of all types that cover a large variety of subject matter are all included on this classic double album.

Funeral For A Friend (Love Lies Bleeding) is a fine example of the epic work of Elton John. Showing a vast array of synthesizes and guitar work, the whole first half is an instrumental epic that takes lots of progressive influences. Midway through it is changed into a very happy sounding sad song, but yet remains one of Elton John’s finest works to date. Anyone who has doubts at Elton John are shown that he is not just all piano, and with his band constructs fine rock tracks, as the piano is not always the forefront of the music. But one of key elements in Elton John’s work is his voice and Bernie Taupin’s lyrics. Candle In The Wind and Bennie And The Jets are both fine slower songs in which Elton John’s voice and piano work takes center stage. The lyrics are classic, with Candle In The Wind being directly about Marilyn Monroe’s life, and Taupin even goes out on a limb with the lyrics and states Monroe’s name in the song, something rarely done in music.

The best song on the album is quite possibly the title track. Written as a goodbye from Bernie Taupin, as he would leave the band shortly after the release of the album, the orchestral arrangements in the chorus and the piano driven themes of the verses round the track in a way always leaves the listener wanting more. More piano driven tracks include This Song Has No Title, Sweet Painted Lady, and I’ve Seen That Movie Too. The latter is a well written track that features no synth and is capped off by the very somber mood created through Elton John’s piano. Taupin’s lyrics also shine, relating a writer’s movie scripts to the secrets of his love life.

So keep your auditions for somebody
Who hasn’t got so much to lose
Cause you can tell by the lines I’m reciting
I’ve seen that movie too


One thing that makes Elton John unique is that he is one of few artists who specialize in piano but choose to make rock music. Not only that, but he makes it well with piano-driven uptempo songs like All The Girls Love Alice, tracks that feature piano/synth lead lines similar to Grey Seal and anthems such as Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting that are very guitar based. Another key point of Elton John is uniqueness. There are weaker tracks on the album, but what keeps them for being truly forgettable is that don’t sound like anything else on the album. Your Sister Can Twist (But She Can’t Rock n’ Roll is one of the weakest songs on the album but features a very rockabilly based sound that keeps it fresh and different from the rest of the album. He also keeps a very old style for Jamaica Jewk-Off and even features Jamaican style backing singers in the chorus. Although they may be weaker tracks, it appears that Elton John made an effort to at least try something new rather than make a boring, lackluster track that sounds like a watered-down Tiny Dancer.

Overall, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is a very strong album that deserves its spot on any greatest albums ever list. Elton John is always able to show his diversity between songs and mix it up to keep his sound constantly. While there are some weaker tracks, that is usually to be expected most double albums. But the good easily outweighs the bad in this case which makes for a great album. I recommend this to anyone who is a rock fan and also enjoys the sound of a piano,as they will not be disappointed.

Elton John
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1983)
4/5



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Comments:Add a Comment 
clairvoyant
April 13th 2007


765 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Decent.




suggestion for improvement?

mynameischan
Emeritus
April 13th 2007


17946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is so overrated. The majority of his early-mid seventies albums kill this.

CushMG15
April 13th 2007


1810 Comments


I've not heard much Elton John, but I have to ask this question. Did Nickelback cover Saturday Night's Alright?

Two-Headed Boy
April 13th 2007


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Such a good album.

londoncalling457
April 13th 2007


2711 Comments


My brother has this on vinyl and I think I've put it in once, and I thought it was ok. Might check this out again.

MrKite
April 13th 2007


5020 Comments


Does Elton write the lyrics or is it just Bernie Taupin?

mynameischan
Emeritus
April 13th 2007


17946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bernie writes/wrote them all, at least for the majority of their career. In the early days, Elton wrote a few lyrics, but they aren't essential songs.

MrKite
April 13th 2007


5020 Comments


Thank you. I would find it hard to sing so many songs that didn't have my own lyrics. He's a talented fellow, though. I've been contemplating getting this for awhile now.

mynameischan
Emeritus
April 13th 2007


17946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

If you haven't heard any of his full albums before, I would start with either Madman Across The Water or Honky Chateau instead of this. Those are definitely his best albums.

MrKite
April 13th 2007


5020 Comments


Will do, thanks.


AtavanHalen
October 4th 2007


17920 Comments


I have a huge amount of respect for Sir Elton. A really great musician.

And this review was really well done!
You're quickly becoming one of my favourite reviewers on here!

shindip
April 10th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the album that got me into piano. cant help but give it 5

cirq
June 13th 2009


9344 Comments


b-b-b-benny and the jetsss

elton's the man

MUNGOLOID
July 6th 2009


4461 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

funeral for a friend is the definition of epic.

Parallels
November 20th 2009


8858 Comments


"funeral for a friend is the definition of epic."

i second that

WarAllTheTime988
November 20th 2009


360 Comments


Great. Album.

alt
November 20th 2009


230 Comments


good, but Madman is where it's at

starry
October 23rd 2010


552 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The is an undeniable classic 5/5 album. Probably the best double album ever. It has no weak tracks. Easily Elton John's most popular album and rightly so.

Activista anti-MTV
December 3rd 2011


3151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love lies bleedinggg

johnnyblaze
December 3rd 2011


2974 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^^ best song on this.



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