Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
What an opening four tracks:
1. Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding – An audacious opener, all 11+ minutes. When Elton John played Kingston in 2010, this started the show. My faith in music radio was momentarily restored when a local DJ played the tune midday later that week. A contender for a future ‘top 5 side one/track ones’ list!
2. Candle in the Wind – The original version, the Marilyn Monroe tribute.
3. Bennie and the Jets – A sing-along where nobody knows the lyrics and nobody cares, as long as you nail the ‘Bennie’ call & answer!
4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Sometimes artists make odd choices for title tracks, highlighting a decidedly inferior track. This is not one of those instances; the album’s namesake is one of Sir Reginald’s finest. Love the soaring “Road.”
It would be unfair to expect the rest of this album, or any album, to keep pace.
Although criticized for being too long & inconsistent, this is one of those double LPs that deserves to be a double. Editing may have produced a more potent, concise record but I prefer the charm of the 17 track/76 minute sprawling mess.
A delightful mishmash.