My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is Elton John’s seventh album. The plan was to record it in Jamaica, but the environment in Kingston at the time was too hectic and it was recorded in France instead during May of 1973. The album was released in October of the same year.
What I think: I was introduced to this album in late 2001 when I discovered in left behind by previous tenants in the basement of a duplex I was renting it the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis. Actually having a turntable in those dark days before the resurgence of vinyl, the album did get some play, but not a lot. Fifteen years later, I appreciate it more than I did then, but it’s not something I will continue to play. I’m just not that big of an Elton John fan. This album though does have my favorite track of his in the title track. As someone who often felt like he didn’t belong where he where he was and thought of going to some sort of simple life, it really rang true for me. You’ll notice I put that in the past, because that sense is really a feeling of the past. Despite that I do still really love the song.
The album as a whole is a pretty great achievement and really starts out strong and keeps that going until it falters at “Grey Seal” on side two. From there the album doesn’t exactly stumble its way to an end, but it certainly isn’t as strong. One of the things I love to see on albums is stretches of hit singles, or really popular songs and this one has a stellar stretch that goes from “Candle in the Wind”, “Bennie and the Jets” and the aforementioned “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. Speaking of “Bennie and the Jets”, that has to be one of the weirdest recordings I’ve ever heard. As a kid, I had a feeling it wasn’t really live, but wondered why they would add the live noises. As an adult I understand it a little more, but I’m still entertained by those recording choices.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? As I mentioned, I’m not a huge Elton John fan, but this has to be his best and I think it has earned it’s place.
Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (69/299)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%