I wanted to do something different than what I've normally being doing as far as skit work and all. I have to. I hate to admit it, because as much fun as those are doing, and the reactions I get from them, I need to do something different, something that forces me to use other parts of my brain.
So for this week, and maybe next week as well, I'm going to focus on classic rock, and the albums that made me a fan of certain singers or groups.
It'll be fun, I promise.
Today, I'm randomly starting with Elton John. Yeah I know, I know. With the reputation's he recently accrued over the last decade or so of being a bitchy diva queen, it becomes something that's seemingly tainted and affected his reputation as an excellent musician first and foremost.
Well like in the case of Michael Jackson, love or hate his personal life, it's really the music that matters to me. And that's no different than in the case of Sir Reginald Dwight, a.k.a. Elton John.
I remember as a kid enjoying his 80's hits, like "Sad songs", "I'm still standing", "Nikita", or "That's why they call it the blues."
But it wasn't until I was 14 that I could really call myself a serious Elton John fan.
Aww to be 14 again. It was 1995, Mullet Superman was still flying high, Bill Clinton was in office, and I was into mainly three things back then: Comics, Wrestling, and Girls.
I was on shopping trip w/ my folks to Wal-Mart, just looking around for action figures(of course) and whatever decent comics I could find(remember those days when Wal-Mart used to actually carry those?) and I wind up in the music department. Well for some reason, I happened to pick up a tape(remember those?) of Elton John's greatest hits. I recognized some of them, and then found the album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
I never heard this album before, but there were a lot of songs on the tape, some I knew, most I didn't, and the songs titles seemed cool enough, so I bought both and immediately played Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in the car on the way home.
Immediately "Funeral for a friend/Love lies bleeding in my hand" came on, and the opening blew me the fuck away!
This is what I heard:
(Ignore the funny picture montage/collage, and listen to the song)
Yeah, 14 year-old Dale absolutely fell in love with this song, and the rest of the album as well.
Other hits included on the album were, "Benny and the Jets", which I had heard for the very first time when Elton John performed that song on The Muppet Show.
"Candle in the wind" was another hit I had previously known about, but that's because I had seen the 1986 version he did in a televised concert in Australia's famed Opera House(Hi Dan!:)
And there's others, like "Grey Seal,", "No title", "Sweet Painted Lady", which I would figure out later on was an ode to prostitutes. Nice.
"All the young girls love Alice" is a weird, but cool song as well. It's about a sexually confused girl named Alice, who pretty much is known for hooking up with girls. Again, I'd have to figure this all out later, as the song just sounded cool to me.
And there's more, but my absolute favorite track on the album, has to be the title track "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road."
It's usually hard to describe in words why you may like a particular song other than the usual "I love the instruments, the beat, the melody, etc."
And all that applies to this song as well.
I love the lyrics, the sound, how it was put together and everything.
As for what it means, basically it's an analogy set to the Wizard Of Oz. The singer, like Elton John at the time, had thought the better type of life he wanted was found in drugs and success. Of course he quickly became disillusioned with this type of lifestyle once he figured out it wouldn't make him happy, and that his "future lies beyond the yellow brick road", meaning he'll find true happiness away from the rat-race of superficial stardom and fame.
Yeah heavy stuff for a 14 year-old to hear, except, again, I wouldn't really figure all that out until many years later. Shlomo and I were talking about that over on his comments section about how as you get older you understand things you hadn't or didn't, or couldn't have before when you were younger. Never more is that so true than with songs.
After that experience, I was off to find more albums by Elton John, and in classic rock in general. Before that I was mostly listening to early 90's rap, like Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Biggie Smalls, and 80's music. So 1995 was a pivotal year for me music-wise; I began my life-long education and enrollment in the school of rock, learning about the Beatles, and many, many other classic rock icons along the way.
And to think, it all started just from listening to those two Elton John tapes.......What? Hey I'm a late-bloomer as far as doing the hype and current stuff goes. Trust me. It wasn't until 1999 that I began to buy CD's on a regular basis, so there:)
I highly recommend giving this album a listen to if you're a fan or casual fan of ol' Elton. This to me, was one of his best albums, so give it a try; you just might like it to:)
Here's what the actual vinyl album cover looks like unfolded :
I didn't see one these until after StarryPluto and I inherited her step-dad's collection. Very cool indeed.
So, who's up next? You'll just have to wait and see kids.
Until next time......