Wednesday, September 05, 2012

My favorite Albums: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Hey folks.

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......


Dan said...

Thats an awesome post. mum loves any piano player so i grew up in a house with alot of Elton John and was named after his song. Her dad gave away her vinyl copy of G.Y.B.R. when she was younger and being a big regret of her life I replaced it myself 5 years ago when I found a copy in decent nick. Love the interior illustrations.

Elton on the muppets was brilliant. I havevthat on video and Crocidile Rock has never been the same since.

I love all the songs you mention from the 80s but Benny and the Jets is his best since Rocketman and hell wicked to reinact. He comes to Oz alot and he's back in Nov. Just his tickets are soo expensive. Otherwise I'd deffinitly go.

Dale Bagwell said...

That's cool as hell you were named after "Daniel."

Also, very nice of you to replace her copy of GYBR too. Hopefully she didn't have the same attitude as her father, and make you give away some of your comics; she shouldn't have given what happened to her in her youth.

EJ on the Muppets was fucking awesome for me. I was a big fan of the show, an thank to my grandma for taping the shows and sending them to me, I got see a lot of fun episodes. But yeah the EJ one was an early favorite. Like I said, that's where I first heard Benny and the Jets. I know he did GYBR and some others, but Benny's the only one I remember.

The Alice Copper episode's also a very funny one with, Alice working for the devil, trying to get the muppets to sell their souls. Very funny stuff. Go watch it if you already haven't.

Starrypluto actually got to go see him a couple months ago in Charlotte,NC and said he's still got it. I'm sure he is cool, just keep him away from those small Asian countries right?:)

Omega Agent1 said...

This is a superior post Dude. I like Elton John also. I don't have any albums but I know the songs.

The illustrations are really bang up too. So to make a long story short I love what you doing man. I'm on board.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

Dale, have you ever seen this Rocket Man song spoof?

Dale Bagwell said...

@Omega, thanks man I really appreciate the kind words. You know how it is, when you're being creative, you have to diversify, change things up, or else you get bored. Trust me, routine and staleness are the death of creativity.

That's why I appreciate how you yourself change things on your blog.

@Shlomo, I did now:) Funny stuff. I like the Kim Jong Il impressions from Mad TV. Very funny stuff.

Shlomo Ben Hungstien said...

yeah i can listen to that spoof all day cause it's hella funny and that's my favorite Elton John song too. earlier this year he played in Israel. he was pressured by various radical leftist terror apologist anti Israel groups to not play. he basically told them to fuck off and went a ahead with the show. he gets mad props for that in my book.

Dale Bagwell said...

Yeah, very good for Elton on that one.

Anonymous said...

Funny how some discoveries are pretty much timeless....the same album had much the same effect on my 12 year old psyche back when I discovered it in 1975. Nice to see some cultural touchstones stay consistent.

"Get Snakey"

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