CD Review: Elton John

Elton John
Elton John—Deluxe Edition
Tumbleweed Connection—Deluxe Edition
Mercury/Rocket/UME
By David Chiu

Elton John has recorded many albums throughout his career, but his best ones clearly were from the early to mid ‘70s, particularly his self-titled album and Tumbleweed Connection.Both now have been given the deluxe treatment with a generous amount of previously unreleased bonus tracks.

John’s second album, simply titled Elton John, was his first album to be released in the U.S. With strings provided by Paul Buckmaster lending an orchestral feel to the album, Elton John embraces the styles that would make John a versatile composer with lyricist Bernie Taupin: soul (“Border Song”), rock (the feel-good sounding “Take Me to the Pilot”), and melodramatic pop balladry (“Sixty Years On,” “The Greatest Discovery”) Elton John’s popular track is of course, “Your Song,” which has gone to become the Rocket Man’s most beloved signature tune–although been played many times, the melodies and the message of the song doesn’t get old and still remains poignant. Tumbleweed Connection makes a stylistic shift towards country-soul music (something he touched earlier on with “No Shoe Strings on Louise” from Elton John). Tracks like the lowdown Ballad of a Well-Known Gun, the gospel-ish “Amoreena,” and “Son of Your Father” convey that pastoral feeling;

Elton John performing “Border Song”:

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