Elton John – “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”

The Sleeve:
105_5181 105_5182

The Gatefold:
105_5183 105_5184

The Liner/Sleeve Notes:

Personal Review:
So, yet another Elton John album being reviewed on my website. I really am a big Elton John fan and this album just has so many great songs on it.

The album opens with the 11 minute “Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding” which is basically one kick ass way to start an album, with an 11 minute track. The musicianship on “Funeral for a Friend” is so damn good, like just the whole thing is absolutely stunning beyond words. Then it goes into “Love Lies Bleeding” and the lyrics along with the musicianship is just amazing, Elton John is truly one of the greatest rock musicians of any generation. After that comes “Candle in the Wind (Goodbye Norma Jean)” – I honestly prefer his version of Diana, but hey, this is the original, I just find the Diana one has more meaning then this one, (then again, I’m far from a Marilyn Monroe fan.) the song is an amazingly beautiful one though, so that counts for something. After that, and closing the A-Side of this first record is “Bennie and the Jets” which is one of my least favorite Elton songs, so basically that is how I am ending the A-Side.

The B-Side opens with one of my favorite Elton songs, and the title track of this album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – and what gets me every time with this song is the “ooh – aaah” going with the music, it’s just so perfect. After that comes “This Song Has No Title” which is another hidden Elton gem, it’s a beautiful track and the piano playing rocks, Elton sings so well, it’s just a great track. Then after that comes “Grey Seal” which is just another amazing track, this whole album is beyond something beautiful at this point, Elton basically showcases every talent he possesses and spews it out all on this album, and I cannot even begin to try to keep up with this talent with my words. After that comes “Jamaica Jerk-Off” which opens with some pretty nice synth playing, then Elton joining in, and it kind of has that Caribbean funk sound to it, and it’s a pretty nice track, just oddly titled. The B-Side closes with “I’ve Seen that Movie Too” – and it makes for an amazing closing track to the B-Side and the last song on the first record.

The C-Side opens with the track “Sweet Painted Lady” – and it’s a pretty good opening track to the C-Side, a little slow, but Elton’s vocals are pretty great, and the song is really well written, so that is all that matters. Then comes the song “The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34)” – and well, it’s another pretty good track, quite like the title track of this song it has “ooh aaah” in it, followed with amazing musicianship and vocals. Elton is like a rock god! After that comes “Dirty Little Girl” which seems to be more of a harder rock song compared to the others, but hey, this song is another great song – with the greatest line ever – “someone grab that bitch by the ears” – that line is one of the best lines I’ve heard – especially in an Elton song. After that comes “All the Girls Love Alice” closing off the C-Side – and it’s a pretty great track, (I wonder if this is the same Alice from the Smokie song?) it goes fast, then slow, then fast. Elton has this weird way of conveying his words with music.

The D-Side and closing side of this wonderful album begins with the ever so fast “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘N’ Roll)” – and it makes for another amazing opening track. It’s pretty fast, the vocals are pretty great too. Then comes my all time favorite Elton John track “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” – this is my Saturday song – every single little thing about this song is amazing, especially that piano slide, and the chorus – my god that chorus is beautiful. Elton just wants everyone to know that “Saturday, Saturday, Saturday night’s alright!” – I sometimes wonder what it would be like to watch a boxing match while this track plays in the background. After that comes “Roy Rogers” – and it’s a slower, but deep song – definitely well worth the listen. This album has not been a let down, and so many of the songs were so great. Next up is “Social Disease” which starts off with Elton sounding like he is across the room, only getting louder as the song continues on, the song is another great song. The album ends with “Harmony” which is a nice slow way to end the album.

Interesting Facts:

Track Listing:
A1 – Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding
A2 – Candle in the Wind (Goodbye Norma Jean)
A3 – Bennie and the Jets

B1 – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
B2 – This Song Has No Title
B3 – Grey Seal
B4 – Jamaica Jerk-Off
B5 – I’ve Seen that Movie Too

C1 – Sweet Painted Lady
C2 – The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1903-34)
C3 – Dirty Little Girl
C4 – All the Girls Love Alice

D1 – Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘N’ Roll)
D2 – Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
D3 – Roy Rogers
D4 – Social Disease
D5 – Harmony

MCA Records

Catalog Number:

Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
Produced by Gus Dudgeon
Orchestral Arrangements by Del Newman
Engineered by David Hentschell
Recorded at Strawberry Studios, France
Assistant Engineer – Andy Scott
Remixed at Trident Studios, London
Assistant Engineer – Peter Kelsey
Co-Ordinated by Steve Brown
Music by Elton John
Outside Cover Illustration by Ian Beck
Inside cover illustrations by David Larkham & Michael Ross
Except “Harmony” & “Saturday Night” were illustrated by David Scutt
Art Direction – David Larkham, Michael Ross & David Costa
Vocals, Piano, Organ, Farfisa Organ, Electric Piano, Mellotron & Leslie Piano – Elton John
Bass & Backing Vocals – Dee Murray
Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals, Leslie Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Slide Guitar & Steel Guitar – Davey Johnstone
Drums, Backing Vocals, Tambourine, Congas &  Car Effects – Nigel Olsson
A.R.P. Synthesizer – David Hentschel
Vocal Interjections – Prince Rhino
Tambourine – Ray Cooper
Backing Vocals – Kiki Dee
Saxophone – Leroy Gomez

Other Albums I Own by Elton John:
Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player
The Fox
Greatest Hits
Greatest Hits Volume II
Honky Château
I Don’t Want to Go On With You Like That
Madman Across the Water
Sad Songs (Say So Much) / A Simple Man
Too Low For Zero


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