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December 22, 2017 9:15 PM   Subscribe


Elton John doesn't exist for me after the 70's, unfortunately. The way his music sounded, the fidelity, the warmth....ahhh, so good. Then the 80's came and washed it all away in the same-y sounds of synth. Ugh.

I also always felt that he was trying to sound like Billy Joel, who was doing alright at keeping up with the times.

That said, I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues stands up to the tests of time, probably because it's mostly just him and his piano - Elton doing what he does best.
posted by ashbury at 10:03 PM on December 22, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have been listening to Tumbleweed Connection for the last two days, and then watching some splendid aged videos. The words I have to say, may seem quite simple but they're true...
posted by Oyéah at 10:03 PM on December 22, 2017

Elton at his eighties-est, but I quite like several of these songs.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:14 PM on December 22, 2017

The amazing thing is that you can stop at his first Greatest Hits collection from 1974 and not really miss much. He's kind of been coasting for four decades now.
posted by octothorpe at 5:47 AM on December 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

It's so odd to me there's not more love for this album. The first time back fully with Taupin in a while, the first time back with his original band in a while... The album is nearly a song cycle or concept album with its song flow... The whole thing is excellent from beginning to end.

I can't speak about much of John's output after this album, but this one has been a classic for me since it was released. I think I even have the version with the die-cut cover.
posted by hippybear at 6:03 AM on December 23, 2017

I played this album over and over, but I haven't thought about it in years. Time to rectify that.
posted by ceejaytee at 7:43 AM on December 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Elton without Bernie is not really Elton. I have to agree that his early years were his prime years, although there are a few of his more modern songs that I liked Speaking of his old stuff-it is worth googling Come Down in Time if you are not familiar with it.

I was so happy he survived 2016. Still standing, indeed!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:09 AM on December 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

OMG St. Alia of the Bunnies! I haven't seen you in ages, and I've missed you! *hugs are offered*
posted by hippybear at 8:12 AM on December 23, 2017 [4 favorites]

The one that really holds up for me off of this album is "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues". It's cool that he had a comeback album, but "I'm Still Standing" is a little bit too much of "yeah, you thought you could write me off as a has-been, well, guess what, bitches". Favorite 80s song of John's, though? "Nikita", which is a couple of albums from now, and shows off Elton's lower range like no other song of his.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:27 AM on December 23, 2017

Not meaning to threadsit (and I'll tune out for a while after this), but this really feels like a narrative album to me, and I'm Still Standing continues the storyline which continues across the album. As a single it has one meaning, in context it has another one entirely.
posted by hippybear at 8:30 AM on December 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

(hugs accepted and returned!)

I am going to have to listen to that album then. I was not listening to much popular music when that came out and sounds like I would appreciate it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:07 AM on December 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Christ, I thought he was dead. Maybe consider tagging these #atent dead yet or something...
posted by evilDoug at 10:15 AM on December 23, 2017

I am a major Elton John fan (even named my son after one of his songs), and I consider this Elton's last great record. The Captain and the Kid (2006) was better than it had any business being, but not great.

I have this pet theory that his music got worse after he unburdened himself psychically by coming out of the closet. If I'm not mistaken, that revelation occurred right around the release of this album. In fact, that fact is pretty much the cornerstone of this theory. But I do think there's something to it. Many great artists need an internal struggle to produce their best work. Seems to me that Elton John is one such artist.
posted by Dr. Wu at 1:43 PM on December 24, 2017

Another big fan here, but I never really followed him after the 70s. A little off-thread, but I just found this recording of Elton John opening for Leon Russell at the Fillmore East in 1970. Amazing sound quality and virtuoso playing throughout.
posted by condesita at 7:56 PM on December 24, 2017 [2 favorites]

Quite like TLFZ, but for my money Blue Moves is a better album.
posted by flabdablet at 10:32 AM on December 25, 2017

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