Happy Birthday, Sir Reg!

The day’s winding down, but I thought it might be worth noting that today is Sir Elton John’s 61st birthday.

Reginald Kenneth Dwight was born March 25, 1947, in a suburban London council house belonging to his maternal grandparents, with whom his parents (Sheila Eileen and Stanley Dwight) were living at the time.

One of the very first albums I owned was 1973’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I had a used copy that I had probably purchased for cheap at a yard sale. I remember it being scratched to hell, which was no doubt the reason the original owners had decided to part with it. By the time I got the album, I had already been introduced to rock music and rock radio and was familiar with the standard tracks: “Bennie and the Jets,” “Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting,” and, of course the title song.

What I found when I dug a little deeper was interesting. At that time in my life, I liked the familiarity of what I already knew. But I was also intrigued by song titles such as “Jamaica Jerk-Off” and “Dirty Little Girl” (c’mon, I was 12 years old!). The disks were in bad shape, but I listened to what I could and found a whole new level to Elton John’s music. Something way beyond what I had heard on the radio, even though I still loved those songs.

Years later I replaced those two worn-out disks with the CD version of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and was finally able to clearly hear the music. And, being a little older, I was drawn to more than the songs with the risqué titles. That was about the time I came to fully appreciate the album that, in my opinion, is Elton John’s finest. To this day, this album and a “Greatest Hits” collection are the only Elton John albums I have. And nothing at all against his other work, but my collection could probably come close to beginning and ending with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

For tonight’s musical selections, I’ve – surprisingly – pulled a couple of tracks from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The 11-minute “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” has always fascinated me. I read somewhere earlier tonight that Elton wrote the first part while thinking of the type of music he would like played at his own funeral. The other song, “All the Girls Love Alice” comes from deep into the second disk of the set. Another track that has always held a fascination for me, it is about a 16-year-old lesbian prostitute who ends up murdered in a subway station.

Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.mp3
All the Girls Love Alice.mp3



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home