Wednesday, July 17, 2013

95 More Songs of Summer - An Elton John Daily Double

It's not Tuesday, but we'll go for a two-fer today to get this year's project back on schedule (yay!).

Looking back on his 70s output some 40 years later, it's clear (clearer now than then, at least) that he was a great artist, but also one of the more inconsistent great artists of his time.  You couldn't pigeonhole him - he had great rockers and lousy rockers; he had great ballads and lousy ballads.  I'll stand by my statement that his albums from '72 through '75 represent one of the great periods that any artist has ever enjoyed, but among them, you can probably only point to "Honky Chateau" and "Captain Fantastic" as being fully realized, totally consistent works.  Even "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," one of the great double albums of its day, suffered from some real clinkers.

These two songs, both ballads, are examples of Elton as his best.  Both songs are a touch on the melodramatic side, but Elton's larger-than-life personality is more than a match for their content, both musically and lyrically.  They have both stood the test of time, and the definitive versions remain the Elton originals.
Elton John, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," and "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," from the summers of 1974 and 1975, respectively.

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