G o o d b y e Y e l l o w B r i c k R o a d

E l t o n J o h n

external image album-goodbye-yellow-brick-road.jpg

Year of Release: 1973Label: DJM Records
MCA Records (US/Canada)
Genre: Rock, Glam Rock, Pop, and Piano Rock
Sir Elton Hercules John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight)
external image Elton%20John%20Hits.jpg

  • Elton John – vocals, piano (1-6,8-17), electric piano (5,6), organ (3), organs (7), Farfisa organ (5,13), mellotron (5,6,11), Leslie piano (11), lyricist
  • Dee Murray – bass
  • Davey Johnstone – acoustic, electric, Leslie, slide and steel guitars, banjo
  • Nigel Olsson – drums
  • Ray Cooper – tambourine, congas
  • Bernie Taupin- lyricist
  • Additional Musicians
    • Dee Murray, Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson – backing vocals (tracks 1, 2, 4, 10, 13, 17)
    • Del Newman – orchestral arrangement (tracks 4, 8, 9, 10, 15, 17)
    • Leroy Gomez – Saxophone solo on "Social Disease"
    • David Hentschel – A.R.P. synthesiser (tracks 1 and 12)
    • Kiki Dee - Backing Vocals on "All the Girls Love Alice"

Vital Statistics:
The album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, topped The Billboard 200 in 1973, the year when the album was released. It also ranked in The Billboard 200 in 1987 with a ranking of 114. The single, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" was 7th on the Adult Contemporary and 2nd on The Billboard Top 100 in 1973. "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" was also on The Billboard Top 100 that same year in a 12th ranking. "Candle in the Wind" on the other hand, got recognition on The Billboard Top 100 in the year 1987, 14 years after the album was released. It was ranked 6th on the charts. The album eventually received a 7x multi platinum award and it sold at least 31 million copies worldwide. The album was ranked number 91 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time in 2003 along with being placed at number 84 on the list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever (Q magazine).

Elton John, the English singer, songwriter, composer, and pianist, worked with Bernie Taupin, his partner song writer on collaboration of this album. They had been partners in song writing ever since 1967 (they have worked on over 30 albums ever since); 6 years prior to the release of the album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The bands that influenced the album and song writers were The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The album had been planned to be recorded in Jamaica originally because The Rolling Stone recorded "Goats Head Soup" there, but the studio was so horrible that only "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" was recorded there. The rest of the album was recorded in France at Strawberry Studios (The Chateau d'Hierouville) where Elton John had previously recorded "Honky Chateau" and "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player". This album was the last album that they had recorded in Strawberry Studios because the band relocated to Caribou Ranch. The others who worked with on this album mostly did instrumentals and background vocals. They were Dee Murray, Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson, and Ray Cooper with additional musicians Dell Newman, Leroy Gomez, David Hentschel, and Kiki Dee.

"Bennie and the Jets", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) were the three most successful singles for the album. "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding", a 11 minute epic, was not released as a single due to its length, but it was popular on the FM radio because it wasn't played very often. The album was released on an LP and CD on two separate disks but in 1995, the entire 76:12 minute album was released on a single disk. Later in 2003 and 2004, the album was released on DVD-Audio that contained all four of the bonus tracks. Mobile Fidelity had release a single 24 karat gold CD.

Technical Detail:
Elton John's musical genre consisted of rock (glam rock and soft rock), R&B, and country. His album focused on rock. The vocals varied distinctly from song to song but also within the song itself. The songs were extensively piano oriented. John Elton used a large array of musical instruments. Throughout his album, the instruments that showed up frequently were drums, piano, organs, bass, guitar (acoustic, electric, Leslie, slide, and steel), banjo, tambourine, and congas. In addition to this extensive list of instruments, Leroy Gomez had a saxophone solo on "Social Disease" and David Hentschel used an A.R.P. synthesizer on tracks 1 and 12 which were "Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" and "Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n' Roll)".

Candle in the Wind:
"Candle in the Wind" was a 3:49 minutes single that was written in honor of Marilyn Monroe's death, who had passed away 11 years prior to when the song was written. The opening line where he says "Norma Jeane" refers to her birth name. The single hit 11 on the UK charts in 1974 but it was not released as a single in the United States (Bennie and the Jets was chosen instead. Bernie was inspired to write the after hearing the phase "Candle in the Wind" (tribute to Janis Joplin). The candle in the wind is supposed to represent a short, yet eventful life.
On December 14, 1986, Elton John recorded a live version of the song in Sydney, Australia, which was released the following year in the album "Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra". It was released as a single in the United States and hit number 6 on the charts (as well as 5th on the U.K. Charts). This is the version that is released and played on the radio.
On April 7, 1990, he dedicated the song to Ryan White, a friend of his who was suffering from AIDS. His friend had passed away from AIDS the next day.
"Candle in the Wind" was also remade in 1996 in tribute to Princess Diana. It was also called "Goodbye England's Rose". It was said the Princess Diana loved the original version of the song ( written in honor of Marilyn's death) because she identified so well with the lyrics in the song ("They made you change your name, never knowing who to cling to when the rain set in" and "even when you died, the press still hounded you"). The song peaked at number 1 in several countries including UK. Proceeds from the single went to charity. Elton John had a audience of over 2.5 billion people watching his performance. It made its way into The Guinness Book of Records 2007 for being the biggest selling single since records began. Elton John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1997 after Diana's funeral and he said that he would never sing this version of "Candle in the Wind" live except for Prince William of Wales or Prince Harry of Wales. "Candle in the Wind 1997" has sold over 37 million copies, making it the best selling single of all time.

Songs Overview:
Elton John's album, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" has no main concept or theme running though it. Overall, the messages that stood out in his album were about being gay ("Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "All the Girls Love Alice") because he himself, is gay and being poor ("Grey Seal"), which was a song that lyricist, Bernie Taupin, wrote mostly as a reminder of his childhood. It also had used major people like Roy Rogers ( "Roy Rogers" , a famous Hollywood actor and Marylin Monroe ("Candle in the Wind"), being as Elton looked up to her. "Bennie and the Jets" hit the U.S. R&B charts as well as the "Black" charts which Elton was proud of because he was influenced by many black musicians. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Elton's music later influenced the Beach Boys' single Crocodile Rock.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was the seventh studio album by Elton John and Bernie Taupin (lyrics by him). They wrote songs that involve their lives in many ways including being high, gay, and poor. Since then, Elton John sold more than 250 million records and collaberated with Bernie Taupin on over 30 albums. He is ranked number 49 in Rolling Stones' 100 greatest artists of all time. He has been heavily invoved in the fight against AIDS since the 1980s due to his friend's death. Elton John is still alive at 63. He was rated the most sucessful male solo artist on "The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-TIme Artists" and has played with several different musicians through out his four-decade music career.

Side one
    1. "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" – 11:09
    2. "Candle in the Wind" – 3:49
    3. "Bennie and the Jets" – 5:23

Side two
    1. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" – 3:13
    2. "This Song Has No Title" – 2:23
    3. "Grey Seal" – 4:00
    4. "Jamaica Jerk-Off" – 3:38
    5. "I've Seen That Movie Too" – 5:58

Side three
    1. "Sweet Painted Lady" – 3:54
    2. "The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909-34)" – 4:23
    3. "Dirty Little Girl" – 5:01
    4. "All the Girls Love Alice" – 5:09

Side four
    1. "Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n' Roll)" – 2:42
    2. "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" – 5:24
    3. "Roy Rogers" – 4:08
    4. "Social Disease" – 3:43
    5. "Harmony" – 2:46

Bonus tracks
    1. "Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)" – 2:51
    2. "Jack Rabbit" – 1:49
    3. "Screw You (Young Man's Blues)" – 4:43
    4. "Candle in the Wind" [Acoustic version] – 3:51


"Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n' Roll)"

"Grey Seal"

"Candle in the Wind"

www.eltongraphy.com lyrics and instruments