Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Fortieth anniversary edition of a stack-heeled classic

An unassailable high watermark
in Elton’s lengthy career,
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
is a concept album of sorts.
Packed with motifs and
allusions to cinema, it’s also
a subtle commentary on the
singer’s stratospheric rise to
superstardom, lyricist Bernie
Taupin retrospectively
suggesting disillusionment was
a recurring theme.

That’s certainly true of
the title track and Candle In
The Wind, and it also rears
its head on the reflective Harmony, the searching for
answers in Grey Seal, and
the embittered life lessons
of I’ve Seen That Movie
Too. What most impresses,
however, is the range
of styles covered across
the 18 songs, from the
fairground rock of Your Sister
Can’t Twist to the cowboy
lament Roy Rogers, from the
glam strut of All The Girls
Love Alice to the wistful lovefor-
sale swoon of Sweet
Painted Lady.

The deluxe version adds
a two-disc live show from the
Hammersmith Odeon,
recorded shortly after the
album’s release, and a disc of
period B-sides and non-album
singles, augmented by nine
newly recorded covers; the
likes of Ed Sheeran, Imelda
May and Fall Out Boy are fairly
unremarkable, but John Grant
delivers a sublime Sweet
Painted Lady. Also included is
a DVD of the Bryan Forbesdirected
1973 documentary
Goodbye To Norma Jean.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Mercury | 602537534807 (4CD+DVD)

Reviewed by Dylan Tweedy
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