This late 1989 album from Elton John marked the start of his rejuvenation after years of drugs and alcohol problems. Inside the sleeve notes you will find the following quote:
"These songs were inspired by the Soul pioneers of the Sixties and Seventies, whose music meant so much to us"
That pretty much sums up what this album is about and in some instances the influences are quite clear. For example "I never knew her name" is clearly inspired by Aretha Franklin, and is one of my favourite tracks on the album. Another favourite track of mine is "Club at the end of the street". This is a really catchy track, with some great backing vocal arrangements and a fabulous Sax solo. The track that seems to most represent a normal Elton John track is the last - "Blue Avenue" which is a great way to finish the album.
The album isn't perfect though. Overall the quality of the songs on this is as good as anything he produced in the 80's with the exception of "Too Low For Zero". However it is over-produced (as were nearly all records in the 80's). Still this was the start of Elton rebuilding his career and its a good album, that ultimately has lead back to "Songs from the West Coast" and "The Captain and the Kid"