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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A step forward in Elton's career
With two American top ten singles, one of which became his biggest British hit up to that point by peaking at number two, this album marked a major step forward in Elton's career.

The set opens with Honky cat, which was only a minor hit in Britain but much more successful in America. Next comes a wonderful romantic ballad (Mellow), followed by an up-tempo song...
Published on 23 May 2009 by Peter Durward Harris

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand how this is ranked alongside his greats.
For me, this stands out as the weakest of Elton's 'classic era' albums. The songs aren't terrible, but 'Rocket Man' aside, they're all forgettable, and I've always found 'Honky Cat' annoying. Go for any of his other early seventies ones in preference to this.
Published on 16 Aug. 2010 by MR K J DOWNING


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A step forward in Elton's career, 23 May 2009
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
With two American top ten singles, one of which became his biggest British hit up to that point by peaking at number two, this album marked a major step forward in Elton's career.

The set opens with Honky cat, which was only a minor hit in Britain but much more successful in America. Next comes a wonderful romantic ballad (Mellow), followed by an up-tempo song with a very downbeat lyric (I think I'm gonna kill myself). Another up-tempo song (Susie) follows, but this time the tempo of the song reflects the lyrics. We then come to Rocket man, the most famous song on the album and still one of Elton's most recognizable songs.

The next track (Salvation) is about seeking spiritual help to overcome life's problems. A look at slavery from the victim's perspective (Slave) is performed at a slow tempo, having originally been recorded at a much faster pace. The faster version is included here as a bonus track. A song about infatuation (Amy) precedes an unflattering song about New York (Mona Lisas and mad hatters). The final track of the main album (Hercules) finds Elton musing about a woman. The only bonus track is that faster version of Slave, because there were no other unreleased tracks from the sessions.

This is one of many excellent Elton John albums, that all committed Elton fans should regard as essential.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Elton metamorphosing into a pop star, 13 Aug. 2001
By 
Pete Walker (Church Stretton, Shropshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
Although a confirmed fan of Elton's work in its first, and probably best, phase (1970 - 76) this has never been one of my favourite EJ albums. Issued in 1972, it marked the transition from the moody, heavily orchestrated music of 'Madman across the water' to the very commercial 'Don't shoot me....' from early 1973, and was the first album featuring the quartet of Elton, Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson (with occasional guest appearances) throughout. Whilst 'Honky chateau' contains two quite excellent singles 'Honky cat' and 'Rocket man' (the latter one of my most favourite Elton songs), I have never felt that the rest of it matched the standard set by these two tracks. This may be due less to the actual songs as to the arrangements, which are very sparse compared with the preceding 'trilogy' of albums lavishly orchestrated by Paul Buckmaster, and have not yet developed into the polished pop-rock of the 'Goodbye yellow brick road' era. With the exception of the synthesizers in 'Rocket man', no orchestration is used on this album, and the electric violin soloing of the then-trendy Jean-Luc Ponty on some tracks I find quite jarring. Generally the mood of the songs is more upbeat than in the previous albums (witness the use of tap dancing on the ironically cheery 'I think I'm going to kill myself'), and for the above reasons 'Honky chateau' appeals to me somewhat less than Elton's more sombre work. The punky alternate take of 'Slave' which has been included in this reissue is of only passing interest and contributes nothing of value to the original album. However, notwithstanding the above comments, I would not wish to devalue this album, as almost all of Elton's early work is of very high quality and streets ahead of most British pop at the time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars High class Reggie!, 17 April 2014
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This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
Elton's 5th studio outing is a lovely mix of styles - Rock, Ballad, Gospel, Bluegrass, 'Honky Tonk' - and is, for me, definitely the first in a series of classic releases from 1972 until Captain Fantastic...' in 1975. Here are my thoughts on the 10 tracks listed below:-
HONKY CAT - Great uptempo opener; very catchy.
MELLOW - A classy ballad with lovely keyboards and vocals.
I THINK I'M GOING TO KILL MYSELF - A jaunty song in a 'honky tonk' style. Surprisingly funny!
SUSIE - Good rocker with a very catchy chorus.
ROCKET MAN - Brilliant single; gorgeous melody with lovely ARP synthesizer sounds.
SALVATION - A great gospel-tinged ballad.
SLAVE - Interesting use of banjo. BONUS TRACK VERSION is even better in my opinion.
AMY - Nice, chunky sound with a warm and original violin solo.
MONA LISA AND MAD HATTERS - Lovely simple ballad; voice, piano, bass, mandolin, guitar.
HERCULES - Great uptempo rocker to round things off.

This is an excellent album and I recommend it to all fans of Elton John.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Elton John., 26 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
I Have recently purchased Honky Chateau on cd,having had a vinyl copy for many years.Its still one of the finest albums of the last forty years.Elton John and Bernie Taupin at their songwriting best.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honky Chateau, 1 Aug. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
in my opinion this is Elton at his very best. If I could be added to, I'd add Levon to the album and that would make it complete. A truly ecletic mix of classic Elton during the wonderful transition period of a music genre encapsulating county, folk, rock and roll all the way to bowie-esque popular music.
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, a song Elton refuses to play live is truly awesome, both versions of Slave are outstanding and compliment each other.
In short, an album for every mood of the day, and season of the year.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's a rocket, man!, 17 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
Full, jam-packed and bursting at the seams with some of the happiest, poppiest songs Elton ever recorded. Every song feels full of swish and vigour even the two ballads, 'Rocket Man' and 'Mona Lisas...' are bound with some kind of energy! If you're after an Elton John album to play in the car or to listen to whilst doing the housework: this one's it! The guy's a genius!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic must have!, 5 Jan. 2012
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Mr. N. J. Hall (New Forest, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
Not just my age, but this is a classic and I believe shows Elton John and Bernie Taupin at their best. Every track is a winner with great lyrics and wonderful tunes. You cannot help but sing along.
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5.0 out of 5 stars ... this as vinyl for years but it is a great example of his early work and has Rocket Man, 9 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
Had this as vinyl for years but it is a great example of his early work and has Rocket Man, which is a great track. If you haven't heard much of his early music this is a good place to start.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Eltons finest early recordings., 16 Aug. 2000
This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
Are you a mona lisa or a mad hatter? To listen to some of the lyrics on this album, you can actually imagine some of the situations that made the music. Of course, Rocket man and honky cat will have you singing along, but for the more dedicated fan, mona lisa and mad hatters let you get lost in the words and music, A definite buy for the Elton fan.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost there!, 27 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Honky Chateau (Audio CD)
Rocket Man! The single from the album is the reason to buy it. Th rest is great too, especially Hercules and Mona Lisas and Madhatters. It came between Piano Player and Yellow Brick Road, but it feels more like the Tumbleweed/Madman time] Try it, with patience and go back to those early(ish) years
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