4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A landmark album for Elton,
This review is from: Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (Audio CD)
Some people may now remember this album as the one before Goodbye yellow brick road, but this was an important album that remains one of Elton's best. Four bonus tracks have been added to this re-issue but (unlike some of Elton's other re-issues) none of the bonus tracks were A-side singles. In fact, they were all originally released as B-sides, one of them being a re-recording of Skyline pigeon, originally released on Empty sky. The re-recording features Elton playing piano instead of harpsichord.
As originally released, the main album became the first Elton John album to top the British album charts. It was also the first album to spawn two British top five singles hits. In America, this was Elton's second chart-topping album. The two singles both made the top three there, with Crocodile rock (a look back at the rock'n'roll era) giving Elton his first American number one single hit. The other single, Daniel, was originally written about a Vietnam war veteran but, like many great songs, it can be interpreted to mean a lot of different things.
There are many other excellent songs on this album including Texan love song, which the writer of the liner notes suggests may be some kind of tribute to country singer Merle Haggard (never mind that the Hag is Californian). That's possible - Elton once recorded a duet with Tammy Wynette and later covered Stand by your man, for in her memorial album, so he has shown some interest in country music - but I'm not sure if it's true.
Other excellent songs include Blues for my baby and me, Midnight creeper (with its references to Tina Turner), I'm going to be a teenage idol and High flying bird. This has always been one of my favorite Elton John albums and remains so.