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Different from many of Elton's other albums,
This review is from: Rock of the Westies (Audio CD)
Elton employed a new and larger band for this album, retaining some but not all of his previous band members. The resultant music sounds very different from anything that he recorded previously and while I haven't heard all of Elton's later music, I've heard a lot of it and it doesn't sound like anything I've heard from him.
Other re-masters of Elton's albums have as many as four bonus tracks. Here there is only one, but it's a classic. Don't go breaking my heart, recorded as a duet with Kiki Dee, became Elton's first British number one hit and at one time, it seemed that it would be his only such record. In fact, he eventually had four more. The hugely talented but seriously under-rated Kiki Dee never came close to number one as a solo singer, but another duet with Elton, this time a cover of True love (the Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly classic) made number two in Britain during the early nineties.
As far as the main album here is concerned, the major single here was Island girl, which was a number one hit in America but didn't come close in Britain, where it peaked outside the top ten. Unfortunately for Elton, the follow-up single (Grow some funk of your own) was a more modest hit on both sides of the Atlantic. The other side of that single (originally promoted in America as a double A-side) was the song about the shooting of Jesse James (I feel like a bullet in the gun of Robert Ford). Trust Bernie Taupin, with his reputation for strange lyrics as well as his enthusiasm for the old American west, to come up with a song like this.
This album is not one of Elton's masterpieces, although it is strengthened by the addition of Don't go breaking my heart. Nevertheless, I find it to be quite an interesting album, precisely because it offers such a contrast with all the other Elton John albums that I own.