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Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 May 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Virgin EMI
  • ASIN: B000001EG2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,131 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

JOHN ELTON

Amazon.co.uk

One of the best entries from Elton John and Bernie Taupin's remarkably successful mid-1970s run, this album still holds up well over a quarter of a century after its release. Even casual fans will recognise "Daniel", "Elderberry Wine", and "Crocodile Rock", but "Teacher I Need You", "Have Mercy on the Criminal" and "I'm Going to Be a Teenage Idol" are equally good. Elton's backing band at the time (guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray, and drummer Nigel Olsson) was easily his best, and producer Gus Dudgeon and orchestral arranger Paul Buckmaster bathed the tracks in a warm and enticing glow. The only complaint is that, due to its size, the CD reissue doesn't remotely do justice to the colourful packaging of the original album. --Dan Epstein

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
With every single Elton John album I find myself reaching the same conclusion, to wit: his best songs are never his big hits. "Daniel" (#2 on the Billboard singles chart) and "Crocodile Rock" (#1) are certainly okay, but "Elderberry Wine," "Blues For Baby and Me," "High Flying Bird," and "Have Mercy on the Criminal" are all better songs. This would help to explain why this 1973 release was the second Elton John album to reach the top of the Billboard album chart (after "Honkey Chateau"). You can point to this album and his other 1973 release, the double-album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," as defining the year that Elton John became the biggest pop star in the world.
Compared to his earlier efforts this album is clearly an attempt to be more pop oriented, not to mention a showcase for the musical diversity of John. "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player" continues to feature the orchestral arrangements of Paul Buckmaster, who functioned in a lesser way for Elton John and Bernie Taupin the way George Martin did for the Beatles. This is a much stronger album that "Honky Chateau" (ironically the one album where I listen to "Rocket Man" and decide it is both the best and most popular song), which came out the same year, and clearly sets the stage for the grandeur of "Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road." Behind that and "Madman Across the Water," I would rank this Elton John's third best album.
This CD reissue includes the bonus tracks "Screw You (Young Man's Blues)," "Jack Rabbit," "Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)," and a simple piano version of "Skyline Pigeon." So if you do not yet have this album in your music library then there is no reason not to make a point of making sure that is the version you pick up.
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Format: Audio CD
... this is my fav Elton's album, a very underrated LP in my opinion. Songs like HAVE MERCY ON THE CRIMINAL or HIGH FLYING BIRD is by far two of Elton's high peaks, and don't forget BLUES FOR MY BABY AND ME, or the lovely TEXAN LOVE SONG.
And, yes, there's the two blockbuster CROCODILE ROCK and DANIEL, that is by themself two very good reasons to buy this album.
I don't know if YELLOW BRICK is a superior performance (no, I suppose, but is a personal taste affair, no discussion), or if the first three lps are artistic masterpieces in front a good and well craft piece-of-art. I don't care. For sure, DON'T SHOOT me is an underrated album since the time it was published (a.d. 1973... the time in which I bought my first lps, argh...).
If you like Elton's songs, and aren't familiar with every of his lps, buy this with confience, believe me: you'll find here a bunch of lovely melodies, some very great songs, great fun, and romantics. Great album, really.
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Format: Audio CD
Nice to see a number of very early tracks reappear - I once owned a tape containing these and other numbers from Elton's embryonic years. Good stuff, too.
But the main event is Don't Shoot Me. I'm going to brave a disagreement with previous reviewers who praised the ballads on this collection and disregarded the rest.
I'd say forget everything and listen to Have Mercy on the Criminal, a good old-fashioned emotional melodrama of a song in the finest tradition of Madman across the Water (ie. the title track of that album.) Elt throws the kitchen sink at Have Mercy, to tremendous effect. Note the dramatic major to minor chord changes, soaring strings and vocal pyrotechnics designed to wring every last tear from the audience. An absolute belter of a track, and worth the price of admission on its own!
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By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 15 May 2009
Format: 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.
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