The other day I made an unlikely comparison between Jimmy Buffett and Elton John. Both artists, I argued, have put out a dozen or more excellent songs — songs that endure after decades and are among the most moving ever committed to record — but both have also released so many albums over the years that the majority of their work is completely foreign to me.
Can it be that all of those unheard albums are filled with songs just as good as ‘Tiny Dancer,’ ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,’ ‘Come Monday, ‘Margaritaville’ and the rest of the classics? Or did these guys strike gold once or twice per album and I’m better off just knowing the hits?
Probably somewhere in between.
Today’s Random SOTD is a track from John’s double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. It’s a new one to me, though it did have some chart success as a B-side and it has been covered by Diana Ross, among others.
It’s a great song, but I don’t know of it refutes my argument or supports it. Is this the fourth or fifth good track on an album of 17 otherwise middling songs, or is the rest of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road equally worthy?
Haven’t seen your face for a while
Have you quit doing time for me
Or are you still the same spoiled child
Hello, I said hello
Is this the only place you thought to go
Am I the only man you ever had
Or am I just the last surviving friend that you know
Harmony and me
We’re pretty good company
Looking for an island
In our boat upon the sea
Harmony, gee I really love you
And I want to love you forever
And dream of the never, never, never leaving harmony
Hello, baby hello
Open up your heart and let your feelings flow
You’re not unlucky knowing me
Keeping the speed real slow
In any case I set my own pace
By stealing the show, say hello, hello