Earlier in the year, this song returned Elton John Billboard’s Top Ten for the first time since 1997’s Princess Di-themed rewrite of ‘Candle in the Wind.’ However, this one feels like it should have an asterisk, because John’s portions of the song are culled from older recordings.
This album also marked a reunion with lyricist Bernie Taupin, who had been sidelined for other collaborators during that dry spell. There’s no question that Taupin is a crucial ingredient in Elton John’s best work.
Elton John is yet another legendary artist to release an album in 1974. That release was Caribou, which went double platinum and reached #1 on the albums chart (a feat matched by only four other John records).
It’s also, by all accounts, not very good.
Recorded in just nine days to free John up for a world tour, Caribou is a redheaded stepchild among his run of classic albums in the early to mid 70s.
Yes, it’s the latest installment of my ‘Decades’ series, where I feature the albums from a certain year across four decades (70s to 00s). Last time out I explored 1973, which brings us to 1983. I was 11 years old and hadn’t started up much of a music collection myself, but so many of the artists I’ll write about were very familiar even then.
Elton John released Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in October of 1973, but just nine months earlier he dropped his first album of the year, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player.
This album is best known for its opening track, ‘Daniel,’ and the rollicking ‘Crocodile Rock.’ During my recent Elton John deep dive, I wrote about two other highlights: the Rolling Stones-esque ‘Midnight Creeper‘ and closing track ‘High Flying Bird.’