SonicBond Publishing [Publication date 16.08.19]
This book is nicely timed what with ‘Rocket Man’ recently being shown in cinemas and the DVD release in August, plus of course Elton John is currently on his worldwide farewell tour.
The book covers the first ten years of Elton John’s career and presumably a volume on his later recording years will be due at some point. Unlike many of the other On Track… series author Peter Kearns focusses less on his own personal opinion of each song and album, but rather looks at how the albums were received and the background to the recording of each album. The latter provides a fascinating insight to the more casual Elton John fan who may not know much about each album, certainly outside of the more well known ones such as ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy’.
Of particular interest to fans and record collectors in general, is the author’s coverage of Elton John’s early singles output and the B-sides which are covered throughout the book. He also worked with some top class musicians as part of his live and recoding band including Ray Cooper, Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson. Plus many guest musicians including Toto’s Steve Lukather (on his disco album ‘Victim Of Love’), Patti Labelle, Kiki Dee and Captain & Tennille.
The book could have benefitted from an index, other than that an enjoyable and insightful read about the early years of Elton John’s music. It is quite amazing at how many classic songs and albums he produced, along with his writing partner Bernie Taupin, in those ten years. One things for sure, after reading this book you want to go and listen to some of these songs and albums covered in the book. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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