Review: Elton John – Blue Moves

REVIEW: ELTON JOHN-BLUE MOVES (1976)

It took me a fucking long time to forgive Elton John for the 90s (“Don’t go breaking my heart” was pretty unforgiveable, too, but that was late ’70s), but as long as I can remember, any time I heard his earlier stuff on the radio as a kid I thought he had the prettiest fucking voice I had ever heard. I just wasn’t convinced his music was worth listening to/paying money for, but I changed my mind after realized the the stuff that wasn’t played on the radio was better than the stuff that was on the radio all the time.

Today I got the 1987 1-CD rerelease of Blue Moves, which was originally released in ’76. This CD is weird though, because it removes four songs because it’s a double album and they wouldn’t fit on one CD (cheaper than the 2 CD or 2 LP versions, which I already have); the album is about an hour and a half long or some crazy shit like that. So why the fuck would I buy a copy of it with 4 songs deleted? Some kind of audiophile snobbery, I guess; I’d read that the sound quality and mix was better on this version. Whoever decided to remove “Where’s the Shoorah?” needs to be slapped, though. I don’t dislike “Shoulder Holster,” either, but I fully support the removal of “Out of the Blue” (instrumental) and “The Wide-Eyed and Laughing.”

Supposedly, EJ’s music either went to shit after this album or during this album . Both of these opinions are wrong, but are popular opinions. EJ blamed his declining sales on coming out (as bisexual, that time); but it seems likely that either (1) he had oversaturated the market by releasing 2 albums per year and people were fucking sick of him, or (2) people were expecting some silly bouncy shit like Caribou or Rock of the Westies, and what they got was 2 hours of fucking dismal, unbearably weepy shit. Also, there is so much falsetto on this album even I had trouble listening to certain songs (the end of “Chameleon,” for example).

This album also has some very nice piano parts (not the instrumentals, which sound a bit dated, though). It kind of pisses me off when I see “Song for Guy” compared to “Funeral for a Friend.” The only things those have in common is that they’re instrumentals. Very little instrumental/almost instrumental stuff that he ever wrote after GBYBR can come close to “Funeral for a friend,” except for stuff on “Blue Moves,” IMO, especially the beginning of “Tonight.” I think the first time I listened to “Blue Moves” I was so fucking high I couldn’t remember my name, and had to listen to it again a few times the next day to make sure it was as good as I remembered. It was. This is one of the best albums I have ever heard. I’m not terribly fond of “Sorry seems to be the hardest word,” and that’s probably another reason people didn’t want to buy this album. It was very unlike the singles he’d put out for albums prior to that.

The instrumentals seem really out of place and I don’t listen to them unless I’m listening to the vinyl copy. Other than SSTBTHW, “Bite your lip” goes on far too long and I don’t like “Idol” very much, but nothing on here is unlistenable. (I do skip “The wide eyed and laughing” though.) It took me longer to appreciate the first half, at which point I decided it’s definitely one of his best albums. I’ve heard people say “If there’s in a god in heaven” is terrible, but I concluded those people must be religious and therefore biased against it. “Crazy Water” is some groovy shit. I also fucking love “Someone’s final song” and “Where’s the shoorah,” but I think I’ve mentioned that while drunkposting before.

Anyway, good piano parts, good guitar parts, and fucking hell he had a pretty voice back then. I’d buy a CD of him reading his grocery list if it was recorded in the 70s or early 80s.This is a fucking good album, but I understand why people aren’t fond of it’s because it’s also a bit slow and dismal, for the most part.

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