Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
|Goodbye Yellow Brick Road|
|Studio album by Elton John|
|Released||5 October 1973|
Château d'Hérouville, France
Trident Studios, London
|Genre||Rock, Glam rock|
|Elton John chronology|
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is the seventh studio album by the British singer-songwriter Elton John. Released in 1973, it has come to be regarded as one of his best and most popular albums.
Recorded at the Château d'Hérouville, the album contains the Marilyn Monroe tribute, "Candle in the Wind", as well as three other successful singles: "Bennie and the Jets", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting".
In 2003, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The album was ranked No. 91 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and No. 59 in Channel 4's 2009 list of 100 Greatest Albums. The album has sold 31 million copies.
Under the working titles of Vodka and Tonics and Silent Movies, Talking Pictures, Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics in two and a half weeks, with John composing most of the music in three days while staying at the Pink Flamingo Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. He had wanted to go to Jamaica he has said, in part, because the Rolling Stones had just recorded Goats Head Soup there. Production on the album was started in Jamaica in January 1973, though after difficulties with the sound system and the studio piano, coupled with disturbance due to the Joe Frazier and George Foreman boxing match taking place in Kingston, and violent political tension due to the poor economic situation, the band decided to move before any productive work was done. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was recorded in two weeks at the Château d'Hérouville in France, where John had previously recorded Honky Château and Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player. Only a version of "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" was recorded in Jamaica, but that recording was discarded and the final, released version of the song came from the sessions at the château.
According to the album's producer, Gus Dudgeon, the album was not planned as a two-record collection. In total, John and Taupin composed 22 tracks for the album, of which 18 (if one includes both "Funeral for a Friend" and "Love Lies Bleeding") were used, enough that it was released as a double album, John's first (three more such albums followed up to 2011). The songs, mostly around the theme of nostalgia for a more humble childhood and an older American culture as seen through eyes of the movies, included "Bennie and the Jets", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", using memories of a Market Rasen pub Taupin frequented when younger, the 11-minute "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding", and the Marilyn Monroe tribute, "Candle in the Wind". "Grey Seal" was previously the B-side of the 1970 single, "Rock n' Roll Madonna", and was re-recorded for the album.
"Harmony", the album's final track, was considered as a fourth single, but was not issued at the time because the chart longevity of the album and its singles brought it too close to the upcoming releases of Caribou and its proposed accompanying singles. It was, however, used as the B-side of the American release of the "Bennie and the Jets" single, and was popular on FM playlists of the day, especially WBZ-FM in Boston, whose top 40 chart allowed for the inclusion of LP cuts and B-sides as voted for by listeners. "Harmony" spent three weeks at No. 1 on WBZ-FM's chart in June 1974 and ranked No. 6 for the year, with "Bennie and the Jets" at No. 1 and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" behind "Harmony" at No. 7. "Harmony" was released as a single in Britain in 1980 and failed to chart, but has emerged as a fan favourite. John has been known to play it live on occasions.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2010)|
The original 1973 LP, when released on CD, was released on two discs, while the 1992 and 1995 CD remasters put the album on one disc as it was slightly less than 80 minutes. The 30th anniversary edition followed the original format, splitting the album across two discs to allow the inclusion of the bonus tracks, while a DVD on the making of the album was also included. The album has also been released by Mobile Fidelity as a single disc 24 carat gold CD. The album (including all four bonus tracks) was released on SACD (2003) and DVD-Audio (2004). These high resolution releases included the original stereo mixes, as well as 5.1 remixes produced and engineered by Greg Penny.
|Rolling Stone||(2004) |
Initially regarded as having some good tracks, but being too diverse, not holding together, and being too long and patchy, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has come to be regarded as John's best and most popular album, and is his best selling studio album. Three singles were released in the US: "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Bennie and the Jets" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting".
In the US it was certified gold in October 1973, 5× platinum in March 1993, 6× platinum in September 1995 and 7× platinum in August 1998 by the RIAA.
Track listing 
Disc one 
|1.||"Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"||11:09|
|2.||"Candle in the Wind"||3:50|
|3.||"Bennie and the Jets"||5:23|
|4.||"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"||3:13|
|5.||"This Song Has No Title"||2:23|
|8.||"I've Seen That Movie Too"||5:59|
Disc two 
|9.||"Sweet Painted Lady"||3:54|
|10.||"The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909–34)"||4:23|
|11.||"Dirty Little Girl"||5:00|
|12.||"All the Girls Love Alice"||5:09|
|13.||"Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n' Roll)"||2:42|
|14.||"Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"||4:57|
Bonus tracks (2003 Deluxe edition) 
|18.||"Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)"||2:52|
|20.||"Screw You (Young Man's Blues)"||4:42|
|21.||"Candle in the Wind" (Acoustic version)||3:51|
According to the album's liner notes:
- Elton John – vocals, piano (1–6, 8–10, 12-17), electric piano (5, 6), organ (3, 7), Farfisa organ (5, 13), mellotron (5, 6, 11), Leslie piano (11)
- Dee Murray – bass guitar
- Davey Johnstone – acoustic, electric, Leslie, slide and steel guitars, banjo
- Nigel Olsson – drums
- Ray Cooper – tambourine, congas
- Additional musicians
- Dee Murray, Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson – backing vocals (1, 2, 4, 10, 13, 17)
- Del Newman – orchestral arrangement (4, 8–10, 15, 17)
- Leroy Gomez – saxophone solo on "Social Disease"
- David Hentschel – ARP synthesiser (1, 12)
- Kiki Dee – backing vocals on "All the Girls Love Alice"
- Producer: Gus Dudgeon
- Engineer: David Hentschel
- Assistant engineers: Peter Kelsey, Andy Scott
- Tape operator: Barry Sage
- Orchestra contractor: David Katz
- Arranger: Del Newman
- Art direction: David Larkham, Michael Ross
- Artwork: David Larkham, Michael Ross, Ian Beck
- Liner notes: Gus Dudgeon, John Tobler
Chart positions 
Year-end charts 
Chart procession and succession 
Goats Head Soup
by The Rolling Stones
|Canadian RPM number-one album
3 November – 1 December 1973
You Don't Mess Around with Jim
by Jim Croce
|US Billboard 200 number-one album
10 November 1973 – 4 January 1974
The Singles: 1969–1973 by The Carpenters
Dreams Are Nuthin' More Than Wishes by David Cassidy
|UK number-one album
22–29 December 1973
Tales from Topographic Oceans by Yes
Jonathan Livingston Seagull (soundtrack)
by Neil Diamond
|Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
18 March – 7 April 1974
Band on the Run
by Paul McCartney & Wings
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- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
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|url=(help) on 13 August 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2007.
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- "American album certifications – Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH