||This article possibly contains original research. (December 2008)|
|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Honky Château|
|Released||31 July 1972|
|Recorded||Château d'Hérouville, Hérouville, France, January 1972|
|Length||5:13 (album version)
4:07 (single version)
|Label||Uni (USA), DJM (UK)|
|Writer(s)||Elton John, Bernie Taupin|
|Elton John singles chronology|
A fast, spirited number (171 bpm) played without any guitar, with Davey Johnstone playing banjo. The song's lyrics tell the story of man who has forsaken his "redneck ways" for city life, presumably in New Orleans. He also imagines remonstrance from those who want him to stay, "And the Folks back home said I was a fool." The song is dominated by John's New Orleans-style piano, but features the most extensive horn section on any Elton John song of the time to provide additional rhythm elements.
"Honky Cat" reached the Billboard top 10 when released as a single, but only reached #31 in Britain and did not chart in Australia - though it is still a staple of "classic rock" radio. The song hit #8 on the U.S. charts, just as Elton John launched an American tour, in September 1972. The album title "Honky Chateau" is a reference to where it was recorded, the Château d'Hérouville, about 30 miles outside of Paris.
The song has gone on to become one of the centerpiece numbers of John's live stage show, played in all sorts of arrangements, including solo piano. A live version with Elton's 1974 band (including Dee Murray, Johnstone, Nigel Olsson and Ray Cooper) was released on the Here side of the Here and There live set in 1976 (and its expanded CD version in 1995), and a solo piano version appeared on the EltonJohn.com "Live in Madison Square Garden" Vol. 1 limited edition CD, recorded in October 1999.
- "Honky Cat by Elton John". music.yahoo.com. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- "Honky Cat - Elton Joh (with lyrics)". Youtube. April 11, 2010. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- Rock Movers & Shakers by Dafydd Rees & Luke Crampton, 1991 Billboard Books.
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