Rock of the Westies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rock of the Westies
Studio album by Elton John
Released 24 October 1975
Recorded June–July 1975 at Caribou Ranch, Nederland, Colorado
Genre Rock, Hard Rock
Length 43:39
Label MCA (US/Canada)
DJM Records
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
(1975)
Rock of the Westies
(1975)
Here and There
(1976)
Singles from Rock of the Westies
  1. "Island Girl"
    Released: 29 September 1975
  2. "Grow Some Funk of Your Own"/"I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)"
    Released: 12 January 1976
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (A-)[2]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[3]

Rock of the Westies is the tenth studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John, released on 24 October 1975. Its title is a comedic play on words devised by John. He turned the phrase "West of the Rockies" into Rock of the Westies. ("Westie" is also a nickname for the West Highland White Terrier).

Like Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Rock of the Westies also debuted on the US Billboard 200 chart at No. 1, the only two albums at that time to have done so. It was less successful in the artist's home territory of the UK, where it reached No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart. Robert Christgau listed it as No. 7 on his list of the best albums of 1975.[4]

History[edit]

Rock of the Westies contained the US No. 1 (#14 UK) single, "Island Girl", which was released prior to the album. John noted at the time in a radio interview[which?] that he had wanted to release "Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)" as the album's first single instead of "Island Girl", because he thought it had more commercial potential. He was however, over-ruled, and "Dan Dare" was never released as a single, whilst "Island Girl" became a hit.

The make-up of John's band was different on Rock of the Westies, being without his long-time drummer Nigel Olsson and bassist Dee Murray, both of whom John fired during April 1975. Added in their place were drummer Roger Pope, an old friend of John's who had played on Empty Sky, Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across the Water, and American bassist Kenny Passarelli, who had previously played with Stephen Stills and was an original member in Joe Walsh's band Barnstorm. Pope had also played in Kiki Dee's touring band. James Newton-Howard, a keyboardist, was also brought in. Also included was Caleb Quaye, another old friend of John's from his early DJM session days. Like Pope, Quaye had also played on Empty Sky & Tumbleweed Connection & also John's intervening eponymous release. Retained from the previous line-up were Davey Johnstone and Ray Cooper.

The song "Hard Luck Story" had already been recorded by Kiki Dee, and released as a single one year prior to its recording for Rock of the Westies. Along with "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", it is credited to Ann Orson/Carte Blanche (An horse and cart, Blanche) a moniker John devised when composing a song (music and lyrics) on his own. The name Ann Orson is also used as the name of a backing vocalist. Labelle performed backing vocals on the opening track, "Medley: Yell Help/Wednesday Night/Ugly".

In the US, it was certified gold in October 1975 and platinum in March 1993[5] by the RIAA.

Outside the US and Canada, this was the last original studio release from John on DJM Records, before his own label, The Rocket Record Company.

The song "Street Kids" was featured in the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

LP and CD[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Medley (Yell Help/Wednesday Night/Ugly)" – 6:13
  2. "Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)" – 3:30
  3. "Island Girl" – 3:42
  4. "Grow Some Funk of Your Own" (John, Davey Johnstone, Taupin) – 4:43
  5. "I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)" – 5:28

Side two[edit]

  1. "Street Kids" – 6:23
  2. "Hard Luck Story" (Ann Orson/Carte Blanche) – 5:10
  3. "Feed Me" – 4:00
  4. "Billy Bones and the White Bird" – 4:24

Cassette[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Medley (Yell Help/Wednesday Night/Ugly)" – 6:13
  2. "Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)" – 3:30
  3. "Island Girl" – 3:42
  4. "Feed Me" – 4:00
  5. "Billy Bones and the White Bird" – 4:24

Side two[edit]

  1. "Street Kids" – 6:23
  2. "Hard Luck Story" (Ann Orson/Carte Blanche) – 5:10
  3. "Grow Some Funk of Your Own" (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 4:43
  4. "I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)" – 5:28

Additional tracks[edit]

Bonus track (1995 Mercury reissue)[edit]

  1. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (with Kiki Dee) (Ann Orson/Carte Blanche) – 4:28

Bonus track (1996 Rocket reissue)[edit]

  1. "Planes" – 4:31
  2. "Sugar on the Floor" (Kiki Dee) – 4:31

B-sides[edit]

Song Format
"Sugar on the Floor" "Island Girl" (US/UK)

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[6] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[7] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[8] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Charts[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Windsong by John Denver
US Billboard 200 number-one album
8–28 November 1975
Succeeded by
Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon
Preceded by
Windsong by John Denver
Canadian RPM number-one album
25 December 1975
Succeeded by
Chicago IX by Chicago

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lindsay Planer. "Rock of the Westies". Allmusic. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "CG: elton john". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Pazz & Jop 1975: Dean's List". Robert Christgau. 29 December 1975. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "GOLD AND PLATINUM ALBUMS". neosoul. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  6. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Elton John – Rock of the Westies". Music Canada. 
  7. ^ "British album certifications – Elton John – Rock of the Westies". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Rock of the Westies in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  8. ^ "American album certifications – Elton John – Rock of the Westies". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  9. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  10. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 24 February 2012
  11. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  12. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Elton John" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1975" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  14. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  15. ^ "charts.org.nz Elton John – Rock of the Westies" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Elton John – Rock of the Westies" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  18. ^ "swedishcharts.com Elton John – Rock of the Westies" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  19. ^ "Chart Stats – Elton John – Rock of the Westies" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "allmusic ((( Rock of the Westies > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  21. ^ "Album Search: Elton John – Rock of the Westies" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1975". RPM. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1975 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). infodisc.fr. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1976". RPM. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  25. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1976". billboard.biz. Retrieved 24 February 2012.