A great year for music apparently and the awakening (perhaps) of my musical ear. This album cover hung on my sisters wall. I thought Elton John looked allot like my brother, still do actually, In 1972 my brother, the thinker, was fuzzy and British and odd. Older and wiser and as detached as he seemed then is exactly the opposite of what i recall now.
Funny isn't it? How time changes perception?
"Mona Lisa's and Mad Hatters" played allot with stories of Spanish Harlem and the incessant plucking. "I know not if its dark outside or light", it seemed so vacant and sad. To this day I turn to it when I need to think. It sets me back on to that twin sized bed of long ago, muffled through the wall as i drew pictures and pondered what animals I could save if I went to journalism school to be an activist. I was 6 cut me some slack. There is a deep sadness in this song even without hearing the words. It sounds so remote so pleading that regardless of the intended message, to me its one of desparation if not complete isolation. Sad but in a good way "my own seeds shall be sown, in New York City". Indeed. "Good Morning to the Night".
"Rocket Man" and "Honky Cat" didn't impact me as much. I seemed to always confuse "Rocket Man" with "Space Oddity", again 6 year old slack for that one and "Honky Cat" just plain did nothing for me. They were way popular though so someone was loving them, just not me. Flash forward 40 years and well I still get no kick from it. I mean its not horrible but it doesnt paint a picture for me in anyway. There are lines from 'Rocket Man' that tap my heart "in fact, its cold as hell'', "and I think its gonna be a long long time",
"Hercules" was a tune that I would jump up and down on my bed to singin into a hairbrush. All of this is through a wall so I doubt I had the words right but I certainly could leap. Hearing it now there is no doubt why I loved " do wop she bop ahhhhh" a semi rockabilly swing 'kissin and a huggin with a cat named Hercules" and yes… we shortly thereafter had a cat named Hercules. The sister was a huge EJ fan.. to obsession. I wanted a dog, that took some time. "Washin in a bucket of mud…" what's become of this Elton? Wheres Bernie and why are my siblings so odd now when they were so cool then?
"I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself" was so honky tonk piano heavy that I recall wondering how come the music was so happy when he wants to die. Hearing it now- its pretty lame, its rather slow. If the tempo was a bit quicker it'd sound cooler and less story telling. Again, this was a huge throght hte wall tune. If I was six my sister was 13, so she wa hitting the teenaged angst and my brother the thinker…….16. Yup, this must have been an anthem. "get a little headline news, on the state of teenaged blues" Theres a stupid tap dance portion I could do without here but in '72 may have been cool- not sure.
Yeah there are others 'Slave', 'Amy', and 'Salvation' but they were filler to me and far too twangy. If you have ever heard the 'fast version' of ''Slave", gimme a high five if you think it sucks, cuz it does.
I am not sure what happene to Elton, hes a caricature of his former self. As for my brother, the thinker, and my sister well, theyre just as odd as they were all those years ago only now its not a muffled wall between us its miles and miles of distance.