Goodbye Yellow Brick Road / Ultimate Reissue
The legendarily knighted musical monolith Sir Elton John couldn't have imagined 40 years ago that his career-defining works would be standing the test of time, but here we are celebrating "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" with a "40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" that remasters the full-length album, features live recordings, and re-imagines some of the original hits with some of today's edgiest acts and also includes highlights from Elton John's live performance archives. Rounding out this 2-disc set of music history, is a specially crafted liner book taking us back to 1973.
Disc 1 offers an expertly remastered version of the classic work, beautifully engineered as to not compromise the original arrangements as they appeared on the analog 1973 album. The track list on "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" sports Elton John's most notable hits including "Candle In the Wind" his ode to Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, the rockingly smooth "Bennie and the Jets" (which has never sounded so good), the album's title track, and similar regarded hits that ideally marked this album as Elton John's most personal, most visceral, and emotive.
The additional disc packaged along with the "Deluxe Edition" has contemporary re-workings of some of the greatest list with some of popular music's most diverse artists, including the glorious vocals of Emeli Sandé singing her version of "All The Girls Love Alice" and teen-idol Hunter Hayes masterfully navigating "Yellow Brick Road". The arrangements aren't so dramatic that they'll hurt the heart of the most diehard fan, but it is wonderful to hear the songs as they are reignited especially at the hands of Imelda May on "Your Sister Can't Twist".
Latin heartthrob Miguel delivers a stunning rendition of "Bennie and the Jets" that is both progressive and completely complementary of the Elton John classic. It's no doubt that the original deep drive of the original works as a sexy, dance-floor driving thumper, but with the added hip-hop whirl by featured rapper Wale, suddenly "Bennie" is shot into the stratosphere for today's sensibility making it a complete joy! The set's most triumphant offering has to be the live highlights from Elton John's 1973 appearance at the Hammersmith Odean (now the Hammersmith Apollo). For anyone who has had the privilege of seeing and hearing Elton John live in concert there's just nothing to describe him as an artist -- undefinable.
It's impossible to say "Goodbye" -- ever and 40 years later, the yellow brick road is worth taking once again.
Elton John "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" 40th Anniversary
available as a 2-disc CD set and digital download for $19.99
on Mercury Records