From the Vault...


Elton John
"A Single Man"

© MCA Records

Year of Release: 1978

track listing
  • Shine On Through
  • Return To Paradise
  • I Don't Care
  • Big Dipper
  • It Ain't Gonna Be Easy
  • Part-Time Love
  • Georgia
  • Shooting Star
  • Madness
  • Reverie
  • Song For Guy

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    Elton John
    "A Single Man"

    Elton John's 1978 release A Single Man would the first without the collaboration with his longtime friend and musician Bernie Taupin, likewise with producer Gus Dedgeon. He would work with Gary Osborne, who wrote lyrics. The album was co-produced by Clive Franks and Elton John. Having the 45 hit "Part-Time Love," this song was a hit, but not as popular as his previous. (The B-side, "I Cry At Night" would be released on the reissue as a bonus track, in 1988, on Mercury Records. Most of the bonus tracks were co-written by Elton John & Bernie Taupin.)

    This album may have not been as popular as his previous albums, yet it is a very enjoyable album.

    The first track, "Shine On Through," is a laid back tune, yet it sounds from the early years of Elton John. A tropical atmosphere in sound is on the next track, "Return To Paradise." "I Don't Care" is a rocking tune, and a good mix of bluesy rock best describes "Big Dipper."

    "It Ain't Gonna Be Easy" is another great Elton John rocker. "Part-Time Love" would be the song that I best remembered. "Georgia" has a soulful gospel feel (impressive, yes). The laid back "Shooting Star" has great jazz sounding horns. "Madness" is what I call a "serious sounding rock" tune, just as energetic as his version was of The Who's "Pinball Wizard." "Reverie" is a very short piano and horn piece. And the last song is an instrumental -- "Song For Guy" -- A tribute to Rocket Records messenger, Guy Burchett, (Rocket Records was created by Elton John.) Burchett was killed in a motorcycle accident. It achieved sucess worldwide, except for the US and Canada. MCA Records didn't feel that it would be a hit, due to the recent success of another popular instrumental, "Music Box Dancer" by Frank Mills. It is easy to hear this as a potential hit, as it is a great piano Pop instrumental, showcasing EJ's amazing piano abilitiy.

    With or without Bernie Taupin, Elton John has recorded amazing albums. Sure, this would not be as popular, but throughout the many decades we have known him, he has always showcased in talent in both songwriting, and his musicianship in playing the piano. A Single Man is a fine entertaining album. I'd be very curious in wanting to listen to the reissue, with the bonus tracks. The flip side of Part-Time Love," "I Cry At Night" doesn't stand out in my mind, as the A-side was the major hit. Yet some of the early B-sides of his hits I have heard are equally great.

    I have always been a lifetime fan of Elton John's music. He stil records great albums, and tours. Whether they be his peak albums or beyond, there is no disappointment in enjoying his albums and music. A Single Man is another fine album.

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    The Who--Quadrophenia
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    River Rats--River Rats 2003