Thursday, August 22, 2013

'Well I Looked For Support From The Rest Of My Friends'

I've just done the rounds on various forums to gauge what way the wind is blowing on the upcoming album. I'll judge it when it comes out, you can be sure of a full review here. However I'm boiling again like a kettle with no thermostat...the band bashers are out again. In force and spouting the usual ignorant views. It strikes me that some of these folks haven't got one iota what went into making Elton albums over the years. Some seem to be of the impression that Elton did absolutely everything on it...and even pressed the vinyl. He did nothing of the sort...he wrote the songs with Bernie (this is just for timeline purposes, not a lesson) and that was his part done. Between Gus or later on Chris and most importantly....the band put the finishing touches. The last part I'll leave hanging in the air for the minute. Minute over. Apart from him suggesting the odd bit here and there, it was primarily those people who put the finish on the albums. Those parts just didn't appear from under a bushel. The Trident albums where a collective endeavor, Gus and especially Paul Buckmaster shone on those ones. Hookfoot on Tumbleweed in particular. Madman was the first notice of Davey...Holiday Inn was the first thing he laid down. It was his idea of starting the song straight in and to use the mandolin. Where do you think the backing vocals on all the albums with Nigel, Dee and Davey came from? George Martin said they were closest thing he'd ever heard to the Beatles harmonies. But yet, the current producer...I'm loathe to say his name here...thinks he's above all that and can do without. I've said it before and I'll say it again, they guy is talking cobblers when he says he wants to make an old style Elton album. Because he hasn't a notion of what it entails. He quotes the Troubador Club and 17-11-70...hello, they were live shows. The complete and utter opposite type of performance of what Elton did in the studio. A moment that can be neither captured nor repeated. Imagine if McCartney decided his next album was going to be in the style of the rooftop performance on Saville Row. They'd still be laughing in the next life...the very fact that the band...our band in case you haven't rehearsing in LA the new songs speaks volumes. There will be no promo shows with this other rhythm section that I have neither the same feeling nor empathy with that I have for our band. Elton must have decided at the Capitol records playback that this setup would have a detrimental effect on the promo of the album. Too late now of course to return to the studio and record it again, unfortunately. Without a shadow of a doubt...and I say it here and I will be proved right...when the live versions of The Diving Board songs are heard compared to the album versions there will be only one winner.  The Union proved that beyond any shadow of a doubt. They'll add the touches that only they can do, the sixth sense that especially Davey and Nigel bring to the whole shebang. I get very annoyed, nay angry, when I see people on various message boards bash the band. Quite frankly, if you don't like them or don't think they're any good then don't go to the shows. I wouldn't if I felt that strongly. I do pity them in a way as they don't get the same feeling from the gut as I do about the whole experience. Even listening to the albums must be a very underwhelming experience for them at that rate. I can't be a clearer. 

This album will not be like Elton John (no Caleb Quaye or Buckmaster for instance), it won't be like Tumbleweed (no Hookfoot or Buckmaster for instance) and it won't be like Madman (no Buckmaster or Davey for instance). Or have any of the wonderful harmonies that were on all those and the subsequent albums. And it certainly won't be like 17-11-70 as the producer...who mustn't be that big of an Elton fan...and has neglected to use the same drummer on it. His name is Nigel Olsson, Mr. Producer. I know somebody will say, oh but there was no band on the Trident albums. That's because Elton had no band by the time the first two recorded and by the time of Madman he was pushing them to be used. But Davey as I said earlier put his stamp on that one. And got the gig for the next 40 odd years. Greg Penny was an Elton fan from an early age and he knew how to make an Elton album. Made In England, brilliant. Matt Still was the same and again knows his Elton onions. Peachtree Road and The Captain And The Kid. Both sensational. I have no problem with producers using their own people, as long as they are in conjunction with the band. The Road To El Dorado and more importantly Songs From The West Coast are shining examples of that modus operandi. Elton wants to make different albums now, fair enough. But stop all this talk of comparing them to the early albums. The media keeps repeating that mantra, not that they could probably name one Elton album if you pushed them. It doesn't do them any justice and won't do The Diving Board any favours either when it comes out...


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    1. I'm sorry you feel that way, thanks for commenting.