I was processing some of my digital collection and made it to Elton John. Of all the music Andrea and I have together, our biggest collection of CDs by any one artist or group would be a toss up between him and The Beatles. Which made me want to start reviewing his whole discography when I realized most of what we have is his stuff once he became more well-known. So I used my Apple Music subscription to go back to the beginning to his first album: Empty Sky.
The available version has nine songs from the original CD release (four on Side One, five on Side Two) and then four more added during a subsequent remastering in 1995/1996.
Songs That I Liked
Critics apparently think Skyline Pigeon is the best song from the ho-hum album and Elton John included it as one of the only songs from the album in subsequent concert tours. I wouldn’t say I love it, not even sure I like it that much, but better than the rest.
Songs That Were Filler
Pretty much the whole album except for one mentioned above that was okay and two more that are terrible.
Songs That I Didn’t Like
I have to say that any debut album that starts with an eight-minute opening better be amazing, and it really isn’t. If this was the first album I heard, I’d not only not buy it, I’d never buy anything else from the artist either. Apparently, Elton John loved the title track, but who knows what peacenik sound he was going for? I sure don’t. He apparently thought he sounded like Leonard Cohen, but to me it sounds more like CCR via the Troggs, without any pop bounce anywhere in there.
Also, don’t even ask me what Gulliver / It’s Hay-Chewed is…some sort of medley of the rest of the songs? Just plain weird.
|Empty Sky (8:30)||(★☆☆☆☆)|
|Western Ford Gateway (3:16)||(★★☆☆☆)|
|Hymn 2000 (4:30)||(★★☆☆☆)|
|Lady What’s Tomorrow (3:10)||(★★☆☆☆)|
|The Scaffold (3:19)||(★★☆☆☆)|
|Skyline Pigeon (3:38)||(★★★☆☆)|
|Gulliver/It’s Hay Chewed (6:59)||(★☆☆☆☆)|
|Lady Samantha (3:03)||(★★☆☆☆)|
|All Across the Havens (2:53)||(★★☆☆☆)|
|It’s Me That You Need (4:05)||(★★☆☆☆)|
|Just Like Strange Rain (3:45)||(★★☆☆☆)|
The Bottom Line (★★☆☆☆)
His voice is awesome, his songs are not.