Tuesday, November 14, 2017

I’ve been listening to Elton John all day.

Elton John, photo by Terry O'Neill
So the new mega-collection of Elton John music popped into my inbox, and I just sort of absent-mindedly put it on. Almost 4 hours later I ended up starting again fro track 1. I guess I had forgotten what a huge fan of his I was when I was a kid, and how often I played my parent’s copy of Elton John's Greatest Hits on our huge “compact” home stereo.

Years later I would get Elton John's Greatest Hits Vol. 3—probably courtesy my billionth Columbia House Music membership—and while it’s got a few upbeat jams I think it’s the sad songs I connected with. I was probably just on the cusp of discovering all the other music with melancholic tinge that would carry me into my “cooler” late teens. But it did the trick.

Of course I also went through a period, probably about 13 or 14 years ago, where I dove deep into his older albums like Honky Château and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, mainly because they were being re-released and I just wanted to constantly pick up new music at Tower Records. Of course the re-releases also meant there were think-pieces reminding people like me that while John had lots of pop hits he had also done plenty of “serious” work, especially in the ‘70s.

This is all a long winded way for me to set the stage wherein I discovered that I think Elton John is musical comfort food for me! He keeps popping up in times where I am feeling particularly low, often without me even realizing it.

I watched the new documentary David Bowie: The Last Five Years on Sunday, and while David Bowie is probably my core musical comfort food, it had me sobbing by the end. So given the fact that I’m feeling a little emotionally raw right now I haven’t really been able to turn to Bowie’s music. So I’m glad Reg Dwight popped up with this marvelous new compilation at just the right time.

No comments: