The Elton John album he called “the bravest” he made

elton john

A mainstream album requires a certain amount of bravery from any artist. For the uninitiated, it may be simple to string a melody together, but opening up your heart on record and laying it bare for the rest of the world requires an enormous amount of courage before an artist even enters the studio. Elton John expresses his innermost feelings whenever he sings. He is particularly proud of one album because of how much he revealed about himself.

John would never put words to any of his songs to express himself. Because he didn’t think he was any good at writing lyrics. A musical match made in heaven was his collaboration with Bernie Taupin. It was like the poet providing standalone stories for John to bring to life, such as ‘Tiny Dancer’ or ‘Daniel’.

Elton John has admitted on numerous occasions that he does not always relate to what Taupin presents to him. He can still inhabit his songs as if he were a musical actor attempting to put his spin on the lyrics. When something did connect with both artists, though, Elton John would create some of his most timeless melodies. Some Melodies like the nostalgic ode to their childhood love of westerns on tracks like ‘Roy Rogers’.

John wanted to take his music further on his albums after creating landmark pop singles like “Your Song.” He didn’t need to make double albums. Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road would become one of his most celebrated musical statements. It was with tracks like ‘The Ballad of Danny Bailey’ and ‘Candle In The Wind’ that feel like standalone vignettes.

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy saw the duo working on the most epic material they had worked on. They were looking to push his sound even further. Songs like ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight‘ have been edited in various places for radio. But the album is best as each song provides insight into the duo’s rapid climb to the top of the musical world.

When reviewing his discography for Rolling Stone, John stated that Captain Fantastic was one of the most daring projects he had ever undertaken, saying, “I wrote a lot of the songs on the SS France going from Southampton to New York.” I brought the band – Nigel [Olsson] and Davey [Johnstone] – and wrote the songs during the lunch hour. I did so because the piano room was available for an opera singer for the majority of the day… The album was written in running order – from beginning to end, it was a story. And was, at the time, the most daring album I’d made.”

The album would go on to become one of the highlights of John and Taupin’s creative collaboration. But John dared to be even more daring when he first presented it to the public. Following the release of the album, John would put on massive stadium shows, performing the entire album.

The band was proud of their work. But John would later reflect on how stupid the decision was, recalling in his book ME that there were many long faces in the audience when they realized they would be hearing songs they had never heard before instead of John’s hits. Regardless of how the album was marketed, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy represents the highest point of John and Taupin’s collaboration. They feature bulletproof melodies and lyrics that tell the story of the duo’s rise. The rise from tiny songwriting hopefuls to two of music’s biggest names.

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