Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, released in 1973, is the seventh studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John. It has come to be regarded as Elton John's best and most popular album, and is his best selling studio album with worldwide sales of at least 31 million copies.
Recorded at the Château d'Hérouville, the album contains the Marilyn Monroe tribute, "Candle in the Wind", as well as three successful singles: "Bennie and the Jets", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting".
The album was ranked number 91 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and placed at number 59 in Channel 4's 2009 list of 100 Greatest Albums.
Under the working titles of Vodka and Tonics and Silent Movies, Talking Pictures, Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics in two and a half weeks, with John composing most of the music in 3 days while staying at the Pink Flamingo Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. Production on the album was started in Jamaica in January 1973, though after difficulties with the sound system and the studio piano, coupled with disturbance due to the Joe Frazier and George Foreman boxing match taking place in Kingston, and violent political tension due to the poor economic situation, the band decided to move before any productive work was done. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was recorded in two weeks at the Château d'Hérouville in France, where John had previously recorded Honky Château and Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player. Only a version of "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" was recorded in Jamaica, but that recording was discarded and the final, released version of the song came from the sessions at the Château.
According to the album's producer, Gus Dudgeon, the album wasn't planned as a two-record collection. In total, John and Taupin composed 22 tracks for the album, of which 18 (if one includes both "Funeral For A Friend" and "Love Lies Bleeding") were used, enough that it was released as a double album, John's first. The songs, mostly around the theme of nostalgia for a more humble childhood and an older American culture as seen through eyes of the movies, included "Bennie and the Jets", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", using memories of a Market Rasen pub Taupin frequented when younger, the 11-minute, "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"; and the Marilyn Monroe tribute, "Candle in the Wind". "Grey Seal" was previously a b-side of the 1970 single, "Rock n' Roll Madonna", and was re-recorded for the album.
"Harmony," the closing song on the album's lineup, was considered as a fourth single, but was never issued, as the chart longevity of the album and its singles brought it too close to the upcoming release of "Caribou" and its accompanying singles that were already being prepared for release. ("Harmony" was, however, popular on FM album-format playlists of the day, and has gone on to become a fan favorite when Elton plays it live, which he's been known to do on occasion.)
The original 1973 LP (and later CD) were released on two discs, while the 1995 CD remaster put the album on one disc as it was slightly less than 80 minutes. The 30th anniversary edition followed the original format, splitting the album across two discs to allow the inclusion of the bonus tracks, while a DVD on the making of the album was also included. The album has also been released by Mobile Fidelity as a single disc 24 karat gold CD. The album (including all four bonus tracks) was released on SACD (2003) and DVD-Audio (2004). These high resolution releases included the original stereo mixes, as well as 5.1 remixes produced and engineered by Greg Penny.
Initially regarded as having some good tracks, but being too diverse, not holding together, and being too long and patchy, it has come to be regarded as Elton John's best and most popular album, and is his best selling studio album with worldwide sales of at least 31 million copies. Three singles were released in the U.S.A.: "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Bennie and the Jets", and "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)".
It was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1973, and 7x Platinum with sales of over 7 million in 1998.
The album was ranked number 91 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was placed at number 59 in Channel 4's 2009 list of 100 Greatest Albums.
According to the album's liner notes:
*Elton John – vocals, piano (1-6,8-17), electric piano (5,6), organ (3), organs (7), Farfisa organ (5,13), mellotron (5,6,11), Leslie piano (11)
*Dee Murray – bass
*Davey Johnstone – acoustic, electric, Leslie, slide and steel guitars, banjo
*Nigel Olsson – drums
*Ray Cooper – tambourine, congas
*Dee Murray, Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson – backing vocals (tracks 1, 2, 4, 10, 13, 17)
*Del Newman – orchestral arrangement (tracks 4, 8, 9, 10, 15, 17)
*Leroy Gomez – Saxophone solo on "Social Disease"
*David Hentschel – A.R.P. synthesiser (tracks 1 and 12)
*Kiki Dee - Backing Vocals on "All the Girls Love Alice"
*Producer: Gus Dudgeon
*Engineer: David Hentschel
*Assistant engineers: Peter Kelsey, Andy Scott
*Tape operator: Barry Sage
*Orchestra contractor: David Katz
*Arranger: Del Newman
*Art direction: David Larkham, Michael Ross
*Artwork: David Larkham, Michael Ross, Ian Beck
*Liner notes: Gus Dudgeon, John Tobler
Category:Elton John albums
Category:Universal Deluxe Editions
Category:Albums produced by Gus Dudgeon
Category:Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab albums
Category:Albums released in Super Audio
da:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
de:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
es:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
fr:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
id:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
it:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
ka:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
hu:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
no:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
nn:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
pl:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
pt:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
fi:Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
sv:Goodbye Yellow Brick RoadThis text has been derived from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0