I can’t say that this record stalked me for decades, exactly. I mean, it stalked everybody. If you ever pawed through a used record store’s bargain bin, you found a copy (or several) of this super-pink, super-Peignot cover. It was clearly an Elton John album, the soundtrack for a movie you had never heard of, with no Elton songs you’d ever heard of. (If you were a fan of “17-11-70,” you’d have known one of the tracks, “Can I Put You On,” but that’s about it.) The color is appalling, and I have a strong aversion to Peignot Bold as a typeface that would take me too long to explain (see a lengthy rant here) and says more about me than about the album’s designer. (Also, there are only nine letters in Peignot, but emotionally, it feels like it all was.) Also: every copy you ever saw had been treated with disdain, verging on disregard, and the reason they were in the bargain bin was that they were trashed. Put all that together, and despite the fact that this was really Elton’s fourth album, you gave it a pass. Again, and again and again. I’ve seen this record staring out at me from dollar bins (back when they were 50 cent bins!) for four decades, and never did a thing about it.
Well, it popped up again during one of my recent trips to MaTones. But this time, the cover was in beautiful shape. The disc, also in beautiful shape. And some friends who were Elton fans said they really liked it. I mean: it’s early Elton. Early Elton categorically does not suck. And so I finally gave in and picked up a copy. And . . . it’s an early Elton John album. Quite fine. I’m not kicking myself, wishing I’d been listening to it all these years, I have changed any of the songs to my wake-up alarm, but it’s good, and I’m pleased to have it.
Originally posted 11-5-2020