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Empty Sky Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

3.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 23 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001EG8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,645 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Empty Sky
2. Val-Hala
3. Western Ford Gateway
4. Hymn 2000
5. Lady What's Tomorrow
6. Sails
7. The Scaffold
8. Skyline Pigeon
9. Gulliver/It's Hay Chewed/Reprise
10. Lady Samantha
11. All Across The Havens
12. It's Me That You Need
13. Just Like Strange Rain

Product Description

This was actually Elton's first album includes bonus tracks.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"I looked up/And saw the empty sky/If I could only/Could only fly..."
If Elton only knew what was to come.
The first Elton John, though only released in the U.S. in the mid-70s, after his run of big singles was beginning to dry up, has a feeling more of cleaning up after the elephants as much as it does of leading the parade. Elton's voice, in the notable title track, the best song on the original track lineup, sounds as world-weary as it would on "Blue Moves," recorded some seven years later. The lyrics of ES are less sharp than usual, though the subjects are less the broken relationships Bernie Taupin came to write about so obsessively later in his career, and more in line with pre-teen daydreaming about Norse gods and escape. Maturation was still to come, along with the pop chops and chart-topping savvy.
There's nothing great on this collection to recommend it to a non-completist, it's a little too proggy and twee. That said, a casual fan will find worthwhile things. The melodies are pretty if unmemorable, with songs like "The Scaffold" and "Western Ford Gateway" standouts on the hummability meter. How's this for an unusual complaint for a pop record: Too much harpsichord!
The song "Empty Sky" is the major revelation, because it really showcases a different Elton than we saw performing "Your Song" the following year. It's an interesting peek at the artist behind the showman, just following his muse and trying to figure out what works, and the crunchy guitar licks are pretty sensational, though the song never quite gels in the way of a "Philadelphia Freedom" or "Benny And The Jets."
The best song on the CD is not from the original album, but "Lady Samantha," which when released as a single some months before gave Elton his first (minor) radio success.
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Format: Audio CD
Released in 1969 in the United Kingdom (its American release not until 1975), "Empty Sky" was Elton John's (and Bernie Taupin's) debut album. And what a debut. While nowhere near as good subsequnet albums like "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" or "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy", it still is a must - have album.
Beginning with the 8 - minute title track, "Empty Sky" is possibly Elton's most uneven album. Despite that, it still shines thanks to great songs. Songs like "Val - Hala" and "The Scaffold" show that even in 1969, Elton and Bernie's songwriting capabilites were in full bloom. The song most people will want is the original version of the now classic "Skyline Pigeon". While this version is good, in 1973, Elton rerecorded it using a piano instead of a harpsichord, and it runed to be the definitive version. Also included are three bonus tracks. "Lady Samantha" is a great acid rocker, and is know well known thanks to Three Dog Night's cover version. 'All Across The Havens" sways effortlessly, while "It's Me That You Need" is a gorgeous ballad. "Just Like Strange Rain" is another rocker.
While not as good future albums, "Empty Sky" is a great record. I suggest the purchase of it today.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great album, IMO. Caleb Quaye's Rhythm and Blues lead guitar rocks over a folk rhythm section. Way cool! I love folk-rock a great deal and I think this album has the potential to eb one of his greatest, perhaps if not one of the greatest folk-rock albums ever. Elton really tried everything with this one. It's just I cannot stand some of the production of Stever Brown. One that is raelly badly produced is Gulliver. Another is Sails. It's a rocker, but compare it with 'The Cage' or more correctly 'Saturday nights' since Sails and Saturday nights are both heavily reliant on Electric guitar and Cage relies mroe on trumpets and rhythm. On Saturday Nights when Elton is singing, the other instruments are taken down in the mix and his voice is clear and easily heard above the guitars even if they are rocking hard. In Sails, Elton's voice, the bass, the electric, the cymbals and the piano are all the same volume. These other elements are competing with Elton's voice and when I listen to this record casually a lot of the songs just pass over without me noticing because nothing stands out. The big exceptions are 'Western ford gateway' and 'Skyline Pigeon'. Steve was experimenting on W.F.G. and Elton is coming through both speakers and it rally works and then in Skyline pigeons it's just him, the harpsichord and the organ so Elton's pretty clear. He also got it right on Val Hala, Elton coming in over the top of everything like a voice-over. But my favourite song on the whole thing is 'Scaffold', a really unusual song but lovable, catchy and charming all the same. Sails is also a standout as it rocks and has this really cool electric piano. Lady What's tomorrow is a touching ballad, qutie a conservationst statement. And of-course the wodnerful Skylien Pigeon, I love Elton's harpsichord playing.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I purchased this album on vinyl when it was released in 1975, and was disappointed. However, my disappointment was because I compared the 1975 U.S. release with Elton's contemporary recordings, and I should not have compared this album with anything, because it was Elton's first album, originally released in England in 1969. With time, I have come to appreciate this album for the hints provided of what was to come. Besides those hints, there is some music that is pretty good.
The original album contained nine tracks. This version adds four early Elton recordings, including Elton's first British hit, "Lady Samantha." Note that the four bonus tracks are also included on the "Rare Masters" CD. The additions are interesting, and in some ways are better than many of the original "Empty Sky" tracks. I think that Elton's earliest recordings, though very commercial and pop, had fewer gimmicks and were better produced than much of "Empty Sky," which tried too hard to sound hip and cool.
The title song, for example, has a single guitar riff thrown in that tries to make that song sound contemporary and cool, and just ends up making the song feel very dated and a bit amateurish. Excluding those little idiosyncrasies, the song is a decent R&B song, with a bit of experimentation and several interesting special effects.
There are several features of these songs I enjoy. The harpsichord in "Val-Hala" is interesting and unusual. "Sails" is one of the few songs that clearly link the style of this album to later albums such as "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player." "Scaffold" has lyrics that achieved less than perhaps Taupin had desired, but Elton saved the song by writing a catchy tune that had little reliance on the lyrics.
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