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Rock Of The Westies [Original recording remastered]

Elton John Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 10.61 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought


Product Details


1. Medley (Yell Help, Wednesday Night, Ugly)
2. Dan Dare (Pilot Of The Future)
3. Island Girl
4. Grow Some Funk Of Your Own
5. I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford)
6. Street Kids
7. Hard Luck Story
8. Feed Me
9. Billy Bones And The White Bird
10. Planes (Bonus Track)
11. Sugar On The Floor (Bonus Track)

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Although it was viewed as one of Elton John's more lightweight efforts upon its 1975 release--possibly because it followed only half a year after the acclaimed Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (and partially because many thought the album was released to fulfill a contractual obligation)--Rock of the Westies appears in retrospect to be his last great rock album. It certainly does rock consistently harder than any other John album, with guitarist Davey Johnstone even getting cowriting credits (with John and Bernie Taupin) on the opening "Medley: Yell Help/Wednesday" and "Grow Some Funk of Your Own." Lyricist Taupin seems to be going off the deep end here at times with titles like "Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)" and "Billy Bone & the White Bird," but "Island Girl" was another huge hit for the pair. And the CD version adds the wonderful pop gem "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart," which turned KiKi Dee into an eternal Trivial Pursuit answer. --Bill Holdship

Product Description

Hard-hitting rockers and soul-stirring ballads share space on this 1975 LP, yet another #1. Includes the #1 pop hit Island Girl ; the hit Grow Some Funk of Your Own , and more; this reissue adds the bonus songs Planes and Sugar on the Floor !

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated- great hard rockin album! June 13 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is not a weak effort. Elton hardly ever takes more than 45 min to write a song... people say this was rushed...id that is true.. he needs to Rush the next album too!
1. Medley- Good trashy rocky jazzy opener
2. Dan Dare- This is a fun song - I heard it live.. Rocker
3. Island Girl- classic rocker... enjoy
4. Grow some Funk- This might be the best rock song ever..Amazing- Turn up the volume and rock!
5. Bullet- Classic Ballad
6. Street Kids- Up Tempo good tune
7. Hard Luck- not one of my favorites
8. Feed Me- Not one of my favorites
9. Bill Bones- ROCKER! Great way to end
TO sum up this album in a few words...ENERGY.. ROCKIN! enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rock and roll masterpiece March 1 2004
Format:Audio CD
Okay, well maybe not a masterpiece. But very good nonetheless. Elton and his new lineup flex their muscles on what can be considered his last true "rock" album. Musically the album is top notch and Elton contributes some of his most underrated arrangements to date. The first side is as solid as anything since "Dont Shoot Me" and Elton is clearly enjoying himself. From "Yell Help/Wednesday/Ugly", the funky medley that opens the album straight on through the gorgeous "Bullet In The Gun Of Robert Ford" (a re-write of "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" but who cares?) there is not a bit of filler to be found. About the only weak moment here is "Hard Luck Story" but even so it hardly drags the album down. The last song "Billy Bones", with it's Bo-Diddley beat and paranoid lyrics is another overlooked gem that will stick in your head long after it ends. Unfortunately as strong as the music is, the lyrics are somewhat disappointing this time out. Bernie must have been struggling with writers block (or alcoholism) to have served up such weak (by his standards) offerings as the "Yell help" medley that opens the album, "Hard Luck Story" and "Feed Me". He seems preoccupied (more so than usual) with the seedy elements of society, namely prostitutes ("Island Girl", "Ugly"), Junkies ("Feed Me"), gigolos ("Grow Some Funk Of Your Own") and gangmembers ("Street Kids"). But I digress. The music is the big selling point here and makes for a rewarding listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Elton's best albums Feb. 2 2004
Format:Audio CD
I think along with Breaking Hearts, this is one fo the most under-rated Elton John albums [notice how both of them rock?]. But this album is really experimental and innovative, fun aside for the moment, please. The albums opener, Yell Help is a fun country meets blues meets rock, then it seagues into Wednesday Night. I bet you didn't see that coming! How can I describe that song too? It's so weird, then it moves into rowdy bar-room rock for Ugly, then back to Yell help, this time with the boys adding unusual but poppy backing vocals. Then you think the song is over and Kenny, the bass player, does a magnificent solo and then there's ugly, a hard-rocking gospel and disco number. Dan Dare is just as mad, and except for shouts of 'Holy Cow' the lyrics are entertaining, about a cartoon character. Other really cool songs are Billy Bones and the White Bird, about Treasure Island the novel, Feed Me which has a really cool groove, I feel like a bullet and Island Girl you know about! My favourite song however, is Hard-luck story. It's hard-rock meets disco, with Elton bringing some of his own madness into it. It's about a complaining husband who whines to his wife and then she [represented by teh backing vocalists] strikes back at him 'don't give me no Hard-luck story'. Really Great song. Grow some funk isn't excellent to my mind but it's fun. Then Street Kids is slow and a bit too much like Hard-luck story, and it's needlessly dragged out to six minutes. That's my opinion of it anyway. It's a really great Elton John album and one of his most fun albums.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
While 1975's CAPTAIN FANTASTIC & THE BROWN DIRT COWBOY only managed one hit single from the album, the fact that it was critically lauded & became the first LP ever to debut at #1 in BILLBOARD indicated that Elton John & Bernie Taupin had set themselves some high goals for their next album. Returning to Caribou Studios in Colorado, where they recorded 1974's CARIBOU, not one of Elton's finest efforts, perhaps that had something to do with his second album of 1975 being rather substandard this time around. Both albums rock like a mofo on some moments, but especially on ROCK OF THE WESTIES, that certainly didn't mask the fact that the material on the album was quite subpar & that perhaps it was time Elton & Bernie pursue outside work for a while.
The fact that ROCK OF THE WESTIES was another near-dud in Elton's vast career maybe didn't matter to his fans, who helped it become the 2nd album in history to debut at #1 (and the last for over a decade). Even with 3 hit singles, there was little to recommend anyone to buy the album for beyond what they heard on the radio. Some may call it intentionally lightweight, but before this, a lot of Elton's more freewheeling material was much finer-crafted than this.
His 5th #1 single came in the form of the faux-reggae rocker of "Island Girl". Its backhanded tribute to a tropical prostitute is undeniably catchy & certainly miles above GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD's reggae entry "Jamaica Jerk-Off". Even so, I'm sure Elton & Bernie certainly don't consider this to be a personal favorite with their much more prestigious material.
"Grow Some Funk Of Your Own" is appropraitely titled with Elton dabbling in funky rhythms one wouldn't think a White guy could master.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  91 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rocking Fun with Elton July 8 2004
By Lonnie E. Holder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In retrospect, Elton John created a lot of relatively serious music from the start of his career until ""Yellow Brick Road." There were moments when his music was fun, such as "Crocodile Rock" and "Jamaica Jerkoff," but the general tone of his music was serious. Even the often reviled "Caribou" had some of Elton's most serious music ("Ticking") mixed in with the inane songs. "Rock of the Westies," on the other hand, was almost all fun, typically hard-rocking, songs.
The CD kicks off with a medley that's fast paced with multiple changeups and some deliberately funny lyrics. The ending of this song is so fast that you have to wonder whether the speed was helped by some creative electronics. "Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)" continues the fun and silliness. James Newton Howard manages to have a lot of fun with keyboards throughout this song. Silly and fun and a song I enjoy when I'm in the right mood. This song would be fun for a frat party.
"Island Girl" was a huge hit in the mid-70s. The song has some reggae elements to go with the lyrics. Though the lyrics had the potential to be serious, Elton kept the music in the vein of the opening songs and kept this song to the lighter side. "Grow Some Funk of Your Own" remains light and funky and more than a little humorous. There are some good guitar licks in this song and some more James Newton Howard synthesizer sound effects.
"I Feel like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford) is the one moment of seriousness on this album. This ballad about the breakup of a relationship has always been my favorite from this album, and one of the most creative songs on the album.
The next three songs are rockers, but are relatively fun songs. The tone of the sound just refuses to allow any of the three, "Street Kids," "Hard Luck Story," and "Feed Me," to be serious to any degree. These are good party songs.
Admittedly "Billy Bones and the White Bird" should fall into the same group as the previous three songs, but I really like this song and think the lyrics and music were creative. The allusions to seafaring myths were interesting and original. The only thing I do not care for in this song is the repetitiveness of portions of the lyrics.
This CD includes two bonus tracks, "Planes" and "Sugar on the Floor." Both songs are much more serious than the majority of the songs on the CD. "Planes" is bluesy and shows none of the synthesizer silliness that tended to appear in many of the other songs. This song sounds more like music from "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player." "Sugar on the Floor" is even bluesier, and also reminds me of Elton's early music. This particular song is the mellowest song on this CD.
1975 was a turning point for rock music, and for Elton John. Soon funk and disco would be overwhelming the airwaves, and Elton would drift away from the style that made him famous. But for one album we got to see Elton having a good time, and do it thoroughly and well. While much of the music may be among Elton's lesser efforts, it is still powerful and frequently creative, and nearly always listenable and interesting. Worthy of being considered a classic Elton John album.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for remastering goof Aug. 21 2003
By Elwood Conway - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I still have my original MCA vinyl of this baby and while the remastering job is quite nice, there is one audible goof. ISLAND GIRL slows down in the final chorus. If you listen carefully you can hear the pitch slowly change while the CD plays. Don't believe me? Play the last few measures of the song which are exactly like the beginngin ones and you will notice the change in pitch. There is no key change in this song. My LP does not exhibit this problem. Otherwise this Polygram release is wonderful!!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Great Elton John Album March 26 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I remember being a little disappointed when I first heard this CD. Now, 25 years later, it sounds fresh and exciting. It may be Elton's most underrated effort. It certainly is different than "Madman" or "Yellow Brick Road" but that doesn't mean it isn't great. Listen to the opening of "Grow Some Funk" or the ending of "Hard Luck Story" -- it doesn't get much better! I also love "Billy Bones,"Street Kids," and "Yell Help Medley." Heck, there's not a bad song in the bunch. And the two bonus cuts are great,too. I highly recommend it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elton wades through last successful album for years. Sept. 5 2000
By Gary Gardner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
With "Rock of the Westies" (a pun on "West of the Rockies"), Elton was starting to come down off his Seventies' high. After the "Captain Fantastic..." album, he had fired bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson, hired another guitar player (Caleb Quaye) to complement Davey Johnstone, hired old friend Roger Pope as the new drummer, as well as hiring a new bassist, Kenny Paserelli. The results of the new unit were middling. The beginning "Medley" has a muddy sound, the "Yell Help" part of the suite is just plain annoying; "Ugly" admonishes all men who wouldn't have sex with an ugly woman if it was all they could get. Not exactly "Candle in the Wind, Part II." "Dan Dare" is an interesting story about an intrepid space traveller, but is done in so campy a style as to be considered an afterthought, or at least an in-joke. "Island Girl" and "Grow Some Funk of Your Own" redeem the off parts quite a bit. "Funk" is just a darn good rocker and "Island Girl" was a number-one hit (the last for Elton in many a year). "I Feel Like a Bullet(in the Gun of Robert Ford)" is a nice ballad, with a great understated Johnstone solo. The rockers on Side Two display the harder edge that EJ no doubt wished to convey with his new band; unfortunately, bad production and monotonous music,partially at least, did him in. "Street Kids" is good, but overly long. "Hard Luck Story" is a litany of the rigamarole life that lyricist Bernie Taupin was dreading; alternately, his marriage was falling on hard times. "Feed Me" is my favorite song on the album; it has a great hook and conveys the message of insanity better than anything Taupin had written since "Madman Across the Water" (on the album of the same title). "Billy Bones and the White Bird" showed promise, but the mantra-like phrase "Check it out!" just goes on endlessly. The bonus tracks, "Planes" and "Sugar on the Floor", are just O.K. and don't last long in the memory. Though this album sold well initially (probably on the strength of "Island Girl") it wasn't well-received by the critics, and with some justification. The re-issued CD is far superior sonically to the original MCA release, but it STILL sounds muddy in places to me. I give it three stars, because half of it was pretty good. But it is easy to see why EJ would soon lose the sway he held for so long in the pop-music industry. This one remains a hit-or-miss affair.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elton John's best rock and roll album May 14 2001
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Coming close behind "Captain Fantastic", "Rock of the Westies" is a hard act to follow. Yet it succeeds admirably, as one of Elton John's finest during his classic vintage years. Without a doubt, it's his hardest rocking album. The finest songs include the hits "Island Girl", "Grow Your Funk On Your Own" and "I Feel Like A Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford"; the latter his best ballad since "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me". Yet there are also neglected treasures such as "Feed Me", "Street Kids", among others. Unlike his previous albums, "Caribou", and "Captain Fantastic", there's no track here which can be regarded as filler. I doubt I've heard Elton's vocals in finer form during this time, and he sings well with great range and conviction. He's also backed by a terrific band, featuring guitarist Caleb Quaye, bassist Kenny Passarelli, keyboard wizard James Newton Howard (who's now a celebrated Hollywood film composer), drummer Roger Pope, and of course, percussionist Ray Cooper and guitarist Davey Johnstone. The sound quality is better than that on my old LP. This is definitely one of Elton John's essential CDs.
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