This should be reguarded as one of Elton John's classic albums. He is in top form here. His voice and his piano playing beautifully mesh together to create beautiful music to Bernie Taupin's lovely lyrics.
In late 1988, Elton and Bernie went to Denmark to begin writing and recording for Elton's next album. The album was a tribute to the great R&B artists from the 1960s' and '70s', such as The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and Ray Charles. The album also includes some personal tunes reflecting Elton's disastrous personal life at the time.
The cd's R&B/Gospel influence is evident on the uplifting and hopeful "Healing Hands", in which Elton proclaims that there's a light where the darkness ends and tells you to reach out for your companion. "Club At The End Of The Street" is a Drifters-inspired summertime ode to a place where people at the end of a long day of work. The song became a top 40 hit in early 1990. When you first listen to "Stone's Throw From Hurtin'", you wonder who's singing, but you soon find out that it's Elton. "Sacrifice" is the only song to shy out of the concept, but it's a classic Elton song dealing with his personal problems at the time. "I Never Knew Her Name" is the song that best fits in with the album's concept, with an uptempo, soul beat sounding like it comes straight from motown. The Ray Charles-inspired
"Amazes Me" is a gospel-tinged ballad evoking the feel of the deep south. Elton is at his best here. The tearjerker "Blue Avenue" is another song that deals with Elton's personal life, and this songs is one of his best with metaphors of lost love. This album is a must-have