|1. Durban Deep|
|2. Healing Hands|
|4. Club At The End Of The Street|
|5. Sleeping With The Past|
|6. Stone's Throw From Hurtin'|
|8. I Never Knew Her Name|
|9. Amazes Me|
|10. Blue Avenue|
|11. Dancing In The End Zone|
|12. Love Is A Cannibal|
Sleeping With The Past is a mature and relatively low key entry in the big Elton catalog. With Bernie Taupin firmly back at the helm writing lyrics, the duo take a surprising turn into R&B old school style songwriting that is a big departure from the rock and roll sound of Reg Strikes Back, the album the proceeded this release. Who'd have thought this would have been next on the horizon for Elton?
As most fans agree, this album ranks up there with one of his best albums, if not his best of the 1980's decade. I would give Too Low For Zero the edge over this one for his best album of the 80s simply because it had more fun and energy. This is a low key affair and while most of it works, it never rises above a low boil.
Paying homage to the classics 60's and 70's R&B sound, Taupin writes lyrics that are in close relation to other hits from that era. Durban Deep, resembles Working In A Cold Mine and Amazes Me reflects any great Ray Charles classic. These aren't copy cat songs however.
The album was recorded in Denmark, where George Michael had made Faith. Apparently, the studio is state of the art and Elton was looking for a change. But I have to ask the question: How is Denmark the hot bed for R&B inspiration? Of course, Elton and Taupin recorded past soul records in various locations but I would have thought either Philly or Detriot may have been a better choice.Read more ›
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