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Honky Chateau Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 3 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001EGE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,982 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Honky Cat
2. Mellow
3. I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself
4. Susie (Dramas)
5. Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time)
6. Salvation
7. Slave
8. Amy
9. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters
10. Hercules
11. Slave (Alternate Version)

Product Description

Product Description

An early-'70s singer-songwriter classic and Elton's first #1! The John/Taupin mojo was workin' on this 1972 smash, producing the Top 10s Rocket Man and Honky Cat plus tender tunes like Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters .


By 1972, Elton John was already a star, although most casual listeners still identified him as part of the singer/songwriter explosion, thanks to the success of "Your Song" and "Levon". Honky Château changed all that, beginning with the success of "Honky Cat", a rousing New Orleans-ish R & B powerhouse that kicks off this terrific collection of songs. This was the album that first revealed John as a pure-pop craftsman, and he's all over the musical map on this set, moving from country-ish rock to blues-based rockers. But the best things here still might be two gorgeous ballads: "Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters" (displaying the young vocalist at his best) and the hit single "Rocket Man" (which had many rock fans debating which was the better space odyssey of the day--this or Bowie's). And lyricist Bernie Taupin was revealing a new, slightly darker side here with tunes like "I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself". --Bill Holdship

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Sure, there is memorable cut after memorable cut on this album and it spawned 2 top 15 hits, but neither Honkey Cat (at over 5 minutes in length) or Rocket Man was likely contemplated as a formula "hit" single. Elton eventually figured out the formula for churning-out top 5 singles with his trademark hooks immediately following this album on "Don't Shoot Me..." and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". This effort has more in common with the 1971 theme albums "Tumbleweed Connection" and "Madman Across The Water" than with the later two albums which - as much as I enjoy them - were veritable condos for top 5 singles. "Honkey Cat" is one of the most unique top 15 songs in pop history. New Orlean's influenced with a fat horn section and piano and electric piano seamlessly interspersed. This cut immediately grabs the listener by the jugular. "Mellow" and "Amy" recieve interesting treatment from jazz violin virtuoso Jon-Luc Ponty. The rollicking "Think I'm Going To Kill Myself" is tongue-in-cheek jaunt with a tap dancing session to add a twist of levity in the event that anyone took the subject matter seriously. "Mona Lisas And Madhatters" made a comeback of sorts in the movie Almost Famous and (post 9/11) Elton added this memorable song to his set as a tribute to NYC. Taupin is at his lyrical best here - which wasn't always the case on some of the albums during Elton's classic period. Hercules is about as obtuse as Taupin gets on this album - and Elton's song writing and enthusiastic piano pounding saves the day on that up-tempo cut. Rocket Man with it's haunting " Gonna be a long, long time..Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
If you are looking to buy your first Elton John album, there are two ways to go about it: Play it safe and get his first Greatest Hits album, which has most of his classic singles from 1970-1974. Or be a little braver, and snag this, his most tuneful and enjoyable session workout, released in 1972. It's pop music ear candy that's good for the soul.
"Honky Château" has a lot of fans, and no wonder. It contains two of Elton's most enduring hits, the playful "Honky Cat" and the affectively yearning "Rocket Man," along with 8 other tracks that hardly sag by way of comparison. I revere this album because it represents Elton John at his poppy best, the way I came to love him on the radio when I was growing up in the 1970s. Other great songs like "Mellow," "Hercules," and "Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters" add to a rich blend of musical styles that make listening to the entire album a pleasant journey that never gets dull.
Listen to the way the piano kicks in on "Honky Cat," the opening track. Elton's keyboard passages bounce from one wall to another and back again in unpredictable but clever rhythmic patterns, while a banjo throws out odd notes to add to the mix. The aural dynamics continue with each of the songs that follow, never in a bombastic way, but a very accomplished and relaxed manner that testifies to Elton's zooming artistic growth.
Bernie Taupin's lyrics are funny and work either with or against the grain of the melody in each song in a way that adds to their signature diversity. "I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself" is a song that grabs attention for the wrong reason. It's actually about a self-dramatizing teen angry his parents won't let him use the car.
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By A Customer on March 19 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Honky Chateau" has always been my favorite Elton John album, with "Don't Shoot Me ..." a close second. If these two had been released together as a double album, I think they would be even better than "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". As great as they were, the three albums prior to "Honky Chateau" ("Elton John", "Tumbleweed Connection", and "Madman Across the Water") just hinted at what was to come. Although Elton had always used great musicians (Caleb Quaye, Roger Pope, etc.) this is the first album where Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson play on the entire record. For whatever reason, this combo just clicked when it came to playing good old fashioned straight-ahead rock & roll. Add a few Frenchmen on horns and the great fusion jazz player, Jean-Luc Ponty, on electric violin and you wind up with one hell of a rockin' record. If you haven't already done so, check out "Susie" - one of my all-time favorite Elton songs - which just exudes funk. Ponty's electric violin solo on "Mellow" is also something you don't want to miss. Finally, "Honky Chateau" and "Don't Shoot Me" are the only two records I've had on vinyl, 8-track, cassette, and CD. What better recommendation could I give?
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Format: Audio CD
This album sees John heading in a more commercial and marketable direction that finally came to it's own on the next record, and paid off with Yellow Brick road. But a lot of this album is derived from the previous country/folk fusion from Madman across the water, minus the classical music parts. The lyrics are also more 'Everyday' and 'fun' rather than being so drenched in seriousness. My favourite would have to be the album closer, the laid back Hercules. That song is so cool! It's got great production. THis album ahs a more rootsy sound than the previous, too, it's more stripped down, there aren't any string arrangements. There is some excellent gospel/folk-rock in Slave and Salvation, though I'm not sure if the lyrics are cynical or seious for that last one. Honky Cat is just a lot of fun, as is Susie (Drama's), which I think is a really cool song. There is also some great saloon style piano on I think I'm gonna ..., Mellow and Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, though I wonder about the lyrics, someitmes I think they are a cynical insult 'I thank the Lord there are people out there like you'. I find 'Amy' insincere. And then the hit 'Rocekt Man' is a typical product of it's time but who cares? it's a great song and has an interesting lyric. Overall, not my favourite but a great album that is hard to dislike.
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