Elton John - Rock Of The Westies
Limited Edition 180 Gram Vinyl LP + Digital Download
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Rock of the Westies is the tenth studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John, originally released in October 1975 via MCA Records in North America and DJM Records in the UK.
With lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriting partner since 1967, Elton John has recorded more than 30 studio albums. In his five-decade career he has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world, with over fifty Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, 58 Billboard Top 40 singles, 27 Top 10, four No. 2 and nine No. 1. For 31 consecutive years (1970–2000) he had at least one song in the Billboard Hot 100. His tribute single, re-penned in dedication to the late Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind 1997" sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts.
In 1975 Elton fired his original Elton John Band members, drummer Nigel Olsson and bassist Dee Murray, siting he wanted to refresh the band not long after recording his album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. He retained Davey Johnstone on guitars and Ray Cooper on percussion. The new members of his band were drummer Roger Pope, an old friend of Elton's who had played on Empty Sky, Tumbleweed Connection, and Madman Across the Water, and American bassist Kenny Passarelli, who had previously played with Stephen Stills and was an original member in Joe Walsh's band Barnstorm.
Grammy and Academy Award nominated James Newton-Howard, a virtual unknown at the time, was also brought in as an additional keyboard player and arranger. Caleb Quaye was also added to the band as an additional guitarist. He was another old friend of John's from his early DJM session days and like Pope, Quaye had also played on Empty Sky and Tumbleweed Connection albums and produced Elton's first solo single "I've Been Loving You".
The new Elton John Band was introduced to the public with a concert held in London at Wembley Stadium in June 1975, during which he played the entire new album Captain Fantastic from start to finish.
In the summer of 1975, the new band returned with Elton and team for a third time to the Caribou Ranch Studios, Colorado where both the Caribou and Captain Fantastic albums had been recorded. Elton elected for a more upbeat and rockier themed album with the new band and all the tracks were recorded in the sessions at the ranch. Kiki Dee and Labelle recorded backing vocals together with various Elton John Band members. All the songs were written by Elton John and lyricist Taupin, with Davey Johnstone credited on two tracks Medley and Grow Some Funk of Your Own.
The album is great and the playing is first class, and has a very different feel from it's autobiographical predecessor. Stand out tracks for "The Captain" are Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future), Island Girl, Grow Some Funk of Your Own, I Feel Like A Bullet, Street Kids and Hard Luck Story.
The album was produced by Gus Dudgeon, and recorded with the Elton John Band members:
- Davey Johnstone - guitars, backing vocals
- Ray Cooper - percussion
- Caleb Quaye - guitars
- Roger Pope - drums
- Kenny Passarelli - bass
- James Newton-Howard - keyboards, arrangements
- Taupin - lyrics
The title of the album is a play on the term "West of the Rockies", aligned to the recording of the album at the Caribou Ranch studios. This album would also be the last studio album released on his long-time UK label DJM Records. In 1973 Elton John and his management team had founded The Rocket Record Company, and his next studio album Blue Moves would be released on his own record label outside North America, where he remained signed to MCA Records.
Rock of the Westies was an instant success, becomming the second album to debut in its first week of release at #1 on the US Billboard 200 (repeating the feat of his previous album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, the only two albums at that time to have done so), and earning Platinum Certification in the US and Canada.
The album also reached #5 in the UK and #4 on the Australian Albums charts.
This Limited LP with remastered audio and reproduced original artwork including printed insert and digital download code is pressed in Europe on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl.
Medley (Yell Help / Wednesday Night / Ugly)
Dan Dare (Pilot Of The Future)
Grow Some Funk Of Your Own
I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford)
Hard Luck Story
Billy Bones And The White Bird
|Label / Model #
|EU - Europe
|Release Date (Year)
|25 August 2017
|Original Release Date (Year)
|24 October 1975
|Limited Edition LP Record, 180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl, Printed Inner Sleeve, Printed Insert, Replicated Original Artwork, Remastered Audio, Reissue, Digital Download Code
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