Elton John “Honky Chateau”

I like the title “Honky Chateau” as maybe a comment on the different directions Elton John was moving in at the time, whether being pushed, pulled, and by outside forces or inner conflicts. I like the picture of him on the cover (1972). I think before this his music was wimpier, and even though he is numbingly familiar for all time, I found I was able to sit back and enjoy his aggressive piano playing and singing. Unfortunately, his best songs are dead to me now, thanks to classic rock radio, radio in general, advertising, and our generally dull, lifeless American culture. I can not listen to “Honky Cat” ever again. “Rocket Man” isn’t much easier to listen to– wasn’t that in some damn commercial? Some of the rest of the album is just weak. And the country boy in the big city theme is uninteresting to me. I just can’t find myself caring about this record.

2 Responses to “Elton John “Honky Chateau””

  1. August 23, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    Growing up, I always liked Rocket Man, and was also always getting it mixed up with David Bowie’s Space Oddity. I don’t remember ever really liking Honky Cat except for maybe a while when I actually thought it was about a cat. I did have a 45 of it for some reason, probably because I did think it was about a cat! I never had this (or any other EJohn) album though.

    My parents at some point bought his big Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, probably around when it came out, and I actually still kind of think it’s a pretty good album, all things considered. I mean, whenever I hear songs from it on the radio, I dont’ immediately dive for the “scan” button or whatever to avoid hearing them. I actually even read something earlier today mentioning the song “Benny and the Jets” from it as being ‘among the worst songs ever’ along with MacArthur Park, so obviously whoever was writing that had no idea what they were talking about. I dunno. I can give or take EJohn on any day of the week, but usually I lean toward not caring either way. If that’s even leaning.

  2. August 24, 2007 at 4:34 pm

    I think that IS leaning, toward the positive, though it’s not something you might want to tell him when you run into him at the R&R HOF. Getting Rocket Man mixed up with Space Oddity is like getting Honky Cat mixed up with Honky Tonk Women! I wish Honky Cat WAS about a cat. I wish there were more songs about cats, for sure. There are songs that start out to be about cats, but they always end up being about girls. (or men). We really have to rise up and fight against metaphor and write songs about cats!

    I think Benny and the Jets is one of the BEST songs ever, and so is MacArthur Park. That must have been from one of those “best of” lists that is like 90 percent Beatles and things that came out in the last three years. Anyway, thanks for the comments, and sorry, but– prepare yourself for an onslaught of Elton John!

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