Elton John “Rock of the Westies”

Most of this record sounds pretty good– and oddly, I’d never heard most of these songs before (it’s one I inherited). At the same time, this seems like a turning point– the band has changed– the sound is a little harder, less innocent– and in the (as usual) excellent pictures of the band, they look like they all decided not to wash until the recording session was completed.

The worst thing about this record is the song “Island Girl” which may be one of the top ten overplayed horrible songs of all time. Hearing it in my own home ON PURPOSE was a strange experience— the song’s enough to drive me out of a bar on Ladies’ Night with Free Mojitos!– or even make stupid statements like that!

The best thing is the picture of Bernie Taupin (who is the one person who DID wash before recording was completed) sitting in some kind of rustic location (or Sears and Roebuck portrait studio) next to some raw wood and an oil lamp. Also sitting prominently next to him is an APPLE!– and a can of Coors! (This was the slightly odd shaped can of OLD Coors, before it was pasteurized, and could only be bought west of the Mississippi. People used to actually take road trips from Ohio to St. Louis and load up the car with as many cases of Coors as they could afford.) You might not remember this, but that can of Coors sitting there, at one time, meant something!


3 Responses to “Elton John “Rock of the Westies””

  1. 1 Renato
    September 5, 2007 at 9:40 am

    I’ve never heard this album, nor “Island Girl.” But Coors, yes. I had heard about that beer in the mid-80’s. I fondly remember Mark Harmon shilling for that stuff on nationally televised commercials, and me getting, for the first time, crap-drunk on it.

  2. September 5, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    I’ve never even heard *of* this album! The song title “Island Girl” does sound familiar, but I totally cannot place the album title. I think it’s interesting how you have been focussing so much on the packaging of these EJohn albums, but it’s true that the packaging of LPs back in the 70s, especially amongst big stars like EJohn was a really big deal. Packaging of CDs isn’t all that much of a big deal these days, I don’t think, though there have definitely been some artistic and interestingly done cd packaging jobs. I have to second or third the mention of old Coors – but I also want to mention the old Texas beer from about the same time called Pearl – do you remember that? One of those two, either Coors or Pearl, had weird little round punch-out holes on their cans rather than the usual pull-tabs. Pearl was one of the smoothest-tasting beers I’d ever had in my young life at the time, so I still remember it really well somehow.

  3. September 5, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    You can not have NOT heard “Island Girl”– maybe it’s just that it’s so ubiquitous– like McDonald’s, automobile noise, and defecation– that you think you don’t know it. If I was to hum it, you’d curse me until it finally left your consciousness. If you step into any mainstream bar, you’ll hear it.

    I remember those punch-out holes on cans of Coors. That was when other beer cans still had the pull-tabs that you removed, and then would end up being extra litter– or some people dropped them into the can before drinking– but I was afraid that if I did that I’d swallow it!

    I also remember Pearl Beer, but I don’t think I ever drank any. If you had some right now, you’d probably find it to be pretty suck-ass. We used to just LOVE Stroh’s! The other day I found myself being nostalgic for (even though we always considered it swill) BUSCH!

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