Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tumbleweed Connection - Music Review



I love Elton John's first few albums; Elton, Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across the Water and Honky Chateau. I got off the band wagon after that. Of these albums Tumbleweed Connection is by far my favorite. I love both versions of Madman Across the Water, Take Me To The Pilot is one of my favorites, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters one of the best written songs ever, but song for song Tumbleweed is outstanding.

There's a three song sequence I always played on my old radio show. I couldn't get away from it even after I was painfully aware it was my go to set and tried to change up. It starts with Where to Now St. Peter, Love Song, and then Amoreena.

This is what I wanted from commercial radio and now even satellite radio (during drive time) but somethings changed in the world - its apparently hip to be shallow, stupid and un-inquisitive, don't ponder and stop thinking so much, just watch television and read people magazine we'll tell you what to say and buy. Sorry for the digression but its just killing our Country and World.

Come Down in Time is another beautiful song on Tumbleweed Connection that just reaches me. I think at this point Elton was still trying to be a poet musician instead of just a pop star. Anyway I prefer my life deep, dripping with meaning where coincidences knock your lights out because there is no such thing as a coincidence. Its reflected in the music I listen to and play. I like fun too and there is plenty of upbeat sonic adventures on this album.

But when push comes to shove Love Song may have been the best thing he and Bernie ever did together. I'm not talking sonically because the next tune Amoreena has a great sonic tone, but for just putting it out there Love Song stops all the bull shit and does what we always said we all loved back in the day and tells it like it is. After all that's how I want my life, love, country and world to be....so don't waste my time if you don't have the courage or ethic to "tell it like it is..."

A great, great, great album when albums were made from beginning to end as a whole continuous event the sum greater than its parts and when movies and music still tried to create art and not just distraction.

I hope I live long enough to see meaning come back to being valued at the top of our "pop charts" along with fun and that meaning comes back to our literature, and art, music, literature and theater get reinstated in our schools. Because without them life is just a banal existence, an unexamined distraction fearful of challenging our pre-conceived notions. That to me adds up to being a waste of an opportunity and flat out boring. And someday soon I hope that entertainment gets banned from the news and politics and we get back to creating a meaningful existence for the societies we live in and realize a renaissance in our civilization. We are falling way short of the mark.

Tumbleweed Connection is a great album by any standard. Enjoy and don't worry - that thing you feel stirring is your soul.

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