Blue Moves

Blue Moves

by Elton JohnElton John


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By 1976, the immense creativity that had spurred Elton John to record 11 studio albums in under seven years was beginning to show signs of inevitable fatigue. Although initially Blue Moves was summarily dismissed by both critics as well as longtime enthusiasts, the double LP has since gained considerable stature within John's voluminous catalog. While comparisons were inevitable to the landmark two-disc Goodbye Yellow Brick Road song cycle from 1973, most similarities in musical style and content end there. John's band had expanded to include the talents of James Newton Howard (keyboards, orchestral arrangements), Kenny Passarelli (bass), Roger Pope (drums), as well as long-time collaborator Caleb Quaye (guitar) and Davey Johnstone (guitar) and Ray Cooper (percussion) from the "classic" early-to-mid-'70s lineup. As the title suggests, Blue Moves is a departure from the heavier Rock of the Westies (1975). Instead, the album purposefully focuses on moodier and more introspective songs, such as the single "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (the effort's sole hit), the achingly poignant "Tonight," and "Cage the Songbird." (The latter is particularly noteworthy, recalling the life of Edith Piaf in much the same way that "Candle in the Wind" had immortalized Marilyn Monroe.) "One Horse Town," which John briefly revived as a dramatic show opener during late-'80s live performances, is one of the album's most powerful and straight-ahead rockers. The lively string arrangement by Howard stands as one of the finest contributions to his short-lived tenure in this band, which for all intents and purposes dismantled after the album was recorded. Other standouts include the full-tilt gospel vibe of "Boogie Pilgrim," featuring backing vocals from both the Cornerstone Institutional Baptist and the Southern California choirs under the direction of Rev. James Cleveland, "Crazy Water," the haunting ballad "Idol," and the set's closing R&B vamp, "Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)." While Blue Moves is a far cry from essential entries in the Elton John catalogue, the bright moments prove that he could still offer up higher than average material. It's also worth mentioning that this effort marked the end of John's initial collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin, who would resurface some three years later, albeit haphazardly on 21 at 33 (1979).

Product Details

Release Date: 01/09/2006
Label: Polygram Uk
UPC: 0731453246720
catalogNumber: 532467
Rank: 550

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elton John   Primary Artist,Piano,Harmonium,Harpsichord,Keyboards,Vocals,Electric Harpsichord
Toni Tennille   Vocals,Background Vocals
Crosby & Nash   Background Vocals
London Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Graham Nash   Vocals,Background Vocals
Brecker Brothers   Horn
Michael Brecker   Horn,Horn Section
James Newton Howard   Organ,Synthesizer,Clarinet,Conductor,Keyboards,Electric Piano,Mellotron,Group Member
David Sanborn   Horn,Saxophone,Soloist,Horn Section
Bruce Johnston   Background Vocals
Davey Johnstone   Dulcimer,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Sitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar,Soloist,Group Member
Gene Page   Strings
Kenny Passarelli   Bass,Group Member
Joe Chemay   Vocals,Background Vocals
Curt Becher   Background Vocals
Harry Bluestone   Leader
Randy Brecker   Horn,Horn Section
Paul Buckmaster   Conductor
Clark Burroughs   Vocals,Background Vocals
Ray Cooper   Percussion,Conga,Glockenspiel,Gong,Marimbas,Tambourine,Triangle,Vibes,Shaker,Tubular Bells,finger cymbals,Roto Toms,Bell-tree,Group Member
Cornerstone Choir   Vocals,Choir, Chorus
David Crosby   Vocals,Background Vocals
Martyn Ford   Strings,Performing Ensemble
Carl Fortina   Accordion
Gene Morford   Vocals,Background Vocals
Ron Hicklin   Vocals,Background Vocals
Michael Hurwitz   Cello,Soloist
Jan Joyce   Vocals
Jon Joyce   Background Vocals
Roger Pope   Drums,Group Member
Caleb Quaye   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar,Soloist,Guitar (12 String Acoustic),Group Member
Ray   Conga,Glockenspiel,Gong,Marimbas,Tambourine,Bells,Vibes
Barry Rogers   Horn,Horn Section
Richard Studt   Leader
Dani Davey   Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Slide Guitar
James ?   Organ,Synthesizer,Electric Piano,Clavinet
Cidny Bullens   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

John Stewart   Engineer
James Cleveland   Director
James Newton Howard   Arranger,String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements,Accordian Arranger
Bruce Johnston   Arranger
Curt Becher   Arranger
Paul Buckmaster   Arranger
Arun Chakraverty   Engineer
David Costa   Art Direction
Daryl Dragon   Arranger
Gus Dudgeon   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Remixing
Phil Dunne   Engineer,Remixing
Mark Howlett   Engineer
John Kurlander   Engineer
Earle Mankey   Engineer
John Reid   Management

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