Tag: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Grey Seal

Another brilliant album track from Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Making a double album on which every track is a winner is quite a feat, and Elton pulled it off. Most double albums, even classic ones, suffer from at least a little bloat. Even if it’s solid all the way through, there’s still the matter of fun exhaustion, when the listener’s attention spans simply runs out and they wander off. Not here, though. Every song on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road could have been a  single. Even better, every song is different, so it’s impossible to get bored. It does make you think, though, about the ways the record industry has changed for the worse. In the days of vinyl, a double was an extravagance, and the sheer physical limitations of an LP meant that most albums had to confine themselves to a lean eight to ten songs. The physical capacity of a CD is much larger, and online the physical boundaries disappear altogether. Which means that the idea of an album being single or double no longer has any meaning. Today artists routinely release albums of 20 or more songs, even if they only have enough good material for what would have been an extended-play in the old days. Putting out  such a volume of material just because you can is a curse, not a blessing. Not everyone is Elton John, who can whip up 17 chart-quality tracks. Most artists should limit themselves to three or four good songs and another three mediocre ones, but don’t. Too many times what could have been a sprightly short little album of good music ends up a bloated heap of filler that the listener has to wade through to find the handful of worthy material.  And don’t get me started on ‘deluxe editions,’ those unabashed ass-fuckings the studios like to unleash on consumers still dumb enough to buy physical product. Take me back to those times when a gatefold sleeve was cause for celebration.