Thursday, August 9, 2007


Even though Taupin was moving away from the Old West and rural-life scenarios of earlier albums, he still had plenty left to write about on the subject. "Amy" isn't specifically in this vein, but it does suggest it as he gives us a subject who's a plucky young 18-year-old right out of a 40's or 50's film, a Mickey Rooney type, or more aptly a James Dean (who gets namedropped in the chorus)-ish sort who is crushing hard on a girl in town with a spotty reputation- and his father, along with the local tough guys, are all trying to keep them apart. "But they can bust my head", John sings, "'cause I love you just the same."

John gives it a distinctive, high-energy accompaniment, beginning with a Stones-ish intro with congas and piano at the beginning, then a saucy guitar lick. However, the most notable sound in the mix belongs to Jazz violinist and occasional '70s Zappa sideman Jean-Luc Ponty, who propels the song along with a gliding lick that turns manic as the music becomes more urgent and aggressive during and after the "Amy, I may not be James Dean..." chorus. Elton's vocals match the push and pull of the rhythm; cajoling during the verses, and clipped during the chorus.

It never gets any attention when this album is discussed, understandable due to the several notable tracks on Chateau, but this has always been one of my favorite cuts on this LP.

1 comment:

thom de plume said...

Romper boots and jeans, indeed.

It's great.