Sunday, August 19, 2007

Elderberry Wine

"Elderberry Wine" is a stomping, Stonesy rocker that emphasizes the contribution of the horn section of Jacques Bolognesi, Ivan Julien, Jean-Louis Chautemps and Alain Hatot, who had also contributed to Honky Chateau. Their vamping over the fadeout is really clever. Producer Gus Dudgeon, though, tended to lay a lot of compression or some other sort of studio polish to their sound, giving it a pinched quality that sounds distinctive, if not especially satisfying from an audiophile viewpoint.

Unfortunately, Bernie lets his sexist streak show again in the lyrics; I'm sure it can explained by saying that he was simply writing in character, from the viewpoint of some old reprobate who is reminiscing about the "good old days". But lyrics like

Well I can't help thinking
About the times
You were a wife of mine
You aimed to please me
Cooked black-eyed peas me
Made elderberry wine


The bottle went round
Like a woman down south
Passed on from hand to hand

will still raise eyebrows in most mixed company.

This cut was the B-side to the "Crocodile Rock" single in 1973.

1 comment:

Richard Marcej said...

Alawys liked this song, might be my favorite B side of Elton's.