Monday, August 13, 2007

Western Ford Gateway

The Empty Sky album is, more than anything else I think, a showcase/tryout effort by two new collaborators who are trying to figure out for themselves what works and what doesn't. In almost every song, you can find echoes of what was popular in 1968- both sonically, as echoes of the Beatles, Stones, Procol Harum, a myriad of Long John Baldry-inspired blues bands, Dylan, etc., as well as subject matters of love, and peace, and the search for same, as well as the search for ideals of truth and honor in their fellow man and even a Sci-Fi scenario...anything that might catch the ear of the Beautiful People and lead to bigger and better things.

"Western Ford Gateway" seems to be, as best as I can tell, a Taupin musing on the transience of life- not especially deep or profound, but then again Bernie was just honing his craft and would go on to do much better. Elton provides a mid-60's Dylan country-rock arrangement, and it sounds like it could fit on Highway 61 Revisited without too much trouble. It's short and tuneful and doesn't overstay its welcome.


thom de plume said...

Always seemed a bit Lennon-ish as well, particularly in the vocal delivery.

But definitely Dylan.

Vinyl said...

I love this song. I have always wondered exactly what Western Ford Gateway is. It looks like a cobble or brick street near the sea with a bunch of old crumudgeons passed out on the street and a few bars open facing the blustery weather... Don't know why, but that is what I think of when I hear that song.

Bruce Dauphin said...

Don't know why but the chorus is stuck in my head at the moment. It's so catchy. I remember when I first listened to Empty Sky in the mid-70s. I was disappointed. It was so rough around the edges and didn't have any of the Elton John finesse that seemed to take off from the "Elton John" album. The singing, the melodies and even the lyrics all seemed kind of off-key, so to speak. Despite all that the melodies, the harpsichord and everything else about the songs seemed to linger in the mind.

Duane Eberling said...

Darn good tunes!