Monday, September 24, 2007

Jamaica Jerk-Off

On the surface, this one seems to be about masturbating whilst in Jamaica, placing it among the all-time great songs about beating off. But to those more observant, like Michael Ritchie of Movie Palace and Mixed Media Playroom fame, it can also be interpreted as an ode to the joys of goofing off in a tropical island location, far more likely.

I think perhaps it could also be a good-natured pisstake at the Stones, who had recorded much of their Goat's Head Soup LP there earlier that year, and indeed Elton and Co. had planned to do the same with Yellow Brick Road before technical problems and political unrest had made it unrealistic to do so.

Still, it's pretty much the definition of a filler track, but Elton and Co. still make it enjoyable with the requisite reggae accompaniment, a bit more uptempo and with roller-rink sounding Farfisa organ added, making it sound kinda like a Jimmy Cliff version of "Crocodile Rock".

Hardly essential, but fun and tuneful just the same.

6 comments:

Richard Marcej said...

I guess you could make a mix tape of masturbation songs.... Jamaica Jerk-Off, She Bang, Turning Japanese,.......
:)

Johnny B said...

She Bop, Pictures of Lily...

We could call it "Beat Music"!

Michael said...

I like this song, and I certainly like masturbating, but I'm not sure this is really about that. It seems to be using the term "jerk-off" metaphorically, as in, to loll about unproductively all day. Sex, if it's happening in the song, seems to be with the singer's "baby" or "darling," so I suspect he's not in need in five-finger release. (I certainly hope this comment doesn't get censored!)

Johnny B said...

Perhaps he's getting a hand job in Kingston Town!

(If anybody censors this, it wont be me!)

I think you're right, though, and I'm embarrassed that it didn't occur to me. I may have to amend this post, with credit where credit is due, of course...

Vinyl said...

I have to say that I consider this one of Elton's worst efforts pre-Blue Moves.... Never got it, and I don't think I will.

BoyDavid said...

The Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album was meant to be recorded in Jamaica but when they got there there was little or no equipment. The group then went to France to record. This song is about the experiences. Reference The Classic Albums series of programmes