Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Feed Me

No, it's not a song written for the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack.

What it is is a Steely Dan-style jazz-tinged track, the lyrics of which seem to deal with drug addiction withdrawal-induced paranoia, to wit:

Don't close the shades
I'm scared of the darkness
I'm cold as a razor blade
Inches from madness

Now, there's no doubt that lots of drug abuse was a significant part of the Elton John (and by that I mean Elton John in a collective sense, not Reg Dwight the person) experience, would still be for several more years, (this was the mid-1970's after all) but it's a bit dismaying to scan the lyrics and get the impression that this was perhaps some sort of observation by Bernie, or maybe even an attempt at a cautionary tale. Heroin addiction hasn't normally been associated with the Elton camp. Perhaps it was a stab at a fictional account, writing a character, who can say.

It contains a passage that only Bernie would choose to write:

Feed me
Feed my needs and then just leave me
Let me go back where you found me
'Cause I miss my basement
The sweet smell of new paint
The warmth and the comforts of home
So feed me
Give me my treatment and free me
My arms are so hungry so feed me

I can think of many things one could bring to bear when describing withdrawal, but home improvement descriptions aren't among them- I wouldn't think. He's trying to contrast the character's bleak situation with a fond memory of his home, but it just seems incongruous when placed with the rest of the lyrics. Oh well.

As stated above, it's a Dan-style, mid-tempo track; electric piano by James Newton Howard, a nifty fuzz-guitar riff from Davey Johnstone and cool BVs from the Kiki Dee/Elton/Davey/Caleb Quaye/Clive Franks aggregate make it sound that way.

Nice track; not a standout- it's a bit slick and repetitive for that- but as is so often the case with Elton the melody's good and stays with the listener.

1 comment:

Neil said...

Hello there. I've been really enjoying your blog - some great observations here.

I thought you might be interested to see this - I sure was!

Also, have a look around youtube - there are loads of demos from the period you're interested in. Also also, don't forget the new, deluxe editions of 'Elton JOhn' and 'Tumbleweed Connection' that have been released. I've been listening to them, and there are quite a few surprises!