Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Greatest Discovery

This account of a young boy who sees his baby brother for the first time can be perceived as cloyingly saccharine or achingly sweet, depending on your disposition, I suppose. Me, I think it's charming, and boasts a few nice couplets in the lyrics, as well as some clunkers, as is so often the case with many of Bernie's early efforts. Still, as far as I'm concerned, he manages to effectively convey the childhood sense of wonder he's trying to get across.

What makes this tune memorable (for me, anyway) is, as (again) is the case with most of the songs on the eponymous LP, is the Buckmaster/John arrangement- cinematic harp, horns and strings giving way to Elton's vocal and rolling piano riff, which builds to the return of the orchestra and a crescendo at the climactic moment when the proud parents reveal that "this is your brand new brother".

I seem to recall reading in an interview that Bernie based this on an event in his childhood. Whatever the inspiration, this is an overlooked, effective track that many fans tend to have high regard for.


Rob S. said...

I remember listening to this track in college, and suddenly, like a ton of bricks, realizing why it pained my parents to much to see me and my brothers fight. I'd known the song for years, but suddenly it floored me.

ghester said...

I recently listened to an audio clip (Youtube) from a live Elton performance of this song in Portland, OR (circa 2008). The sound quality was poor (and Elton's voice certainly not at it's peak either). Elton mentioned that it was a song written by Bernie about the birth of his (Bernie's) younger brother Kip.

ghester said...

I saw a clip on youtube recently of Elton performing this song in Portland, OR (circa 2008). Sound quality (and EJ's voice) was particularly poor, but Elton describes this song as being written by Bernie about the birth of his (Bernie's) younger brother Kip.