Friday, December 7, 2007

Screw You (Young Man's Blues)

As you can probably infer from the title, this is no "Your Song".

It's an angry-young-man lament, with the singer detailing the hard knocks he's had to endure, and expressing determination to succeed no matter what.

It's given a potpourri-type arrangement, starting out with a Byrds/Beatles 12-string style guitar-driven intro, mid-tempo with just a hint of feedback at the beginning- then it shifts to staccato guitar licks on the choruses. It's got a trademark mid-70's Beatle-harmonies-style middle section, and rocks out with keening sax as the song fades out in the last 2 minutes or so.

Relegated to the B-side of the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" single and recorded sometime between the sessions for Don't Shoot Me and GYBR, it could have possibly been a good fit on the latter, and certainly would have perked up the first side of the former.

When it was released it was retitled "Young Man's Blues" to avoid controversy over the title.


brendan said...

This 45 must have been one of the first I bought; always thought this made a good, rousing b-side to Goodbye... and it kind of prefigures the later Captain Fantastic concept. Think about it: if the a-side is about Elton saying farewell to all the Denmark Street music-biz types, the b-side sounds like Bernie waving goodbye (and good riddance) to his tough Midlands background.

Hm, I always wondered if Tom Scholz of Boston heard that guitar intro before he wrote More Than A Feeling... ;-)

Johnny B said...

You're exactly right- that does sound like Bernie kissing off his early background- or at least the part of it that gave him a hard time.

thom de plume said...

This is a very interesting track.

The textures during the verse and bridge are quite remarkable.

However, the chorus, which features one of Elton's more pedestrian progressions, always seemed to me to be something of a letdown.

Still, a B-side to remember...