Sunday, December 9, 2007

Skyline Pigeon

This stately, inspirational track once again revisits the overriding theme of the Sky album, which is of course freedom and escape from restriction, oppression, and in the case of this lyric:

For this dark and lonely room
Projects a shadow cast in gloom
And my eyes are mirrors
Of the world outside
Thinking of the way
That the wind can turn the tide
And these shadows turn
From purple into grey

...boredom, perhaps.

As with GYBR's "Grey Seal", it was released in two different versions. The first, on Empty Sky, is performed solely by Elton on harpsichord, which makes it sound like some sort of processional. In 1972 it was decided to revisit the track, and it was recorded this time during the sessions for Don't Shoot Me (at the same session which begat "Crocodile Rock", "Elderberry Wine" and "Daniel") with full guitar/bass/drums band accompaniment, making it seem a little less baroque but no less hymnlike. This version didn't make it onto the Piano Player album, however, instead emerging as the b-side of "Daniel" in January 1973.


brendan said...

There was a nice live version of this - done solo at the piano IIRC - on the Here and There live album too.

Johnny Bacardi said...

I'm sure I heard Here and There, well, here and there (heh) back in the 70's when it came out...but it didn't impress me much so I've never bothered to buy it. However, since I started this blog, I've had several people mention that this song or that one had a good version on that record- so now I'm thinking maybe I should try to track down a copy.

jabartlett said...

"Here and There" is so much better in its expanded CD configuration that there's almost no comparison to the original. The New York side of "Here and There" was recorded during the show at which John Lennon appeared, yet none of his tracks appear on the original album, and his appearance isn't even mentioned in the original liner notes. That's mighty strange, because his appearance was the single most memorable thing about the show, even at the time "Here and There" was released, in 1976. The expanded CD adds those tracks and others, and also expands the London side. So I'd go buy it, yeah.


Gary Allen Vollink said...

The lyrics noted, I have always felt go along with the theme of being caged. It starts with, "turn me loose," and the second verse ends with, "Open out this cage towards the sun."

Johnny Bacardi said...

That was a common theme in their early albums, and it didn't really go away until they had established themselves.