Friday, December 14, 2007

Sugar on the Floor

Elton gets his Ray Charles on in this soulful piano ballad, recorded during the Rock of the Westies sessions at Caribou Ranch and eventually released as the B-side of "Island Girl" in both the US and UK.

Although its unfulfilled-relationship lyric content would seem like a Taupin warm-up for the angst of Blue Moves, it's actually credited to Elton's '75-'76 cohort Kiki Dee. Accompaniment is primarily John on piano, and Davey Johnstone contributes a Harrison-esque slide guitar solo in the middle.


Matt said...

This is an oddball favorite of mine--I say "oddball" because it's not really a great song, or from a great album, it just hits me in my gut.

Reading this blog has me thinking a lot about a comment Elton made in some interview, where he compared writing songs to "mailing a letter--you lick the postage and send it off." Or something; I'm paraphrasing.

But his meaning was that he viewed his tunes as completely disposable; I know that he has said that if he gets a lyric from Bernie and can't write music for it within a half-hour, he abandons it. (Not sure if he returns to it or not.)

Anyway. There's something really interesting about taking a close examination of these bits of pop ephemera, captured digitally "forever," that Elton wrote in less than 30 minutes and kept in his brain for probably only slightly longer.

Johnny B said...

Well, that's me in a nutshell- devoted to trivial pop ephemera.

Sure, Elton said that, putting on (I'm sure) that air of ennui like a good pop star should...but somehow, I think down inside he must (surely) take some pride in what he's achieved, and let's face it, to present a body of work like he's done, even in collaboration with others, is no mean feat no matter how much he wants to soft-pedal it.

Matt said...

Oh, me too, and I'm right with ya all around.

What I took from the quote is that to Elton, it all somehow exists in the moment--I think he'd forget how to play "Your Song" if he wasn't literally doing it every night, for example.

But to a fan, the songs live on. No matter how disposable "Sugar on the Floor" may be to Elton himself, who may not even recall he ever released such a song, if it gets to me or you or anybody, then it lives on.

Anyway. I'm babbling now. Happy holidays man!

Johnny B said...

That is true, no doubt.

Same to you!

Chris said...

Etta James, of all people, does a really nice cover of this song, on her "Deep In The Night" album.