Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Here's to the Next Time

If the late 60's found the newish John/Taupin partnership frantically trying on many musical hats in order to find the best fit, "Next Time" sounds like an attempt to approximate the British Blues boom a la Joe Cocker, Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, and of course Long John Baldry, Elton's early mentor. Taupin's Rare Masters liner notes claim, while not addressing this cut specifically, that Dick James had been pressuring them not to experiment but to shoot for an Engelbert Humperdinck or Tom Jones sort of sound. The A-side is Engelbert all the way, but the flip is more up Jones' alley.

As with its A-side (Elton's first single release), "I've Been Loving You", this one's Elton all the way on both music and lyrics. Recorded in 1967 and released on the DJM label in 1968, it's a not-bad horn-driven blues with a generic sort of "You can leave if you want but you'll be back, baby" lyric slant.

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