Sunday, March 30, 2008

Take Me to the Pilot

With its stop-and-start piano intro, chunka-chunka wah-wah guitars, passionate Leon Russell-style vocal and gliding Buckmaster string arrangment, "Pilot" is the album's most prominent rocker and a favorite of Elton fans, especially among the songs on the Elton John LP.

Because it's such a head-nodding rock song, I think a lot of people are able to ignore the lyrics, which find Bernie sending lyrics-readers scurrying to their dictionaries with lines like

Like a coin in your mint
I am dented and I'm spent with high treason


and head-scratching with lines like

Through a glass eye your throne
Is the one danger zone


But it's all right- Taupin was still working out his writing voice, trying to make what seems to be a standard woo-pitching song more interesting- and a good beat can often make the most questionable lyric content palatable.

This was released as the second single from Elton John in 1970, with a little ditty called "Your Song" as its flip. DJs preferred the B-side, and thus was history made.

1 comment:

Roger Green said...

I'm one of them; the lyrics were definitely secondary.