Early Elton John, 1969-1973

Listening to Springsteen doing This Land Was Made For You and Me, I was reminded of early Elton John. Early Elton John is not very well-known, and he was quite an underground artist at this time, but this music has weathered very well with time.
Have you ever heard the great song by the early Elton John, Skyline Pigeon? This song is off his very first album that almost no one has ever heard of, Empty Sky. The second album, Elton John, is also excellent, though also unknown. Tumbleweed Connection is great, especially the song, Country Comfort. It’s one of his greatest albums of all.
Madman Across the Water is also great, but it’s also unknown. We were listening to this stuff in the mid-1970’s, and at the time, this stuff was very underground, almost druggy, psychedelic music. It was underground hipster stoner music, not really very popular, and Elton John was a cult artist.
Tiny Dancer, Levon and the title track are all killer. Honky Château is also a killer album, along with the second album and Tumbleweed Connection, one of the best Elton ever made. Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time) is one of the great songs of all time and Honky Cat is also pretty cool.
Early Elton John is this wild, great music, often hard-rocking and really weird. It’s not recognized much, but you might want to check it out if you’ve never heard it.
I’m pretty certain that early Elton was borrowing from Woodie Guthrie. Although Elton is English, early Elton is very much American music in the American tradition, especially focusing on the frontier, rural life, the West and folk and country-western themes, although I’m not sure if critics discuss it much. But it seems clear as air to me.

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