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Blue Moves is the eleventh studio album by Britishmarker singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1976. It was also his second double album, and his first album recorded by his own Rocket Records Ltd. While giving a concert at Wembley Arenamarker to promote the album, he spontaneously announced "That's it, this is the last one." He didn't say for how long, but he was serious and temporarily left the touring/live performing scene.

Despite the album's darker tone and experimental song lineup, it has held up well with critics and in its initial release made it to #3 on the album charts, partly on the strength of the album's biggest hit single "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word." (A single version of "Bite Your Lip" also made it as a Top 40 hit.) Something of a fan favorite, John has played several songs from "Blue Moves" live. Versions of "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word," "Bite Your Lip (Get Up And Dance)," "One Horse Town," "Tonight" and "Idol" have surfaced in various concert appearances through the years.

John has stated that "Blue Moves" is one of his favourite albums he has ever recorded. It was Gus Dudgeon's last album produced for almost a decade.

Interesting notes about some songs: "Cage the Songbird" was a tribute to legendary French songstress Edith Piaf, and a year or so later was covered by Kiki Dee on an unreleased Rocket album, which finally was issued in 2008. ("Songbird" originated as part of the "Rock of the Westies" sessions, but wasn't completed during them, probably since the song's more acoustic, delicate sound didn't fit with the more rock 'n roll approach to the rest of the songs that made the "Rock of the Westies" final lineup.) The Beach Boys turned down "Chameleon," but members of the group (including Bruce Johnston and Toni Tennille) turned out to sing backing vocals on Elton's version. And "Idol," which describes the bittersweet fall of an Elvis-like star who was popular in the 1950s, ended up being an almost eerie narrative for the sad state of "the King," Elvis Presley, who wasn't in good health mentally or physically in March 1976 when the song was written and recorded. (Elvis would have little more than a year to live, his untimely and mournful death coming in August 1977.) An excerpt from "Out of the Blue" was used for the closing titles on Top Gear up until the end of that Top Gear format (in 2001).

Track listing

Side one

  1. "Your Starter for..." (instr./Caleb Quaye) – 1:23
  2. "Tonight" – 7:52
  3. "One Horse Town" (John, James Newton-Howard, Taupin) – 5:56
  4. "Chameleon" – 5:27


Side two

  1. "Boogie Pilgrim" (John, Davey Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 6:05
  2. "Cage the Songbird" (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 3:25
  3. "Crazy Water" – 5:42
  4. "Shoulder Holster" – 5:10

Side three

  1. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" – 3:48
  2. "Out of the Blue" – 6:14
  3. "Between Seventeen and Twenty" (John, Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 5:17
  4. "The Wide-Eyed and Laughing" (John, Johnstone, Newton-Howard, Quaye, Taupin) – 3:27
  5. "Someone's Final Song" – 4:10


Side four

  1. "Where's the Shoorah?" – 4:09
  2. "If There's a God in Heaven (What's He Waiting For?)" (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 4:25
  3. "Idol" – 4:08
  4. "Theme from a Non-Existent TV Series" – 1:19
  5. "Bite Your Lip " – 6:43


All songs by John/Taupin, except where noted.

Initial CD versions of the album maintain the same running order, but omit the following tracks: Cage The Songbird; Shoulder Holster; The Wide Eyed and Laughing; and Where's The Shoorah?

It has since been remastered and rereleased as a 2 cd set retaining the original LP track listing.

When MCA Records re-issued this album on cassette tape in the 1980's, the album's running order was drastically different:

  1. "Your Starter For..."
  2. "Tonight"
  3. "Crazy Water
  4. "Out Of The Blue
  5. "Bite Your Lip (Get Up And Dance)
  6. "Cage The Songbird
  7. "One Horse Town
  8. "Shoulder Holster
  9. "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
  10. "Chameleon
  11. "If There's A God In Heaven (What Is He Waiting For)
  12. "Wide Eyed And Laughing
  13. "Someone's Final Song
  14. "Where's The Shoorah
  15. "Between Seventeen And Twenty
  16. "Idol
  17. "Theme From A Non-Existent TV Series
  18. "Boogie Pilgrim


B-sides

Song Format
"Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance) (Remix by Tom Moulton)" Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance) 7" (US), 12" (US/UK) (short version), 12" (US/UK) (full version)


Personnel



Production

  • Producer: Gus Dudgeon
  • Engineers: Arun Chakraverty, Gus Dudgeon, Mark Howlett, John Kurlander, Earle Mankey, John Stewart
  • Mixing: Phil Dunne
  • Remixing: Gus Dudgeon, Phil Dunne
  • Cutting engineer: Arun Chakraverty
  • Director: Rev. James Cleveland
  • Coordination: David Larkham
  • Arrangers: Curt Becher, Paul Buckmaster, Daryl Dragon, Bruce Johnston, James Newton-Howard
  • Art direction: David Costa
  • Photography: David Nutter
  • Liner notes: Gus Dudgeon


Charts

Album - Billboard (North America)
Year Chart Position
1976 Pop Albums 3


Singles - Billboard (North America)
Year Single Chart Position
1976 "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" Adult Contemporary 1
1976 "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" Pop Singles 6
1977 "Bite Your Lip (Get up and Dance!)" Pop Singles 28


References

  1. Elton John: Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, 1987.



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