Songs from the West
Coast is the twenty-seventh studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released worldwide on October 1 2001.
critics have said that this album brought John back to his
piano-based musical roots. He once again collaborated with
long-time lyricist Bernie Taupin
Elton also brought back former band members including drummer Nigel Olsson
This album marks the first time Elton John and collaborator Bernie
Taupin wrote together in person. From the album, "I Want Love" was
a single and a Grammy nominated song, and "Original Sin" and "This
Train Don't Stop There Anymore" also became hits. Stevie Wonder,
who played harmonica on "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues"
18 years earlier, played harmonica and clavinet on "Dark
It was the first non-soundtrack studio album from John to be
released after PolyGram
and Universal Music Group
consolidating distribution rights to his entire catalogue.
vocals on the track "American
", which is about Matthew
, a gay college student who was murdered.
restaurant shown on the album's cover is Rae's Restaurant, which is
frequently used as a location for many Los Angeles-based film shoots, including 1993's True
Romance and 2005's Lords of Dogtown.
partner David Furnish
and his Director
of Operations Bob Halley appear on the album cover: Furnish as a
cowboy at the bar and Halley as the man getting handcuffed.
Elton has said that the inspiration for many of the songs on this
album came from when he listened to "Heartbreaker
" by Ryan Adams
In an interview with Jon Wiederhorn in 2001, Elton revealed that
the album was recorded using analogue tape as he believes "the
voice and instruments sound warmer".
The album was dedicated to Matthew
and Oliver Johnstone, Davey
's late son.
, the album was repackaged as a special edition
containing a bonus disc with
remixes, b-sides and non-album singles from the time of its
All songs by Elton John
- "The Emperor's New Clothes" – 4:28
- "Dark Diamond" – 4:26
- "Look Ma, No Hands" – 4:22
- "American Triangle" –
- "Original Sin" – 4:49
- "Birds" – 3:51
- "I Want Love" – 4:35
- "The Wasteland" – 4:21
- "Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes" – 4:52
- "Love Her Like Me" – 3:58
- "Mansfield" – 4:56
- "This Train
Don't Stop There Anymore" – 4:39
2005 reissue bonus disc track listing
- "Your Song" (With Alessandro
Safina) – 4:21
- "Teardrops" (With Lulu) – 4:46
- "The North Star" – 5:32
- "Original Sin" (Almighty Remix) – 3:55
- "Your Song" (With Alessandro Safina) (Almighty Remix) –
|"God Never Came There" (3:51)
||I Want Love CD (UK)
|"The North Star" (5:28)
||I Want Love CD (UK)
|"Did Anybody Sleep with Joan of Arc" (4:20)
||This Train Don't Stop There Anymore (UK)
The music video for the song "I Want Love" featured and only had
Robert Downey Jr.
lip-synching. The video appears to have been shot in one take, as
there are no edits.
The music video for the song "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore"
featured Justin Timberlake
portraying a young Elton.
The music video for the song "Original Sin" featured Elizabeth Taylor
and Mandy Moore
. It also featured John playing the
father of Moore's character and the husband of Taylor's character.
Moore was the centre of the video, who plays a huge Elton John fan
from the 1970s who is transported by a dream (a la The Wizard of Oz
) to one of his
concerts, where she socializes with various celebrities of the
period (played by look-alikes). Then at the end she wakes up and
Elton's character asks, "Who is this Elton John, anyway?" It also
has more of an upbeat dance mix to the music.
- Rusty Anderson: Guitars, Electric Guitars, Bozouki
- Gary Barlow: Backing Vocals
- Jay Bellerose: Percussion
- Paul Buckmaster: Horn and String Arrengments, Conductor
- Paul Bushnell: Bass, Backing Vocals
- Matt Chamberlain: Drums, Percussion
- David Channing: Acoustic Guitar, DOBRO
- Bruce Gaitsch: Acoustic Guitar
- Elton John: Piano, Harmonium, Vocals
- Davey Johnstone: Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Mandolin,
- Kudisan Kai Backing Vocals
- Patrick Leonard: Hammond B-3 Organ, Mellotron, Keyboards
- Nigel Ollson: Drums, Backing Vocals
- Billy Preston: Electric and Hammond B-3 Organs
- Tata Vega: Backing Vocals
- Rufus Wainwright: Harmony Vocals
- Stevie Wonder: Clavinet, Harmonica