The Elton John CD Review

Made In England (1995)

2.Made in England


Arguably his best work of the 1990's. This was his first "full fledged" release in over three years, writing all the material with Bernie Taupin and assembling a "new" Elton John Band that he would record and tour (Bob Birch, Guy Babylon, Charlie Morgan, Ray Cooper and Davey Johnstone). His new producer, Greg Penny, doesn't drop the ball either. This is the most diverse, while coherent, work from Elton for quite some time.

Bernie stated in an interview, that, in the past, when handing off lyrics to Elton, he never really had much of a voice in how the songs would eventually sound. Their partnership and now evolved to where Bernie now encouraged that the music be of a certain style. This is apparent on the first track Believe with Taupin wanted to be in the style of John Lennon's "Imagine". Whether or not that was actually accomplished on this particular song depends on the listener's point of view. What can't be argued is that the song, as well as most of the album, is quite beautiful. The title cut (ironically the only song that didn't have a one word title) is, like Someone Saved My Life Tonight, written by Bernie, but the lyrics are about Elton. Again the track is excellent. For softer songs we have Blessed and House, the former about a "future" child of Bernie's, the latter is about Elton's drug dependent days of seclusion. Beautiful lyrics on this one as well. He has some great rock numbers as well: Pain is a great sing alonger at concerts and Lies is great fresh air as well. His middle of the road songs do justice, as noted on Please and to somewhat lesser extent, Latitude. The diamond in the rough here is Belfast which is done very similar to Tonight from Blue Moves, with rich orchestration to accompany the piece.

Although everyone has they're favorites, the only two songs that didn't quite live up to expectations for me were Cold and Man. They sounded a little too familiar and predictable. This can easily be overlooked though. This is definitely a memorable release.

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