The Elton John CD Review

The One (1992)

1.Simple Life
2.The One
3.Sweat it Out
4.Runaway Train
5.Whitewash County
6.The North
7.When a Woman Doesn't Want You
9.On Dark Street
10.Understanding Women
11.The Last Song


The first release of the "second part of his career". This was his own definition, mainly because this was the first album where he was totally clean and sober. This album doesn't necessarily break a lot of new ground, but that's not to say that's a bad thing. If there's anything outright negative to say about this release is that the songs sound a little too similar. Unlike Sleeping With The Past, this one doesn't quite measure up in terms of diversity and variety. Elton sports a new "look" on the cover complete with hair weave. First glance makes you think your looking at the Elton from the late sixties. He uses different musicians from latter releases for the most part, but he is consistent with them on each track.

The album kicks off with two audience favorites, Simple Life and The One. Two songs that remained in the setlists for many of his shows for the next several years, and they were always played back to back as on the record. The former piece is a catchy, rhythmic, train clattering piece that clocks in over six and a half minutes. The latter is one of his most beautiful ballads ever. Another gem is The Last Song which lyrically is quite brilliant, telling the story of a father whose son is dying of AIDS. A well done overlooked piece is a duet with Eric Clapton, Runaway Train--released as a single but didn't really do much. Another very pretty slow song is When A Woman Doesn't Want You which seems to edify Elton's latter style of ballads over rock and roll.

The rest of the album, although not bad in any means, does seem to gel a little too close in style. A listener who has reviewed the music after several listens is still likely to confuse some of the tracks. Elton would go on a massive world tour to support the release, and audiences all over the globe were extremely enthusiastic. With his new "clean" lifestyle, he seemed to endure the hectic touring schedule better and was known to play in excess of two and a half hours on some nights. This was a very good new beginning.

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