Not Fade Away
With only half of the original lineup, the band came back with a classic album.
To paraphrase the Ringo Starr classic, it don’t always come easy, and that was the case with Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Elton took his team — lyricist Bernie Taupin, guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray, drummer Nigel Olsson and producer Gus Dudgeon — to Jamaica to record the follow-up to two consecutive #1 albums: 1972′s “Honky Chateau” and 1973′s “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player.”
Pretty much everything you love about Stevie Wonder is here: romantic songs and social commentary; soaring ballads and badass funk. It features Stevie as a one-man band and also shows him collaborating with others (including backing singer Lani Groves, bassist Willie Weeks, and guitarist Dean Parks). He croons sweetly, and he belts it out with righteous fury. He gets experimental with the then-new ARP synthesizer, but also he also plays beautiful piano. And let’s not forget his relentlessly funky drumming.