Honky Château (Bonus Track Version)

Honky Château (Bonus Track Version)

Honky Chateau is the pinnacle of Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin’s obsession with all things American, not least because its themes are funny (“I Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself”) and personalized (“Amy,” a sly paean to young lust). Elton’s small group, augmented with some daredevil electric violin by Jean-Luc Ponty, adapts to everything from the New Orleans carousel music of “Honky Cat” to the Ray Charles-ready “Mellow.” Similarly riding varied currents, the man does some of his best singing here; he’s positively funky on the Band-informed “Susie (Dramas).”

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