By 1972, Elton John was already a rising star in America, although most casual listeners still identified him as part of the singer/songwriter explosion, thanks to the success of "Your Song" and "Levon."Honky Châteauchanged all that, beginning with the success of "Honky Cat," a rousing New Orleans-ish R&B powerhouse that kicks off this terrific collection of songs. This was the album that first revealed John as a pure-pop craftsman, and he's all over the musical map on this set, moving from country-ish rock to blues-based rockers. But the best things here still might be two gorgeous ballads: "Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters" (displaying the young vocalist at his best) and the hit single "Rocket Man" (which had many rock fans debating which was the better space odyssey of the day--this orBowie's). And lyricist Bernie Taupin was revealing a new, slightly darker side here via tunes like "I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself."--Bill Holdship
If you are looking to buy your first Elton John album, there are two ways to go about it: Play it safe and get his first Greatest Hits album, which has most of his classic singles from 1970-1974. Or be a little braver, and snag this, his most tuneful and enjoyable session workout, released in 1972. It's pop music ear candy that's good for the soul."Honky Château" has a lot of fans, and no wonder. It contains two of Elton's most enduring hits, the playful "Honky Cat" and the affectively yearning … more
This recording is extremely balanced. Mona Lisa's and Madhatters is probably the best cut but almost all the other songs add something special. The songs are performed with much feeling and that alone makes it a quality release.