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Victim of Love (Remastered)

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Album Review

This thoroughly dated affair is the result of a chance re-acquaintance between Elton John (vocals) and Pete Bellotte (producer). The artist was not fully satisfied with the initial results of the three-song "Mama Can't Buy You Love" EP, which became as much a product of Philly soul maverick Thom Bell as it did John. When Bellotte approached John to record a full-length disco album, he took him up on the offer. This was providing that John's contributions would be limited to providing vocals only. The results can be heard on Victim of Love (1979), a dismissible platter of Teutonic 4/4 rhythms and extended (mostly) instrumental indulgence. None of the seven cuts offer very much in terms of what Elton John enthusiasts would not only have expected, but more importantly, enjoyed. Although the title track was extracted as a single in the U.S. and the disgraceful cover of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" was issued as a 45 rpm in Europe, neither made much impact. In fact, with the exception of the Friends (1971) motion picture soundtrack — consisting of mostly instrumental incidental scoring — Victim of Love was John's lowest charting album to date. Although on a temporary touring hiatus, once John returned to the road, he wisely chose not to incorporate any of the material from the project on-stage. In fact, contrasting the blatant sonic excess of this release, John was concurrently performing as a solo act, backed only by longtime percussionist Ray Cooper. This "unplugged" setting restored some of the good will between John and his audience that Victim of Love had disenfranchised. Thankfully, the artist (and the rest of the music world) abandoned disco as the 1970s turned into the 1980s. His next effort, 21 at 33 (1980), allowed him to begin a long re-ascension on the music charts as well a restoration of his pop/rock leanings.

Customer Reviews

Victim of Love (Remastered)

Certanly a step in a different direction, I find it somewhat bemusing that Elton agreed to this.. Still, it makes for alternate listening.

Non-stop beats pip Kraftwerk to the post

It's widely known that Elton was amongst many artists keen to work with Kraftwerk upon their rise to popularity, in the late '70's / early '80's. But, ever elusive, Kraftwerk declined all offers. However, Giorgio Moroder was also gaining a name for similar electro dance-floor rhythms around the same time, so when his right-hand man, Pete Bellotte, approached Elton, there was already a subconscious attraction. The subsequent album is one of the first albums to feature a non-stop beat throughout, some 2 years before Kraftwerk released their ground-breaking 'Computer World' LP. Pete Bellotte clearly preferred the use of electric instrumentation, as opposed to Giorgio's electronic sound, so the backing is played by an electric band, but with the clinical presicion only heard from electronic sequencers. Some of the playing (particularly the bass) is astonishingly tight! The end result being an ultra-tight, electric dance grove that keeps going through several songs. When I first heard it in 1986, it blew my head off, and was the best thing I'd heard (and would hear) for years! It sounds as dated as Kraftwerk's 'Computer World' or 'The Mix' albums, so it's in good company in that respect! And as for it being Elton's weakest album, well just try and listen to 'Madman...'. Now THAT'S a far weaker album! I've never been able to listen to any more than 1/2 a track before having to take it off! And when asked which was his least favourite album, Elton DIDN'T pick this one! If you don't end up tapping your feet to this LP, you must be heavily sedated! And his cover of 'Johnny B. Goode' is superlative! I simply cannot listen to Chuck Berry's original now without thinking, "...Hmmm, Elton's version is SO much better than this!.."


Born: 25 March 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early '70s. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers with equal aplomb. He could dip into soul, disco, and country, as well as classic pop balladry and even progressive rock. His versatility, combined with his effortless melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and flamboyant stage shows, made him the most popular recording artist of the '70s....
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