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Rock of the Westies

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iTunes Review

This 1976 album sustained Elton John’s international superstardom, for good reason. There’s lots of energy, rocking power chords, and pounding pianos, especially on the Who-ish “Grow Some Funk of Your Own” and the punchy, Bo Diddley-inspired “Billy Bones and the White Bird.” “Feed Me” is a curt cautionary tale about addiction, and “I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)” is all slow, tender beauty. Elton and the band dance it up on the Caribbean-tinted “Island Girl,” the biggest hit from a set that just won’t sit still.

Customer Reviews

It's O.K.

This LP has it's moments, But not enough of them. Alot of filler here.

Underrated Gem

After the meteoric streak across the charts that was CAPTAIN FANTASTIC AND THE BROWN DIRT COWBOY, any follow-up should've been expected to suffer by comparison, no matter how good it was. Although only two singles ever charted off of ROCK (the absolutely PC-free 'Island Girl" and "Grow Some Funk Of Your Own," which featured Ray Cooper's amazing marimba-on-too-many-Red-Bulls-solo) there is much to love about this album: the kaleidoscopic "Medley", which ends with a gospel-revival burst powered by the guest vocals of then-scorching hot group Labelle; the aching tenderness of "I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford)", which stacks up to any of Elton's more familiar ballads with Bernie; the garage band-jam feel of "Hard Luck Story" (with Kiki Dee on backing vocals); the slightly chilled spookiness of "Feed Me" (which may have very well been inspired by EJ's problems with drugs at the time). The only song I ever felt "iffy" about was "Street Kids", which seemed like a weak attempt to muscle in on well-covered territory (think of Alice Cooper's "Department of Youth" slightly watered down). But I still have a soft spot for this album, and it's also nice to see a couple of rare B-sides here as well ("Planes", "Sugar On The Floor".)

One of Elton's Best

This is Elton's most underrated, underappreciated LP. It is filled with great hits, great songs and some of his best rockers. It also has two of my all time favorite Elton songs, Feed Me, a jazz fusion number and I Feel Like a Bullet. Well worth getting if only for those two songs.


Born: March 25, 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England

Genre: Pop

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

Elton John was the biggest pop star of the '70s, grabbing headlines and generating hits throughout the world. As it turned out, this was merely the first act in a remarkable career that kept him at the top of the charts for over 25 years. He charted a Top 40 hit single every year between 1970 and 1996, a sign that he knew how to both change with the times and mold the times to fit him. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers...
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