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Non-Prog Book Reviews

Elton John

His Song -The Musical Journey of Elton John

Review by Gary Hill

This is the first book review from MSJ, a step that has been in the minds of the staff for sometime. So, hopefully this will not be the last.

A longtime Elton John fan, I was quite excited to get this book and begin reading it. Rosenthal certainly did not diappoint me in her telling of the story of the former Reginald Dwight's life. Indded, the book was written in a very easy to read and compelling way. One word of warning, though. When starting to read this one, make sure you have plenty of time because it is hard to put down. It is easy to tell that Rosenthal has been a longtime fan and also has done her homework. In fact, if you think you know all there is to know about Mr. John, I challenge you to read this and then say that you knew everything in the book. I doubt that even Elton himself could do that. The book is quite comprehensive and really digs deep. One of the definite strengths presented is a very thorough and insightful glimpse into the origins and meanings of the lyrics (mostly Bernie Taupin's) of Elton's songs. I tend to question some of the author's readings of the music, but the lyrical analysis seems right on, and was particularly enlightening to this reviewer. The only other complaint about the book, and this one is really almost splitting hairs, is that it does not come all the way to the release of Songs From the West Coast and Elton's re-emergence to the musical spotlight accompanying it. Still, when writing any biography of a living person, there has to be a cut off point, and with publishing time constraints some of the history will always be missed. Therefore, this deficiency is certainly not any fault of the author, but instead a misfortunate timing.

So, if you are a fan of Elton John, this one is definitely a must read. If you are just a fan of music and enjoy reading the stories of musical artists, it is still a strong recommendation.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2002 Year Book Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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