Shuffle: Someone Saved My Life Tonight

21Jan08

Shuffle is a regular feature used to discuss songs that come up in my ipod on shuffle mode, or songs that I will take poetic license to say I did because I feel like writing about them.

To be honest, I didn’t even think this was one of the 15-20 Elton John songs in my ipod. And when it came up, it seemed like an obvious delete. But I’m always stunned when I hear something new in a pop song I’ve heard at least two dozen times in as many years.  Maybe it’s because this is the pushing-7-minute album version, but I never before caught that 2 1/2 minutes into his plaint, he tunefully exhales “It’s four o’clock in the morning, dammit!”  Back when he was good, before his late-70s fall, his (and Bernie Taupin’s) eccentricities were genuine even when they seemed willful. Sticking something like that in the middle of a sentimental ballad wasn’t perversity, just their way of stretching the parameters, of trying to make the sentiment more lifelike.

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