Blue Moves

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Blue Moves
Elton John - Blue Moves.jpg
Studio album by Elton John
Released 22 October 1976
Recorded March 1976
Studio Eastern Sound, Toronto, Abbey Road Studios, London, Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, Brother Studios, Santa Monica; remixed at Marquee Studios, London[1]
Genre Rock, pop rock, soft rock progressive rock
Length 84:47
Label MCA (US)
Rocket (UK)
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Here and There
(1976)Here and There1976
Blue Moves
(1976)
Greatest Hits Volume II
(1977)Greatest Hits Volume II1977
Singles from Blue Moves
  1. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
    Released: 1 November 1976
  2. "Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)"
    Released: 31 January 1977
  3. "Crazy Water"
    Released: 4 February 1977

Blue Moves is the eleventh official album release by Elton John. It was released in October 1976, it was John's second double album (after Goodbye Yellow Brick Road) and the first to be released by his own label, Rocket Records Ltd. Despite the album's darker tone and a wave of negative reviews, on its release it reached no. 3 on the charts, partly on the strength of the its biggest hit single "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word".

Background[edit]

Having completed what he described as a "gruelling American tour"[2], John only gave a handful of performances at the time of release, and later announced (during a charity concert at Wembley Arena the following year), "I haven't been touring for a long time. It's been a painful decision, whether to come back on the road or not... I've made a decision tonight – this is going to be the last show... There's a lot more to me than playing on the road."[3] He accordingly left the touring/live performing scene for a brief period, whilst Kenny Passarelli, Caleb Quaye, James Newton-Howard and Roger Pope left the band after the album's release. Newton-Howard would briefly rejoin John's touring band in 1980. Only Davey Johnstone and Ray Cooper returned in limited roles for John's next album, A Single Man.

John has stated that Blue Moves is one of his favourites of the albums he has recorded,[4] it was Gus Dudgeon's last album produced with John for almost a decade. The cover art is from a painting by British artist Patrick Procktor; in the U.S., it was certified gold in October and platinum in December 1976 by the RIAA.

"Cage the Songbird" was a tribute to legendary French songstress Edith Piaf, and a year or so later was covered by Kiki Dee on an unreleased Rocket album, which finally was issued in 2008. ("Songbird" originated as part of the Rock of the Westies sessions, but wasn't completed during them, probably because the song's acoustic, delicate sound didn't fit with the more rock 'n' roll approach of the rest of the songs that made the Westies final track list.) The Beach Boys turned down "Chameleon" (which was written two years prior to the album's release), but Bruce Johnston, a former Beach Boy, performed backing vocals on John's version along with Toni Tennille. John also performed the song at Wembley Stadium in 1975, where he also performed the Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album in its entirety. An excerpt from "Out of the Blue" was used for the closing titles on Top Gear until the end of that Top Gear format (in 2001), this was one of two albums in which Davey Johnstone does not provide backing vocals; 1997's The Big Picture would be the other.

John has played several songs from Blue Moves live: "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", "Bite Your Lip", "One Horse Town", "Tonight", "Idol" and "Crazy Water" have been played during various concert appearances through the years.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[5]
Robert Christgau C[6]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[7]
Sputnik Music 3.5/5 stars[8]

Blue Moves has received negative reviews since its release. A contemporary review for Rolling Stone said the album "contains nowhere near enough good songs to justify the extended length" and that the interludes and instrumentals were done "to the exclusion of sense."[7] Robert Christgau, writing for The Village Voice, giving the album a C rating, described it as "impossibly weepy" and "excessive".[6] Retrospectively, Lindsay Planer of Allmusic said the album showed the "inevitable fatigue" of John's "immense creativity" that had helped create his previous albums of his career.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Your Starter for..." (Caleb Quaye) – 1:23
  2. "Tonight" – 7:52
  3. "One Horse Town" (John, James Newton-Howard, Taupin) – 5:56
  4. "Chameleon" – 5:27
Side two
  1. "Boogie Pilgrim" (John, Davey Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 6:05
  2. "Cage the Songbird" (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 3:25
  3. "Crazy Water" – 5:42
  4. "Shoulder Holster" – 5:10
Side three
  1. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" – 3:48
  2. "Out of the Blue" – 6:14
  3. "Between Seventeen and Twenty" (John, Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 5:17
  4. "The Wide-Eyed and Laughing" (John, Johnstone, Newton-Howard, Quaye, Taupin) – 3:27
  5. "Someone's Final Song" – 4:10
Side four
  1. "Where's the Shoorah?" – 4:09
  2. "If There's a God in Heaven (What's He Waiting For?)" (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 4:25
  3. "Idol" – 4:08
  4. "Theme from a Non-Existent TV Series" – 1:19
  5. "Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)" – 6:43

Initial CD versions of the album maintain the same running order, but omit the following tracks: "Shoulder Holster", "The Wide-Eyed and Laughing", "Out of the Blue", and "Where's the Shoorah?" It has since been remastered and re-released as a 2-CD set retaining the original LP track listing.

Personnel[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Producer, Liner NotesGus Dudgeon
  • Engineers – Arun Chakraverty, Gus Dudgeon, Mark Howlett, John Kurlander, Earle Mankey and John Stewart.
  • Mixing – Phil Dunne
  • Remixing – Gus Dudgeon and Phil Dunne
  • Cutting Engineer – Arun Chakraverty
  • Art Direction and Coordination – David Costa
  • Photography – David Nutter
  • Painting – Patrick Procktor
  • Management – John Reid

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[9] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[10] Gold 157,000[11]
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[13] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://albumlinernotes.com/Blue_Moves.html
  2. ^ Video on YouTube
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ Elton John: Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, 1987.
  5. ^ a b Planer, Lindsay. "Blue Moves – Elton John". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "CG: elton john". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 7 February 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Blue Moves Album Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  8. ^ http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/30427/Elton-John-Blue-Moves.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Elton John – Blue Moves". Music Canada. 
  10. ^ "French album certifications – Elton John – Blue Moves" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select ELTON JOHN and click OK
  11. ^ "Les Albums Or". infodisc.fr. SNEP. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "British album certifications – Elton John – Blue Moves". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Blue Moves in the search field and then press Enter.
  13. ^ "American album certifications – Elton John – Blue Moves". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  14. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  15. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 29 February 2012
  16. ^ http://danskehitlister.dk/?song_id=2429
  17. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Elton John – Blue Moves" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  18. ^ source: Pennanen, Timo: Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 2006. ISBN 9789511210535. page: 280
  19. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Elton John" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on 10 September 2013. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  20. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1977" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  21. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  22. ^ "charts.org.nz Elton John – Blue Moves" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Elton John – Blue Moves" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  24. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  25. ^ "swedishcharts.com Elton John – Blue Moves" (ASP). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  26. ^ "Chart Stats – Elton John – Blue Moves" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  27. ^ "allmusic ((( Blue Moves > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "Album Search: Elton John – Blue Moves" (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  29. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1976". RPM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  30. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1977". Dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  31. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1976 par InfoDisc" (in French). infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  32. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1977". RPM. 31 December 1977. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  33. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1977". billboard.biz. Retrieved 12 August 2011.