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Sacrifice of royalties yielded British number one hit,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Sleeping With the Past (Audio CD)
Elton's last album of the eighties contains strong R+B influences. Although the album sold quite well upon its original release, making the top ten in the British album charts, this was despite the lack of singles chart action. The first single from the album, Healing hands, barely dented the British top fifty while the follow-up, Sacrifice, didn't even get that high. All that changed a few months later when Elton announced a plan to pair Healing hands and Sacrifice as a double-A side with proceeds going to AIDS charities. This produced the desired results, not only for the charities but also for the music. The British public bought the single in their droves, making Sacrifice their preferred track and taking it to number one in the singles chart. So by giving his royalties to charity, Elton made the very top of the British singles chart for the first time as a solo singer, having previously made it via a duet with Kiki Dee. He had also made number one with several singles back in the seventies.
With its somewhat belated success, Sacrifice became the focal point of this album, which has much to commend it. The opening track (Durban deep) is performed from the perspective of a South African coalminer reflecting on his unhappy lot. Well, I guess somebody has to dig the coal out of the ground but I'm glad it's not me, though in my present circumstances, I'd consider it if the option were available. Actually, coalmining is largely consigned to history anyway (the last remaining Leicestershire mines closed in the early nineties) so it's not an option.
Another double-sided single (Whispers, Club at the end of the street) was released as a single but made little impact. Both are excellent album tracks but I'm not surprised that they failed as a single. Of the remainder, two tracks (Amazes me, I never knew her name) are particularly noteworthy. Two excellent bonus tracks (Dancing in the end zone, Love is a cannibal) don't get a mention in the liner notes to this re-issue, but they are up to the standard of the main album, something that can't always be said of such bonus tracks.
This is a wonderful album although I'm not sure where it stands compared to Elton's many (mostly excellent) albums. If you're a committed Elton fan, you'll certainly regard this one as essential. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some people think that is is Elton's best album ever. There are certainly a few that I rate more highly, but this would probably make my top ten among Elton's albums.
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