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Matthew Restall

Blue Moves

Published by Bloomsbury

Jul 28, 2020 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Three years after the hugely successful Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton John released the much less successful double album Blue Moves. Yet though it sat on the precipice of what turned out to be a significant career downturn for John, and some critics pointing to it as the first of that downturn, Blue Moves has become something of a lost Elton John classic, an ambitious, epic double LP, which should be regarded at least as equal to the acclaimed works that preceded it.

Pennsylvania State University professor Matthew Restall tackles Blue Moves in the 146th volume of Bloomsbury’s vaunted 33 1/3 pocket-size book series. Restall talks about how he initially obtained Blue Moves as a child, when ultimately trying to procure a copy of John’s Greatest Hits Volume 2, which was released a year later. He sets Blue Moves in historical context both at large and within John’s own catalog of work. He spends much time comparing Blue Moves to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (the Blue album versus the Yellow one). He brings in John collaborator and fan George Michael, discussing the men’s work together, and how Michael’s covering of John’s “Idol” from Blue Moves relates to Michael’s own song “Through.” And he discusses how ultimately Blue Moves stands the test of time.

Restall makes the case for renewed examination and appreciation of this often misunderstood album in the Elton John catalog. Which is exactly what this reviewer did after reading his book. And the album was as terrific as he (and I) remembered. (

Author rating: 7/10

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