Sunday, May 24, 2015

Elton John: Rocket Man (1972)

Elton John sings Rocket Man in this 1972 performance; the song is on the album Honky Château, which was released on April 14, 1972.

The song, written by Bernie Taupin, was inspired by science-fiction writer, Ray Bradbury, and his short story of the same name, Wikipedia says, it describing:
a Mars-bound astronaut's mixed feelings at leaving his family in order to do his job. Musically, the song is a highly arranged pop ballad anchored by piano, with atmospheric texture added by synthesizer (played on the recording by engineer Dave Hentschel) and processed slide guitar. It is also known for being the first song in John's catalog to feature what would become the signature backing vocal combination of his band at the time, Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson and Davey Johnstone.
"Rocket Man" was ranked #242 in the 2004 list of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was later changed to #245 in the list's 2010 revision.
In the 1960s and ‘70s. space flight caught the imagination of the world, but all that changed after the Challenger Space Shuttle accident (January 28, 1986) in the United States, which made many not only question the validity of space travel, but also retain less confidence in NASA in particular and space exploration in general. Some excitement remains, notably with the planned mission to Mars, but not to the same degree of excitement and wonder that was evident when this song was written and performed. You can’t go back to the past (not yet, at least), but you can enjoy its memories and what they collectively represent.