October 4, 2013

'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' - Release/Reception

The Album

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was released on October 5, 1973 on MCA Records in the US and Canada, and on DJM Records in the rest of the world.

The album entered the Billboard Top 200 chart on October 20, 1973 at #17. Within a month it had reached #1 where it sat for eight weeks. It stayed in the Top 10 for 9 months and maintained a position on the Top 200 chart for an astounding two years. In 1987, thanks to the Live In Australia... release of Candle In The Wind, the album re-entered the Top 200 and stayed there for another 12 weeks.

In the UK, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road entered the UK albums chart on November 3, 1973, spending two weeks at #1 and remaining on the chart for over 19 months. It also reached #1 on the album charts in Australia and Canada.

Later CD editions of the album have included the non-LP b-sides recorded during the May 1973 sessions as well as a special acoustic guitar mix of Candle In The Wind that producer Greg Penny created from the original multi-tracks in 2003.

Chris Welch, Melody Maker 29 September 1973.

The Singles

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road's first single, released three months prior to the album, was Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting). The hardest rocking single Elton had issued to date, it peaked at #7 in Britain and at #12 in the United States and remained on each country's Top 40 chart for nine weeks. The single also has the distinction of being one of the few Elton 45s to have two songs on the b-side (Jack Rabbit and Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)).

The title track came out as the album's second single in mid-October and reached #6 in England and #2 in the US, also becoming Elton's third #1 single in Canada. The b-side, Screw You, was re-titled as Young Man's Blues in the United States.

England and America had two different songs released as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road's third single, each coming out in early 1974: in the UK, Candle In The Wind reached #11, while Bennie And The Jets became Elton's second #1 record in the US (Crocodile Rock being the first). Bennie also broke into the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart, peaking at #15, and impacted the playlists of a number of R&B radio stations in North America, beginning with CKLW (the Windsor,Ontario/Detroit market).

While not singles themselves, the album's opener, Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, and its closing song, Harmony, appeared on the "listener-voted" weekly airplay charts of Album Oriented Rock stations in New York, Boston and other major cities in the United States.

The Rocket Club

Become a Rocket Club member and exclusive news will make its way directly to your inbox. Be the first to know where Elton will perform next and get your hands on pre-sale tickets.

Thank you for joining the Rocket Club!

You will receive regular updates and all of the behind the scenes stories about Elton John.

Launch aborted, something went wrong

Please try again later or check that you are not already subscribed to our newsletter.