Was Elton's band underappreciated???

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by davcole, Apr 30, 2004.

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  1. davcole

    davcole Member Thread Starter

    Wondering what the forum's thoughts are on this one? I was listening to the GYBR DVD-A and it again gave me an appreciation for Elton's band wand what their contribution was to his music!

    The band of Davey, Dee, Nigel and Ray Cooper more than supplemented Elton's music but they made major contributions as musicians in their own right!

    I've always thought Nigel one of the most underrated drummers in Rock music history! One of the things that i've admired about is drummer is for what he doesn't play along with what he does play!

    Dee I always thought didn't get enough appreciation as a bassist! None more evident than when he left the band! That left a huge void in the sound of the band! Listening to how he used his bass to punctuate what was going on in the song show's his skills.

    Davey was if anything versatile as he could play nearly ever stringed instrument there was to play. He was also a more than capable player!

    Ray, his history speaks for itself!

    What are your thoughts on the Elton John Band??
  2. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    Elton made a huge mistake by dismissing them all in 1975. They were a GREAT band!

  3. Mark

    Mark I Am Gort, Hear Me Roar Staff

    I agree. This post is very timely, since Elton just played two nights here locally, and I saw a picture of Davey in the paper and was thinking just how underrated this band really was in its heyday.
  4. Shakey

    Shakey New Member

    Chicago, Illinois
    I saw this line-up way back before EJ had released their(his) ST album and Tumbleweed Connection, minus Ray Cooper I guess. He was not with them when they opened for Derek and the Dominos, but the others were and I thought they kicked-butt. I believe EJ used some sort of tape machine for orchestration and such, so it was just him, bass and drums. This is how I remember EJ and never got into his stuff in any other configuration, but always wished he'd brought along a guitarist that night back in 1970.
    Even so they sounded great and I still like the early stuff the best.
    So to the point, I never knew EJ let them go in 75 and would have to say that was a tremendous error, imo, but apparently that did not undermine his popularity with the masses. I quit listening to him about that time as I remember while in college.

    So am I to assume EJ had them back for his last tour?
  5. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Probably a tad underrated(except by intelligent fans such as we! ;) ), if only because Elton was always front and center, so it was easy to forget how good these guys were...and, not to mention the arrangements by Paul Buckmaster or Del Newman, which were the best you could get during those years. Elton was a major talent, no doubt about it, but the people helping him out were pretty hot, too.

  6. davcole

    davcole Member Thread Starter

    You know after the big break up I must admit that I admired Roger Pope's drumming in a different way than Nigel's (though I preferred Nigel's) however the difference between Dee's and Kenny Passerrelli's playing is nite and day!! Dee was worlds ahead as a bassist over Kenny's and it was a huge step backwards for the band!!

    Dee's contribution was truly underrated!!
  7. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Cambridge, MA
    The Gus Dudgeon/Paul Buckmaster (or Del Newman) team was an EXTREMELY important element of the sound on his classic records...More than anything else, I think it was the removal of these guys from the creative team that resulted in the spottier work that came later.

    Same deal with Neil Diamond and his very talented arranger Lee Holdridge.

  8. Jefhart

    Jefhart Forum Resident

    This was a great band, particularly live. I saw these guys put on some real smokin' shows in the early '70's. I saw Elton on the first tour after he dismissed them (except for Davey), and it was night and day. Dumbest thing Elton ever did.

  9. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
    As a kid in the 70s, I remember hearing chatter on how good "The Elton John Band" players were. So in my experience, they were pretty highly regarded. I knew who Nigel Olsson and Davey Johnstone were, but I can't think of another contemporary solo artist whose band members I had ever heard of in my pre-teen years.

  10. crazywater

    crazywater Dangerous Dreamer...

    Rolesville, NC
    Not only as musicians...

    But Davey/Nigel/Dee's backing vocals were works of genius, IMO. On the Classic Albums "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" there is a section where Davey and Nigel discuss the creation of the background vocals, how much fun and care they put into them. Elton would finish the leads and just leave the background vocals to them, come back and listen and give his approval. I really believe that their backing vocals helped make Elton's sound so distinctive... :agree:
  11. ACK!

    ACK! Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
    They were never underrated in my opinion, and after seeing the Classic Albums DVD, my appreciation of them grew even more, particularly in regard to the backing vocals. It's a shame Dee Murray is no longer with us. Nigel has returned in recent years and Davey has been with him for over thirty years! No wonder he's the musical director.

    As for Elton firing them, I'd like to think it was because he realized he was never going to top Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy (my favorite EJ album) and figured he needed to start a new band. But I attribute Elton's questionable decision to his depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

    He rehired them a few years later and continued with them off and on during the '80s.
  12. bare trees

    bare trees Forum Resident

    Being a drummer myself, I count Nigel Olsson as one of my biggest influences nest to John Bonham and Bill Ward. He tailors his drumming in accordance with the dynamics of the song. The greatest attribute of the Johnston/Murray/Olsson rhythm section is that they used their musicianship to enhance the classic songs of the John/Taupin writing team.
  13. ACK!

    ACK! Forum Resident

    New Hampshire
    The irony is that he really rocks out on "Saturday Night's Alright..." and he reportedly hates rock. I believe I read that somewhere.
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