- Side one
- “Your Starter for…” (Caleb Quaye, Instrumental) – 1:23
- “Tonight” – 7:52
- “One Horse Town” (John, James Newton Howard, Taupin) – 5:56
- “Chameleon” – 5:27
- Side two
- “Boogie Pilgrim” (John, Davey Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 6:05
- “Cage the Songbird” (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 3:25
- “Crazy Water” – 5:42
- “Shoulder Holster” – 5:10
- Side three
- “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” – 3:48
- “Out of the Blue” – 6:14
- “Between Seventeen and Twenty” (John, Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 5:17
- “The Wide-Eyed and Laughing” (John, Johnstone, Newton Howard, Quaye, Taupin) – 3:27
- “Someone’s Final Song” – 4:10
- Side four
- “Where’s the Shoorah?” – 4:09
- “If There’s a God in Heaven (What’s He Waiting For?)” (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 4:25
- “Idol” – 4:08
- “Theme from a Non-Existent TV Series” – 1:19
- “Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)” – 6:43
Blue Moves is the eleventh studio album by British singer and composer Elton John.
For the cover, John chose a picture acquired just recently for his own collection, painted by the Irish artist Patrick Procktor, who called it “The Guardian Readers.” It was planned to provide fifty copies of the long-playing record for the British daily Sun in support of the on-going sale. This was to distribute the records to the winners as part of a reader’s puzzle. Shortly before implementing this intention, the Sun pointed out in an article in reference to John’s mind that in the picture only young men and no women are depicted. Angrily, John then refrained from this project.
“Blue Moves” was the first album that John released on his own record label The Rocket Record Company. To emphasize the special nature of this event, he wanted to publish it as a double album. Support for this project he received by the company EMI, which took over for the first time the marketing for John, although it was known that double albums were harder to sell because of the higher selling price.
With incredible creativity, John released eleven studio albums in less than seven years. However, “Blue Moves” was initially rejected by both the critics and his long-time fans. Compared to his other double album “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, it did worse in the release. The music style was different, the overall mood on the album was set and new talents like James Newton Howard, Caleb Quaye or Roger Pope underlined the change.
In 1996, the album was re-released as a CD. John Tobler wrote a very detailed accompanying text that shows two curiosities. So John was proud that “Blue Moves” was his first album, which was awarded platinum. Before 1976, however, there was still no platinum status. And as songwriters, Elton John and Bernie Taupin are quoted for “Theme from a non existent TV series”. It is an instrumental piece without any text.
The many years on concert tour had left their mark on John. During a concert in Wembley in 1977, John promoted his new album, announcing, despite a previous break in the concert, “I have not been touring for a long time.” It’s been a painful decision, whether it’s on the road or not. There’s a lot more to me than playing on the road. ” It was a painful decision whether to come back on stage or not, I liked my decision tonight – this will be my last appearance, there is so much more for to be me as a concert tour “). Following this, he played “Sorry Seems to the Hardest Word.”
The lyrics of the songs were mostly gloomy and pessimistic. Taupin’s marriage to Maxine had failed, he no longer had a clear, personal direction for himself, which was reflected in the lyrics.
To cheer up the mood, two short instrumental pieces were recorded. One composed Caleb Quaye, the other had a title that corresponded to John’s humor, “Theme from a Non-Existent TV Series”.
“Blue Moves” was not the beginning of a new era for John and Taupin, but the end of an old one.