- “Lady What’s Tomorrow” – 3:10
- “Sails” – 3:45
- “The Scaffold” – 3:18
- “Skyline Pigeon” – 3:37
- “Gulliver/Hay Chewed/Reprise” – 6:59*
Empty Sky is the debut album of British singer and composer Elton John. In the U.S.A., the record was not released until January 13, 1975, after he had already established himself as an artist.
When Reginald Kenneth Dwight realized that he wanted to leave the Bluesology group to go new musical ways with the music manager Dick James and become a pop star, he consulted with his band members about a new stage name. After tenor saxophonist Elton Dean refused to call him that, he replaced his surname with the first name of band leader “Long” John Baldry. By contrast, both had no objection. The first single under the new name Elton John 1968 “I’ve Been Loving You”. When Bernie Taupin arrived in the music publishing Dick James Music in 1967, played Reggie Dwight, later Elton John, just a piano piece for demo purposes. His first words to Taupin were “Hi, are you the lyricist?” . Later, Taupin said, “We were complete opposites – town mouse and country mouse. But the one thing we had in common was being mad about pop music. And both being desperate to write songs.” But we were both crazy about pop music and we both wanted to write songs. After two cups of coffee, they decided to cooperate.
When they both signed the contract with Dick James Music, John’s mother and Taupin’s father had to countersign the contract because of their minority. The first joint steps were presented to Dick James, who patiently knew how to develop their potential. It should take more than a year until the result could be pressed onto a plate. This first attempt was only about four thousand times over the counters.
Although John recorded a number of well-known songs by other artists in the late 1960s, “Empty Sky” was his first real solo album after leaving the Bluesology group. The album fits stylistically in the Post-Sgt.-Pepper era. With the ambitious arrangements and the lyrics used, it becomes clear that John and Taupin wanted to make a statement. It reveals John’s R & B roots, but most of the compositions are somewhere between a vague psychedelic rock and bourgeois pop-art, which, in the end, adds a medley to all the musical themes of the songs used on the record. “Empty Sky” contains no forgotten jewels, but it shows John’s potential.
The London newspaper Evening Standard judged then: “Nicely recorded but unadventurous … While the music is sweet, the lyrics seem to be self-consciously cultured and ‘poetic’ in a highly fanciful style. To be fair, though, he has talent. When he gets less fanciful and less pretentious he wants, I’m sure, have a worthwhile contribution to make “(nicely recorded, but no adventure … While the music is sweet, the lyrics seem a bit self-confident and ‘poetic’ in to be fair, he has talent, and once he gets a little closer to reality and less uplifted, I’m sure he will make a valuable contribution).