Elton John – Peachtree Road Album

  1. Weight of the World” – 3:58
  2. Porch Swing in Tupelo” – 4:38
  3. Answer in the Sky” – 4:03
  4. Turn the Lights Out When You Leave” – 5:02
  5. My Elusive Drug” – 4:12
  6. They Call Her the Cat” – 4:27
  7. Freaks in Love” – 4:32
  8. All That I’m Allowed” – 4:52
  9. I Stop and I Breathe” – 3:39
  10. Too Many Tears” – 4:14
  11. It’s Getting Dark in Here” – 3:50
  12. I Can’t Keep This from You” – 4:34

Peachtree Road is the forty-fifth album (the twenty-ninth in studio) by the British artist Elton John, published on November 9, 2004.

It is dedicated to Gus Dudgeon and his wife Sheila, who died in a car accident two years earlier. The record, recorded in three different studios, is named after the northern part of Peachtree Street, located near Atlanta, where one of Elton John’s homes is located. The cover is a photograph, taken by Sam Taylor-Wood and chosen by Elton: portrays a desolate railway crossing near Douglasville, suburb of Atlanta (symbolizing the intrinsic artistic freedom in John). More photos appear in the CD booklet.

From an artistic point of view, the album sees for the first time Elton in the guise of the only producer (in the past produced his albums but always in the company of another co-producer): the result achieved was very good, following the road already flattened by the previous Songs from the West Coast and inspired by the piano ballads of the seventies, but it could be criticized that its production is quite standard and devoid of particular variations to its classic sound. The songs were performed for the first time at The Tabernacle in Atlanta at the beginning of November of the same year; at Madison Square Garden, moreover, and always in 2004, Elton has dueled with Dolly Parton on Turn the Lights Out When You Leave.

Peachtree Road was critically acclaimed, but it turned out to be a flop from a strictly commercial point of view: it is in fact one of the very few Elton records to have not reached the Top 10 at home (number 21 UK), while United States has just achieved a number 17 (in Italy it has reached the number 25). This was because it was not a commercial album at all: the airy and acoustic sounds were not suitable for a general audience. Peachtree Road is therefore one of the least sold albums of the entire career of Elton John, and perhaps represents his record of unpublished works. Even the singles All That I’m Allowed, Turn the Lights Out When You Leave and Answer in the Sky have not been particularly successful.

In 2005, in the United Kingdom, a special edition of Peachtree Road was published, in CD / DVD and in double LP: it contains three more tracks (The Letter, Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher and Electricity) composed for the musical Elton John’s Billy Elliot the Musical (Electricity reached a number 4 UK), as well as a DVD containing nine tracks of the album performed live in Atlanta.

Weight of the World is the opening track of the 2004 Peachtree Road album; piece with clear acoustic sounds, is distinguished by the curious intro, which highlights a noise of rails, as if a train passed over the tracks (recall the Peachtree Road in Atlanta, to which the disc of origin is titled). Elton is as usual on the piano; for the rest, Elton John Band is present, led by Davey Johnstone (involved in the electric guitar, the acoustic one, the resophonic one and the choirs). Bob Birch, in fact, tries his hand at the bass and choirs; Guy Babylon programs and directs the arrangement, while Nigel Olsson is present on drums and choirs. Finally, John Mahon plays percussion and tries his hand at the choirs. The text of Bernie (the title literally means The Weight Of The World) talks about the happiness and pleasure of Elton, who is finally able to appreciate the simple things in life and live without worry: it clearly explains the verse “I’m happy to see a sunset instead of a line “(” Now I’m happy to see a sunset instead of a line “). In fact, Taupin intends to say that Elton finally manages to appreciate simple and natural things (like a sunset) instead of a cocaine strip.

Weight of the World has received substantially positive criticism, as well as the album of origin.

Porch Swing in Tupelo is the second track of the 2004 Peachtree Road album; continues the style of the previous piece, presenting acoustic sounds inspired by the golden age of Elton’s career (the seventies). John is present at the piano and is accompanied by the Elton John Band, formed by Davey Johnstone (acoustic, electric and resophonic guitars), Nigel Olsson (drums), Guy Babylon (arranging and direction of the arrangement, hammond organ), Bob Birch (bass ) and John Mahon (percussion). The band members are accompanied by a powerful chorus section, composed of Tanya Shields, Alecia Terry, M. Dennis Sims, Rosalind McNight, Carles Bullock, Terrence Davis, Todd Honeycutt and Adam McNight. The text of Bernie (the title literally means Veranda A Tupelo) and speaks of the city of Tupelo (Mississippi) (where Elvis Presley was born and raised).

Porch Swing in Tupelo has received substantially positive criticism, as well as the album of origin.

They Call Her Cat is the sixth track of the 2004 Peachtree Road album; is presented as the only really moving track of the album, with a cheerful and fast melody, based on the piano played by Elton. However, the number of musicians present in the piece is remarkable: besides the Elton John Band, formed by Davey Johnstone (electric, resophonic and baritone guitars), Nigel Olsson (drums), Guy Babylon (programming, hammond organ, rhodes), Bob Birch ( bass), John Mahon (percussion), is highlighted a section of winds, composed by Jimmy Pankow (trombone, arrangement of the winds), Lee Loughnane (trumpet), Walter Parazaider (tenor sax) and Larry Klimas (sax baritone). There is also a chorus section, consisting of Tanya Shields, Alecia Terry, M. Dennis Sims, Rosalind McNight, Mark Ford, Terrence Davis, Todd Honeycutt and Adam McNight. The text of Bernie (the title literally means La Chiamavano Il Gatto) talks about a transsexual (the main character was originally a man, then became a woman).

They Call Her the Cat has received substantially positive criticism, as well as the album of origin. Famous is the performance of the piece in Rome, during the Telecomcerto 2005.