Elton John – Reg Strikes Back Album

Side one

  1. Town of Plenty” – 3:40
  2. A Word in Spanish” – 4:39
  3. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Part Two” – 4:12
  4. I Don’t Wanna Go On with You Like That” – 4:35
  5. Japanese Hands” – 4:40

Side two

  1. Goodbye Marlon Brando” – 3:30
  2. The Camera Never Lies” – 4:36
  3. Heavy Traffic” (John, Taupin, Davey Johnstone) – 3:30
  4. Poor Cow” – 3:50
  5. Since God Invented Girls” – 4:54

Reg Strikes Back is the twenty-ninth album (the twenty-first in the studio) by the British artist Elton John, published in June 1988.

1987 is a year to forget for Pinner’s pianist: in fact, after having faced a complicated throat operation, his voice becomes rosier and loses the characteristic falsetto previously exhibited in many songs. Elton divorces Renate Blauel just as alcohol and drug addiction exacerbates; he is also involved by the Sun in false sex and drug scandals, while Watford relentlessly relegates to the category. With the production of this record, the rockstar intends to break with his tormented and turbulent past and fight against the ghosts that overwhelm his life for too long. After winning the defamation lawsuit against the Sun (which compensates him and makes a public apology), Elton puts up for auction the numerous stage costumes exhibited throughout his career: they are present in bulk on the cover of this album , whose name literally means Reg (diminutive of its name Reginald) strikes again, but the expression also means “counterattack, reacts”.

The LP is recorded at Air Studios in London. It is totally devoid of orchestral arrangements, while the production is entrusted again to Chris Thomas. Elton plays a Roland electric piano instead of the usual grand piano. The pop rock songs are well received by critics. This is also the last album by Elton John in which he appears the historic bassist Dee Murray (for the precision in the choirs).

The album does not go beyond a number 18 at home, but at number 2 in the US the single I Do not Wanna Go on with You Like That; among other things, it proves to be a great success in Italy (albeit after several months from publication), obtaining a number 3 thanks to the other A Word in Spanish excerpt, which Elton performs at the Sanremo Festival in 1989. However, another single, Town of Plenty, had already been chosen as a closing video of a broadcast for young people of RAI (Big!). Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Part Two) is also published, a logical continuation of the first Mona Lisas (but only at the text level).

In 1998 the remastered version of Reg Strikes Back was published, containing four bonus tracks.