Some Sunday Love: “Pinky,” Elton John, 1974

This is a Sunday song, and this is one of my favorite Elton songs. I’m still someone who likes to listen to the words as well as how they are sung and the music. In this, I am praising the elusive Bernie Taupin‘s lyricism as well as Elton’s phraseology and music.  Caribou, where “Pinky” comes from, was Elton John’s eighth album.

So what is “Pinky” all about? It comes from Elton’s Caribou album, which was produced at the Caribou Ranch studios in Nederland, Colorado.  When I first bought it, I was amazed to find that it wasn’t at all like the double-barreled, double album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, but a rather spare thing, as if he and Taupin were going back to basics. Actually, they were in a big hurry; they only had nine days in which to complete the initial tracks with the band before embarking on a tour to Japan that year. Producer Gus Dudgeon later added back-up voices and other instruments.

Of course, this is the album that featured “The Bitch is Back,” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me,” but I paid attention to this lovely song as well as the amusing “Solar Prestige a Gammon.” (No, I still haven’t found out what was really being said in the song, but it sounded funny.) It made me think of “Sunday Morning,” by Spanky and Our Gang, which was also a waking up song to the lover in your life. Here are the lyrics:

I don’t want to wake you
But I’d like to tell you that I love you
That the candlelight fell like a crescent
Upon your feather pillow

For there’s more ways than one
And the ways of the world are a blessing
For when Pinky’s dreaming
She owes the world nothing
And her silence keeps us guessing

Pinky’s as perfect as the Fourth of July
Quilted and timeless, seldom denied
The trial and the error of my master plan
Now she rolls like the dice in a poor gambler’s hands

You don’t want to tell me
But somehow you’ve guessed that I know
Oh when dawn came this morning
You discovered a feeling that burned like a flame in your soul
For there’s toast and honey
And there’s breakfast in bed on a tray
Oh it’s ten below zero
And we’re about to abandon our plans for the day

Pinky’s as perfect as the Fourth of July
Quilted and timeless, seldom denied
The trial and the error of my master plan
Now she rolls like the dice in a poor gambler’s hands

If you were wondering what luminaries backed up Elton on this song, there is Elton and the two men who have probably been with him for donkey’s years, Nigel Olssen and Davey Johnstone.  (David Hentschel provided the Arp synthesizer later). Olssen and Johnstone are playing with Elton on his latest tour (which will be touching down in Mad City March 22).  On the entire album, however, the Tower of Power horn section is prominent, followed by two Beach Boys, Bruce Johnston and Carl Wilson doing back-up vocals on “Don’t Let the Sun…” And then there are two famous session singers from The Blackberries, Clydie King and Sherlie Matthews, and one of my idols, the White Queen of Soul, Dusty Springfield, is also providing back-up. Even Toni Tennille guested here, while Daryl Dragon (The Captain) arranged one of the tunes. Seems like old home week for this bunch.

If you were wondering about that outfit Elton wore—frankly, that was mild compared to what he wore on stage. And it was the Seventies, when even men wore high platform shoes.  (That new Pepsi commercial starring Elton harkens back to his propensity to overdress.)  What got me was the fur on his chest, though, peeping through that fake tiger skin. Ah, but no. Elton’s always been cute and crazy to me, but not sexy. And with that backdrop of pure mountain air and unblemished scenery, it just hit me as hilarious then. And now we all know why.

~ by blksista on February 26, 2012.

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