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Mon, February 10, 2014
Elton John - Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player
On this date in 1973, Elton John had his first UK No.1 album when 'Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player' started a six-week run at the top of the charts.
Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player is the sixth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released by DJM Records.
This was John's second straight No. 1 album in the US and yielded his first No. 1 single in both the US and Canada: "Crocodile Rock". "Daniel" was also a major hit from the album, giving him his second Canadian No. 1 single on the RPM Top Singles Chart and just missing the top slot south of the border, stalling at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and reaching No. 4 in the UK, one place higher than achieved by "Crocodile Rock". According to writer Philip Norman in his early 1990s authorised biography, Elton, during a party in Los Angeles, John's friend Groucho Marx jokingly pointed his index fingers at the singer, as if holding a pair of six-shooters. John is reported to have put up his hands and said, "Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player", so naming the album. (The album's cover photograph, which shows a young couple going to see a fictional movie, "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only The Piano Player, starring Elton John", also includes a movie poster of the Marx Brothers' "Go West", though whether this was an intentional subtle tribute to Groucho is uncertain).
Once again, the team returned to France to record at the Château d'Hérouville, also known at the time as "Strawberry Studios," which was how the studio was credited in the album's sleeve. The album featured horns arranged by producer Gus Dudgeon on "Elderberry Wine" (the B-side to "Crocodile Rock"), "Midnight Creeper" and "I'm Gonna Be a Teenage Idol", the latter of which was inspired by John's friend, T-Rex frontman Marc Bolan. The horn players were the same ones, in fact, who were used on Honky Château. Paul Buckmaster returned to add strings on "Blues for My Baby and Me" and "Have Mercy on the Criminal". During his Australian concerts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1986, John lauded Buckmaster's work on songs such as "Have Mercy on the Criminal", calling the string arrangements "revolutionary".
All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
"Daniel" – 3:54
"Teacher I Need You" – 4:10
"Elderberry Wine" – 3:33
"Blues for Baby and Me" – 5:42
"Midnight Creeper" – 3:55
"Have Mercy on the Criminal" – 5:57
"I'm Going to be a Teenage Idol" – 3:55
"Texan Love Song" – 3:33
"Crocodile Rock" – 3:58
"High Flying Bird" – 4:12
Bonus tracks (1995 Mercury and 1996 Rocket reissue)
"Screw You (Young Man's Blues)" – 4:43
"Jack Rabbit" – 1:49
"Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)" – 2:51
"Skyline Pigeon" (Piano version) – 3:56