Title: “Breaking Hearts”
Artist: Elton John
Release date: 1984
Favorite track: “Who Wears These Shoes”
There are many shades of Elton John in his 1984 record “Breaking Hearts.”
As cliché as it sounds, it has a song for everyone
The opening track is classic rock ‘n’ roll.
I think “Restless” is a wonderful song from which to start the album. What was funny, though, is while I was listening, I remember thinking, “This song is a bit long.” While researching for this column, I discovered critics, too, felt the song was a tad long.
It’s repetitive and goes on for five minutes, but who says you can’t stop it at three?
Another thing I noticed is a Southern inflection in Elton’s vocals. It reminded me of one of the New Orleans bands I watched at SandJam on Saturday in Panama City Beach.
It’s still a fun listen and sets the tone for the remainder of the record.
I’m attracted to the notion of declaring someone poison, as Elton does in “Slow Down Georgie (She’s Poison).” Lyrically, I like it. Musically, the pop-rock track did little for me.
“Who Wears These Shoes” is a cool blend of 1980s style synthesizers, blues, pop and rock. After listening, all I can say is this should’ve been a single.
There’s a light on in your window
There’s a shadow on the street
Two silhouettes tell me it’s over
The shadow knows the shadow’s me
— “Who Wears These Shoes”
Now, I wanted to like the title track. I really did.
But, I don’t.
The title track, “Breaking Hearts (Ain’t What It Used To Be)," isn't my favorite. It’s borderline musical theater, and not in a good way.
I don’t hate it, but I really don’t love it. One positive aspect is that it reminds me of Elvis Presley.
Is there a better song title than “Li’l ‘Frigerator”? I can’t help but think of the cheese joke, “Is your refrigerator running?” Well, you better go catch it.
This song and many others on the record reveal this bluesy song of Elton that I honestly love. It’s sassy and lively.
I thought I heard a cultural twist in “Passengers,” and I did. The song was composed by John, Bernie Taupin and Davey Johnstone. The music was based on the South African folk tune called “Isonto Lezayone,” which was recorded in 1963 by Phineas Mkhize.
The lyrics are the best part of “In Neon.”
Lipstick and lashes, the traces of stardom
Lit up on a billboard so everyone sees them in neon
— “In Neon”
“Burning Buildings,” to me, was the more obvious title track. It’s still a ballad, but has more depth and passion. This is my second favorite on the album.
“Did He Shoot Her” is the most ‘80s sounding song — flashy and energetic.
The record concludes with “Sad Songs (Say So Much),” a mid-tempo pop track that isn’t as sad as it sounds.
The album cover is perfect Elton John.
Love the outfit. Love the mysterious way the hat hides the eyes.