Rock Is Right!
Only Davey Johnstone (guitarist) and Ray Cooper (percussionist) remain from the classic Elton John band line-up from 1972-1975, but Elton and Taupin were on such a roll at this point, virtually any new musicians could have stepped right in and have kept the momentum going.
Joining Davey and Ray, are James Newton-Howard on keyboards, Kenny Passerelli on bass and Caleb Quaye on guitars. But producer, Gus Dudgeon returned and handled the production duties once again and created Elton’s hardest rocking album to date.
Ironically though, it was the pure pop of Island Girl that became the smash hit from the album. With only one ballad, the gorgeous I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford), Rock Of The Westies seemed determined to have fun and yet none of it feels forced.
The opening number, three songs tied together under the guise “Medley (Yell Help, Wednesday, Ugly)”, sound like no other opening track on an Elton John album. One really has to hear this rocking track to understand. I suspect Paul McCartney would have been proud since he was known for stringing together multiple songs with effective musical bridges. Street Kids and Grow Some Funk Of Your Own keep the rock-n-roll strong with great piano riffs and lots of layered guitars. Dan Dare, about a popular comic strip character widely known in England is loose and a little goofy, while Billy Bones And The White Bird finishes the album on a bouncy high note.
Rock Of The Westies doesn’t feature many heavy lyrics but I don’t think that was the intention anyway.
Did I mention this album rocks?
By Lewis alder
This album is not like captain fantastic if that's what your looking for its good in it own way with songs like grow some funk of your own and dan dare (pilot of the future). I ownly think that theirs one filler the medley. So buy it then buy breaking hearts cause you will probably like that album too. -alder
By Radiant Music
I grew up with this album and listened to it all the time. Great songs by an amazing artist!! with a passion for great songwriting with Bernie Taupin. It still sounds amazing today with real musicians playing together. Elton had a new band for this album but they play amazing and it is all about the songs. Great Album!!
It's Elton, and it is way better than most people say!
By R.A.G. oldies fan
I don't understand why so many people are so down on this album, because the songwriting is some of Elton's best, and his revamped backing band delivers a driving performance! Perhaps because this album isn't played on by his original backing band members Nigel Olssen and Dee Murray, or more likely because of how good it's predecessors were is the reason why this record has been slammed by so many. You have to approach this album with an open mind, but if you do, it will soon grow its funk on you (pardon the pun). I wish people would give this album more credit for songs like Feed Me, Street Kids, Billy Bones and the White Bird, the opening Medley, and Dan Dare. If you are an Elton fan, or are braver in your muiscal selections, you will love this album, great buy!!
The album that made me an Elton fan
It was here, all those years ago, that I began to listen to Elton, not by the individual songs but the whole cassette...and this was one of the first downloads I made when I got my ipod. It never fails me to this day and the music still is as good as I remember those 35 years ago.
Rock of the Westies
It grows on you; it's taken over 30 years for me to fully appreciate it. No, it's not CFATBDC or even Blue Moves, but it has an energy not found on other EJ albums. Faves: Hard Luck Story, Dan Dare and the wonderful opening Medley.
It All Depends.
By Watch the romantic comedy "I'm With Lucy"
How big an Elton fan are you? If you enjoy his music but DON'T need every album he's released, don't buy this one. If you're a big Elton fan, ask yourself: "Do I already own Tumbleweed, Yellow Brick Road, Honkey Chateau, Captain Fantastic, 11-17-70, Madman, Don't Shoot Me, Elton John (the 1970 LP) and even Caribou? If your answer is yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes, then I'd buy Rock of The Westies. It has some good songs (Island Girl, Grow Some Funk, I Feel Like A Bullet, etc.), but my "review" of this album is really more of an endorsement of 9 better LP's. At least that's my opinion.
Not one of Elton's best efforts.
This is a so-so effort from Elton. I think even Elton has distanced himself from this one. He rarely pulls from this album for his live shows even thought "Island Girl" was a big hit for him and would be a crowd pleaser. "I Feel Like A Bullet in the Gun Of Robert Ford" is by far the best track here and one of Bernie's best lyrics. Elton revamped his band for this album and it just seems louder and noisier.
Even though I am not an Elton John fan, I love ths song Street Kids!
I'm a huge EJ fan, however when Elton took a perfect formula and trashed it in the form of hiring a brand new band after the highly successful CFBDC album he completely lost me. This is not one of my favorite EJ albums. Not worth buying.