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  • Rock of the Westies

    Released just four months after his autobiographical opus Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Elton John’s Rock of the Westies (1975) also debuted at number one on the US Billboard charts. Taking a more fun, hard-rocking approach, it features the Caribbean-flavored hit “Island Girl,” as well as a new band. With the departure of long-time bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson, John hired James Newton Howard (keyboards), Kenny Passarelli (bass), Roger Pope (drums), and Caleb Quaye (guitar), who joined returning members Davey Johnstone (guitar) and Ray Cooper (percussion). The new rhythm section gives the album its harder edge (“Street Kids,” “Grow Some Funk of Your Own”), effectively contrasted with the serious ballad “I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford).” Kiki Dee and Labelle contribute backing vocals on the album, and the soulful boogie “Hard Luck Story” is credited to Ann Olson/Carte Blanche – “An horse and cart, Blanche” – the name John would use when he composed both the music and lyrics on his own.

    Rock of the Westies Catalog Number: MCA-2163

    Rock of the Westies Track Listing:

    Side One

    1. Medley (Yell Help, Wednesday Night, Ugly) – 6:30

    2. Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future) – 3:25

    3. Island Girl – 3:45

    4. Grow Some Funk of Your Own – 4:45

    5. I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford) – 5:30

    Side Two

    1. Street Kids – 6:30

    2. Hard Luck Story – 5:05

    3. Feed Me – 4:00

    4. Billy Bones and the White Bird – 4:25

    Get Rock of the Westies on Vinyl:

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