“Now I know, Spanish Harlem are not just pretty words to say”
That lyric has been bouncing around in my head for weeks after hearing Heart cover it at a recent concert. The song is Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.
From the 1972 album Honky Château, this is one of my all time favorite Elton John songs:
“I thought I knew, but now I know that rose trees never grow in New York City”
This record has the hits Honky Cat and Rocket Man on side A. Besides Mona Lisas, another standout track on side B is Slave, his take on Antebellum America:
“Until you’ve seen this trash can dream come true, You stand at the edge, while people run you through”
Honky Château continues Elton John’s departure from balladeer towards bandleader. This is his first record to feature his touring band, Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson exclusively on an album. There is even a spot on the album cover devoted to violinist Jean-Luc Ponty as a band member (even though he only appeared on two of the albums non-hit tunes)!
“And I thank the Lord, there’s people out there like you, I thank the Lord there’s people out there like you”