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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 2014 - Special News!
Tuesday, November 11 2014

Nigel Olsson, John Mahon, Bobby Kimball and Giorgio Onorato Aquilani are teaming up to deliver their tribute to the 40th Anniversary of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".

To many people - whether die-hard Elton fan or not - "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is one of Elton's masterpieces if not the ultimate Elton John album of all times. For that reason it's not surprising that not only Elton himself is looking back to his musicial creation from 40 years ago, but many fellow musicians and fans do as well.

In this regard, Giorgio Onorato Aquilani from Italy makes no difference. Some of you might remember Giorgio as he was the winner of the Hercules Composer Competition 2005, when we asked fans to put music to "Dogs in the Kitchen", a poem which is included in the "Captain Fantastic" lyric book, but which has never been recorded by Elton.

Giorgio has come a long way since. On March 25, 2010 he released the album "Party of the Century" featuring ten of his own songs plus a cover version of Elton's "Friends". On that album he was being helped by a number of famous musicians including several members of TOTO, but also by current Elton John band member John Mahon and former Elton John band member Charlie Morgan. The album is available on iTunes or CDbaby.

Now Giorgio is taking a next step with the release of two cover versions of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" - dedicated with love to Elton John and Bernie Taupin. And once again he has assembled a great line-up of musical friends, some of which he already worked with on "Party of the Century".

Current Elton John band members John Mahon and Nigel Olsson are providing backing vocals on the first track, which is a duet of Giorgio and Bobby Kimball, singer and founding member of TOTO. John's and Nigel's work on this track is outstanding in many aspects: Their colloborative singing is building a bridge between the 1974 version of this Elton classic and this most recent cover. The two generations of Elton John band inspire this new recording with the spirit and feeling from 40 years ago without being just a simple plagiarism of the original recording.

The duet cover version overall is doing great in managing the tightrope walk of being close to the original version but breathing new life into the track at the same time without destroying the song. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is such an Elton John signature song that not many dared to cover it over the past 40 years. In its original key, it's a tricky song to sing and sure has been tortured a lot in karaoke bars all over the planet.

Hunter Hayes did a decent job on the 40th Anniversary Celebration (Deluxe Edition) release of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and Giorgio and Bobby don't need to be ashamed of their version either. To many the problem with any cover version of this song is that as soon as you recognize the classic opening chord sequence you automatically hear Elton's voice in your head. So any other voice starting to sing afterwards will sound "wrong" at first.

With this is mind, Girgio's solo cover of the song - also with backing vocals by Nigel Olsson and John Mahon, but overall a different arrangement than the duet version - has it easier as it only features one "unexpected" voice. But be sure to stay tuned after the final chord of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" for Giorgio's hidden track, another one of his own compositions.

Giorgio has been kind enough to provide free downloads of the two songs to visitors of eltonfan.net. Just click on the links below:

  1. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (duet by Giorgio & Bobby Kimball) WAV mp3
  2. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road / Birds (Giorgio solo version) WAV mp3
Besides the music one also has to pay attention to the wonderful cover artwork. The painting “Beyond the yellow brick road” is by Joseph Watchman Kaliher, a renowned contemporary artist. His works can be found in many prestigious Art collections such as the Fondazione Enrico Coveri and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Villa Demidoff in Florence. In his atelier in Florence Kaliher has collaborated with Paloma Picasso as well as with famous architect Michele Bonan. Amongst his admirers are many illustrated individuals and collectors, such as the Marquis Lodovico Antinori, the Prince Colonna of Naples, the Count Walfredo Della Gherardesca, the jewelers Vennari and the industrials Demico and Collini, the Ferragamo and Modestini families and many more. You can download a high resolution version of his “Beyond the yellow brick road” artwork by clicking on the cover above. More about his works can be found on Kaliher's website.

Overall, Giorgio's project is a great example for the ongoing enthusiasm, devotion and love of Elton fans all over the world towards Elton and his musical legislating. Giorgio is not a professional musician, but he has put together (yet another) musical tribute with great passion, which for sure will please Elton and hopefully you, too. Even more, Giorgio's example might encourage some other of the musical talents amongst the Elton fans to become part of the next Elton fan tribute project: We won't reveal the details yet, but it will be an opportunity for musically talented Elton fans to pay tribute to Elton himself. Stay tuned!

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