indice alfabetico - site map  I  immagini  I  articoli  I  elton in italy  I  testi in italiano  I  musicians & co.  I  concerti  I  discografia
forum  I  news   I  biografia  I  early days  I  friends I links  I  aggiornamenti  I  newsletter  I  contatti  I  varie  I  rarità  I  home
album I album secondari

  Elton John - Victim Of Love  (1979)
edizione internazionale
edizione USA


1) Johnny B. Goode
2) Warm Love In A Cold World
3) Born Bad
4) Thunder In The Night
5) Spotlight
6) Street Boogie
7) Victim Of Love


Stati Uniti:    34 posto
Inghilterra:    41 posto
Italia:    --



Decise che il suicidio (artistico) sarebbe avvenuto nello studio di Monaco di Baviera dove regnava incontrastato Pete Bellotte, producer tedesco e autore di dance. Nello studio entrò solo la voce di Elton. La testa non la fecero passare. I pezzi erano tutti di Bellotte. E' come se Kerouac avesse deciso di fare un "reading" togliendo le sue poesie e recitando le istruzioni per l'uso di una trebbiatrice

Enrico Sisti da Musica di Repubblica del 10.04.2003

As many of you already know, UME/Rocket recently released five more Elton John titles in remastered form. These discs covered the gap left between "A Single Man" and "Ice On Fire" (with the exception of "Too Low For Zero"). Originally, SIX albums were to be released, but for some reason yet to be revealed, "Leather Jackets" was left off and remains the only full album in the Elton John catalogue not remastered to date. Being a frequent contributer to the Row, I thought it would be fun (not to mention challenging) to go in chronological order and lead off with no less than "Victim of Love"! The butt of many jokes, especially among Elton fans, it has the dubious distinction of being widely considered the worst Elton John record ever. Taking that into consideration, and that Universal/Rocket decided it was worth remastering and re-releasing, I plan to look at the record objectively and check the "VOL" jokebook at the door, as it were. That having been said, here we go! First off, of late you have to admit there's a certain attraction to seeing the words "Elton John" and "remastered" on a new CD. It portends that even though you may have heard the material before, it's probably better now than you remember it and has some neat little goodies tucked away inside the packaging. No less is true of "Victim of Love". Originally released in October, 1979, John Tobler accurately points out in his liner notes (that do have one or two errors which should have been caught) that "Victim of Love" is arguably Elton's least accessible record. It also didn't see the commercial success of any of his albums released before or since. Tobler speculates a bit in his notes about "Victim..." being brought about possibly by Elton reacting badly to the clash between his release of "Blue Moves" and it's slight decline in sales compared to what he was used to and the arrival of the Punk Rock movement. I personally think it was due to Elton's semi-retirement of the time and his wanting to stay relevant in a music business that was seeing stars like Donna Summer, the Bee Gees and the Village People all over the singles charts that had ruled for so many years. Elton was no stranger to the "Disco" scene, hanging out frequently at clubs such as Studio 54 during their late seventies and early eighties heydays. His friendship with Pete Bellotte, who co-produced no less than Donna Summer and her string of smash hits and would also be the brains behind "Victim of Love", goes back to the 60's and when Bellotte approached Elton with the concept of doing a co"-oriented project, I'm sure Elton thought it might be at least a good experiment. According to Tobler, the only restrictions EJ put on the project were that he wouldn't write or play on any of the songs. Bellotte apparently conceded, co-writing with his various composing partners six of the seven tracks, the only exception being the cover version of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode". While piano can be heard fairly prominently on several of the tracks, it clearly isn't Elton's playing style and if he did put down any piano, he isn't credited on the musician's list. On the other hand, many famous musicians ARE credited on the record, quite a few of whom played with Elton John on other occasions. Notable names include Keith Forsey on drums, who would go on to produce hits for Billy Idol only a few years later... veteran percussionist Paulino Da Costa... backing vocals from Stephanie Spruill, Maxine and Julia Waters who would appear on various other Elton sessions... Michael McDonald and Patrick Simmons from the Doobie Brothers, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather lays down lead tracks on two tracks... and sax ace Lenny Pickett, whose work on Caribou" should be well remembered by Elton afficianados. The seven original tracks on the disc feature the standard "thump-thump" disco kick drum featured highly placed in all the mixes. (Note: No bonus tracks are included and if any were recorded, no mention of them is made in the liner notes) All the songs are chained together by slight tempo changes in the kick drum, except "Born Bad", which originally faded and closed out Side 1. This is more or less "grafted" onto the into to "Thunder in the Night" and the edit works fairly well all things considered. Now, let me state for the record that I wasn't a huge fan of the album when I first picked it up and gave it a spin. However, in a conversation with Tom Travers who picked up his copies about the same time mine were on the way, he indicated the sound alone on the remastered record really deserved some attention. He was quite correct! The sound, digitally remastered from the original masters by Gary Moore at Universal Mastering in London, has turned "Victim of Love" from a "toss off" to a "toe-tapper"! The tracks really pop and with Moore's giving more stereo spread and clarity to the overall mixes, what we would dismiss as a humdrum disco era "mistake" actually defies you to NOT get up and dance! Maybe it's the sound quality, but for some reason the remastered record plays now as being more "fun" than "frivoulous". Frankly, it's pretty good party music! For my money, if you're looking for a disc to bop along with in traffic, put this one in the player and see if you don't find yourself actually enjoying the ride! Taking into account that "Victim of Love", much like "The Thom Bell Sessions", isn't a true Elton project, time and Gary Moore's touchups have actually caused me to rethink its reputation in relation to the rest of the EJ catalogue. It's a disco album and Pete Bellotte and his writers don't write anything close to a John/Taupin tune (or Barry Gibb for that matter), but as a disco album, the record does have some catchy tunes. Only "Warm Love In A Cold World" strikes me as being something of a clinker, with the weakest set of lyrics on the disc. Highlights include "Born Bad", "Street Boogie" and "Victim of Love", all with very inventive musical hooks that stick with you and make the tracks ultimately listenable and certainly danceable, if one were so inclined! The spirited cover of "Johnny B. Goode" opens the album with a lot more kick than I remembered and features a blistering sax solo by Lenny Pickett. The entire record is played, with few synthesizers and almost no sequencing, by some talented musicians who lay down some really funky grooves to some just-right arrangements and overdubs, overseen by Bellotte, featuring his trademark producing technique he refined on many disco era hits of the day. Where does Elton fit into this whole picture? Well, one standout on all the songs is the familiar and solid vocal work by our man Elton, who puts down his best British/soul-singer amalgam to perfectly sell the lyrics across the whole album. Elton seems to have enjoyed playing with his vocals on this disc and sounds like he's having fun with the songs, varying his approach to fit each number in ways we typically don't find on his own works. Made to be a sort-of "song cycle", what does appear lacking is a smash hit single, but that could be because we just don't emember there being one from the album. Elton and disco were never really synonymous and in its day "Victim of Love" probably served to confuse his audience more than grab them. The lyrics and original album artwork are faithfully reproduced here and all one can thin that might be missing is the blue/pink on the CD's silk screen label, but this is found on the pages of the booklet, so technically it's there. There's even pictures of the cover for the sheet music book and the sleeves for the singles "Johnny B. Goode" and "Victim of Love"! Tobler concludes his notes by stating that Elton occasionally proves he's human and is capable of miscalculation. Is "Victim of Love" a miscalculation? At the time, one could certainly agree that it probably was. Twenty or so years later, however, "Victim of Love" serves as a historical marker for a period in time that saw Elton experimenting with his career a bit while finding the path he would eventually take that would lead him to his status as a legend. Not taken too seriously, it also serves as a record that's also a lot fun and right at home at parties! Try saying that about "Elton John". Just kidding! I'm not trying to compare one to the other but in all seriousness, I would suggest that if you're a true-blue EJ fan you pick up "Victim of Love", free your mind and let the CD do the talking. You might be surprised at what you hear, but more importantly what it has to say.

Andy Geiser - 22nd Row  2003

da All Music Guide

This thoroughly dated affair is the result of a chance re-acquaintance between Elton John (vocals) and Pete Bellotte (producer). The artist was not fully satisfied with the initial results of the three-song "Mama Can't Buy You Love" EP, which became as much a product of Philly soul maverick Thom Bell as it did John. When Bellotte approached John to record a full-length disco album, he took him up on the offer. This was providing that John's contributions would be limited to providing vocals only. The results can be heard on Victim of Love (1979), a dismissible platter of Teutonic 4/4 rhythms and extended (mostly) instrumental indulgence. None of the seven cuts offer very much in terms of what Elton John enthusiasts would not only have expected, but more importantly, enjoyed. Although the title track was extracted as a single in the U.S. and the disgraceful cover of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" was issued as a 45 rpm in Europe, neither made much impact. In fact, with the exception of the Friends (1971) motion picture soundtrack -- consisting of mostly instrumental incidental scoring -- Victim of Love was John's lowest charting album to date. Although on a temporary touring hiatus, once John returned to the road, he wisely chose not to incorporate any of the material from the project on-stage. In fact, contrasting the blatant sonic excess of this release, John was concurrently performing as a solo act, backed only by longtime percussionist Ray Cooper. This "unplugged" setting restored some of the good will between John and his audience that Victim of Love had disenfranchised. Thankfully, the artist (and the rest of the music world) abandoned disco as the 1970s turned into the 1980s. His next effort, 21 at 33
(1980), allowed him to begin a long re-ascension on the music charts as well a restoration of his pop/rock leanings.

Lindsay Planer All Music Guide

recensioni dei fans
anno/label 1979 Rocket (UK) - MCA (USA)
produzione  Pete Bellotte
arrangiamenti orchestrali  --
studio Musicland Monaco/Rusk Sounds Studios Hollywood
musicisti Keith Forsey: batteria; Marcus Miller: basso; Crayg Snider: chitarra; Tim Cansfield: chitarra ritmica; Steve Lukater: chitarra; Lenny Pickett: sassofono; Paulinho Da Costa: percussioni; Thor Baldursson: tastiere; Roy Davies: tastiere; Stephanie Spruill, Maxine Waters, Julia Waters, Mike McDonald e Patrick Simmons: cori
note Elton deve aver avuto un colpo di sole per aderire a questo progetto di Pete Bellotte; album "disco" di scarsa fattura con il solo apporto vocale, da dimenticare