Cover image for His song : the musical journey of Elton John
His song : the musical journey of Elton John
Rosenthal, Elizabeth J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Billboard Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
538 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.J64 R67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The fifth of a seven-volume series, The Literature of the Agricultural Sciences, this book summarizes the development and trends in the published literature of food science and human nutrition over the last twenty-five years. Further, the book delineates the differences and overlaps in knowledge and research between the fields.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Documentation rather than biography is the raison d'etre of new books on aging rock superstars. Fast plumbs Led Zeppelin's depths, and though she overuses the dubious critical strategy of describing instrumental riffs in words ("Just under the surface of the melodic and rhythmic squareness is a harmonic and formal openness and irregularity that is highly significant in terms of the semiotics of the piece"), she offers entertaining and rewarding reading. For deconstruction of rock music, Fast has relatively much to work with in the Zep oeuvre, and "Stairway to Heaven," a familiar hit with pretensions to meaning, proves particularly rich. One of Fast's primary sources is Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, who hasn't been party to most of former bandmates Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's recent undertakings. He adds insight, but as ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman might about Mick and Keith's music. Rosenthal on Elton John details all one could ever want to know about the intricacies of, say, "The Bitch Is Back." Copiously annotated, the dense recording-by-recording study comprises a full discography with some lamentable limitations; all songs and composers are listed, but none of the sidemen who played with John on recordings. Entertaining yet meaningful, disposable yet probably significant, John's continued popularity seems to guarantee readers for this good source of information on the working aspects of a career so voluminous that people will be serious about it, even if most of the songs are little more than Paul McCartney's "silly love songs." --Mike Tribby

Library Journal Review

Rosenthal, a freelance writer, here attempts only the second serious biography of the bespectacled pianist (after Philip Norman's Elton John, LJ 2/1/92) and the first to include significant critical analysis of the star's music. As a biographer, Rosenthal relies exclusively on secondary sources to cobble together John's story, risking the perpetuation of inaccuracies. She also presents an assembly line of factoids but fails to give the reader a broader understanding of the man. As a critical analysis of John's music, the book is more successful, but here, too, are puzzling inconsistencies. Rosenthal takes pains to discuss every album track John has recorded in his 30-plus-year career, yet she ignores the plethora of nonalbum B-sides that he has released on singles a significant oversight. Oddly, the author devotes considerable space to lesser-known songs and only two sentences to "Your Song," arguably John's most beloved composition. Still, as a secondary selection, Rosenthal's well-meaning work is vastly superior to Susan Crimp and Patricia Burstein's The Many Lives of Elton John (Birch Lane Pr., 1992). Despite being dated, Norman's book remains the most definitive account. Lloyd Jansen, Stockton-San Joaquin Cty. P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Freelance writer Elizabeth Rosenthal has compiled a detailed biography of a very popular musician of the last three decades. Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947 (he changed his name in 1967) in a suburb of London. A musical prodigy, he began organizing performing groups as a teenager and made his first recording in 1965. He met his longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin in 1967, and the two would collaborate throughout Elton John's career. He first album, Empty Sky, was released in 1969, with dozens to follow over the next three decades. His popularity rose rapidly, and by the mid-1970s he had a string of hit songs and albums, a production that has continued and includes an appearance with the controversial rapper Eminem at the 2001 Grammy awards. Rosenthal has compiled a most detailed chronological treatment of Elton John's concerts, recordings, sartorial quirks, personal problems, and much more. The numerous illustrations, detailed discography (including both singles and albums), and helpful endnotes add to the book's comprehensive nature. Recommended for general and undergraduate audiences. R. D. Cohen Indiana University Northwest