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Music / Honky Château

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But, I quit those days and my redneck ways
And, oh, change is gonna do me good

Ooh I got a busted wing and a hornet sting
Like an out of tune guitar
Ooh she got Hercules on her side
And Diana in her eyes

Some men like the Chinese life
Some men kneel and pray
Ooh well I like women and I like wine
And I've always liked it that way
Always liked it that way

Honky Château is the fifth studio album recorded by English musician Elton John. It was released through DJM Records in the United Kingdom, and Uni Records in the United States, on 19 May 1972.

Elton retreated to the Château d'Hérouville in France to record this album. The location would inspire the name of the title, which in turn would inspire a song, "Honky Cat".

Another song, "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself", was a happy-sounding song—in a similar tonal vein as the de facto Title Track—with a heaping helping of Lyrical Dissonance.

But a different song, "Rocket Man", a soft ballad co-inspired by David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and a sci-fi novel by Ray Bradbury, would become one of Elton's most beloved songs.

In the United States, Honky Château would kick off a string of seven straight studio albums which would reach #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Oddly enough, it wouldn't go Platinum in the U.S. until 1995. The album was supported by two singles: "Rocket Man", and "Honky Cat". Both were Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, with "Rocket Man" going triple-Platinum in the United States. "Rocket Man" also hit #2 in the United Kingdom, his highest-charting single in his home country for five years, and went Platinum there as well.


Side one
  1. "Honky Cat" (5:13)
  2. "Mellow" (5:33)
  3. "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" (3:35)
  4. "Susie (Dramas)" (3:25)
  5. "Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)" (4:42)

Side two

  1. "Salvation" (3:59)
  2. "Slave" (4:22)
  3. "Amy" (4:03)
  4. "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" (5:01)
  5. "Hercules" (5:21)

Rocket man, burning out his tropes up here alone:

  • The Big Rotten Apple: "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters". Rose trees never grow there.
  • Country Mouse: "Honky Cat". Bernie Taupin himself was one, which is reflected in many of his lyrics, as he faced a lot of opposition from his family to try to make it big in the city as a songwriter.
  • Face on the Cover: A sepia-toned photograph of a bearded John wearing sunglasses and a tank top.
  • In the Style of: "Honky Cat" was in the style of New Orleans blues musicians such as Dr. John and Allen Toussaint.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself", a lighthearted song about, well...
  • Mondegreen: The line "burning up his fuse out here alone" from "Rocket Man" is among the most misunderstood lines in popular music. Volkswagen even made a commercial around it as a Mondegreen Gag.
  • Refuge in Audacity: "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself", complete with a mid-song tapdance.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: "Rocket Man" reduces what had been, for the previous decade, the wondrous feats of space exploration, into something akin to a tedious nine-to-five job.