Thanks for doing this, it's great to learn from a master!
One of my favorite Elton songs is "High Flying Bird." Like everything on Don't Shoot Me, it's sonically great, but it feels much more like a "performance" than some of the other songs on the album. There's so much more space left than in typical songs.
How do you approach a song with so much space? Do you try to get more of the band playing together live with fewer overdubs or just rely on a good arrangement? In my experience it's so much harder to get these sparse songs to "breathe" as well as the others, so kudos to you!
One more thing: the percussion and some of Elton's high chord stabs really jump out at you in this song, and it's reallly cool. Mind sharing how you did that?
Hi Colin, You know I recently got to mess around with the multitracks of all the Elton stuff I worked on and what really blew me away, something I'd forgotten, the basic live performances by Elton, Dee, Nigel and Davey are amazing. I'd love there to be a release along the lines of Let It Be Naked, the way several others have now done. It would really show why these recordings have stood the test of time. The musicianship is so great. One also gets to hear things that got covered up with the overdubs.
All of those recordings were recorded the same way, live, with later overdubs and so why HFB stands out I really can't say. And with regard to the percussion and piano jumping out...............I really don't know. I just do what I do what I do.