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Reviews: Elton John: Honky Chateau

Reviews: 11

Review by Sandman January 7, 2005 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
And extremely good sounding disc. Even better even than Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The piano sounds very full and luxurious. Great songs, too. The mix is faithful to the original LP.

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Review by dbfarr63 March 18, 2005 (1 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Of the seven Elton John SACD's, this is one of the best. The sound quality is superb considering the recordings were made over 30 years ago. I would recommend all seven Elton John sacd's to anyone new to this format. The quality of the recordings is impecable and worth spending the money to update your collection. I have heard a lot of sacd discs and this one is highly recommended. Bring on more Elton John titles. By the way, I am not an Elton John fanatic, but I am an sacd fanatic and these are the best titles going around at the moment.

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Review by 5.1 freak August 25, 2007 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
One of the disks I would use to show off SACD to my friends. Amazing sounds of the brass in the rear surrounds in "Honky Cat" worth the price of the disk alone. I love watching people's faces when the brass first comes in. You forget that this disc was recorded in the early 70s.

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Review by Lance B September 24, 2007 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
What a revelation! I was never a great Elton John fan even though I quite liked some of his songs but after listening to this SACD version of Honky chateau, I am a convert. This was a good SACD album to try as I have the standard CD version of it and the SACD version leaves it for dead, IMO. There is so much detail and dynamics that it's quite amazing, so good in fact that I kept on listening and listening to it. I can't recommend it highly enough!

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Review by analogue February 26, 2009 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is yet another spectacular release of early Elton John sacd's by Universal Music.

Full, warm, rich and dynamic. The musicians and Elton's voice rendered in incredible realism.

Beautiful sacd transfer and sound that will stun you.
If all classic rock albums sounded this would be grand.


Highly recommended.

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Review by fredblue May 19, 2009
Performance:   Sonics:  
What was already for me an excellent recording, both in terms of content and sound quality, on LP and both versions on CD I owned (the original DJM rbcd and Gus Dudgeons' 1995 Classic Years Series Remaster both had good things going for them while presenting the material quite differently from each other and this release) this SACD is THE definitive Honky Chateau without a doubt.

Everything in the M/C mix is so cohesive, it's an utter joy to listen to, even at high volumes, it never runs out of steam and is still a hugely enjoyable listen, from beginning to the very end.

Every note, every beat, every blast of horns, every bass note, in fact every note of every instrument, is so stunningly revealed and presented and holds together so beautifully, this disc is just incredible.

From Elton's vocals, mostly anchored to the centre channel with some lovely ambient spills into the remaining channels (shutting down the other channels and isolating the lead vocals for fun floors everyone I have ever demo'd it to!) and crystal clear piano (on this disc I'd argue his piano features more prominently in the mix than any of the other 5.1 Elton remixes Greg Penny produced, with the exception of parts of the Madman Across The Water LP.).. to Dee's distinctive bass work, where for the first time I can really follow his very unusual style, Davey's acoustic guitar work strums away when before it was buried in the old stereo mix and his new-found electric dabblings while not as adept as he would rapidly become on the next 3-4 albums, has a lovely tone and is more often than not stridently featured in the rear channels with a wonderful sense of space and air around the notes and some nice pans around the soundstage.. then there's Nigel with the biggest drumkit in the world (according to Elton..!!) spread across the front L & R channels sometimes you feel like you are sat right in front of Nigel's drums! (and to mix it up a bit just listen to that cowbell in "Susie (Dramas)"... amazing fidelity from the rears, they sound so lifelike it's jaw-dropping!) the rich, warm backing vocals of Davey, Dee & Nigel (on Rocket Man in particular, those boys really nailed it on the backing and you can hear it all now with staggering fidelity!) .. and to all the guest players, including an exceptional Jean-Luc Ponty, at every turn and in every way, this is real reference quality stuff, for me at any rate.

As you can guess, I like this one - a lot! Very, very highly recommended, whether you care for Elton John or not.

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Review by sonnysin168 March 17, 2010 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I already own four EJ sacd's. So far, this is the best sounding. It's pretty special to hear one of my most favorite Rocket Man ever so clear: the voice is so believable, the percussions crisp, the strings resonant with energy. Add the fact that the lyrics are excellent. Geat songwriting!

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Review by Epsilon March 4, 2012 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I rarely sit down to write a review but this disc demands me to. I must say that I am just a casual fan of Elton. I never bought his records, because he was always on the radio or Tv and I considered him more as a live performer, hammering on his piano on stage...

Now, back to Honky Chateau: I am more familiar with Elton's later songs, so the only one I had known/heard off this album was Rocket Man. Since this SACD was available at a very reasonable price even in 2012, I thought I'd add it to my collection. And what a great decision it was!!! The songs and the sonics are amazing. It roars on and blows you away. Not one song is a filler here: they are all very good, and the impeccable sound quality compliments them nicely. Elton's voice - anchored in the center channel - is beautifully life-like and it shows how great a singer he is apart from being a showman... But the instruments also shine here: very faithful, analogue-like sound all through. BTW: when Wish You Were Here SACD by Pink Floyd was announced, I was expecting this sound quality, alas, that one failed to deliver it.

I am so glad that this album was made available on SACD in this outstanding quality. It can be used for showing off your system or what the format is capable of. You must hear the horn section in the opening song, the ever present piano, the banjos in Slave, the drum fill-ins in Amy, the mandolins in Mona Lisa... or the rolling bass and powerful drums in Hercules to know what I am talking about here. The mix is well balanced and adds to the overall enjoyment of this wonderful SACD. It is like hearing the band playing live in a small club. Highly recommended. Get it while you can. hearing and enjoying this disc made me order another Elton SACD: Madman across the water. It is on its way.

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Review by tdunster December 1, 2012
Performance:   Sonics:  
I own several versions of this album and this SACD version is vastly superior to any of them.
It never sounds bright and yet it doesn't lack detail either. Just an excellent recording with a soundstage that will blow you away.

Highly recommended

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Review by The Polo Lounge March 4, 2014 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Honky Chateau was the first EJ SACD I purchased, and I have since purchased Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Tumbleweed Connection based on the pure audio bliss of this SACD.

Simply put, this (and the other EJ SACD's)is a remarkable work of art. It may very well be the best sounding disc in my library. I hear EJ's vocals like I've never heard them. They're front & center, warm and organic. If you want to know what EJ sounded like in the early 1970's, you should own this disc.

While all the songs sound great in MC, Rocket Man in particular stands out. When the instrumentation kicks in around the :50-:55 second mark, I'm surrounded by a wall of rich, perfectly balanced sonic perfection. I've never heard anything like it. This is the disc I use to showcase my system, and it never fails to disappoint.

I would give this and his other SACD's my highest recommendation. These are must-haves if you are even a casual fan.

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Review by Marpow October 2, 2014 (1 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Honky Chateau Hybrid SACD-DSD,Original recording remastered 2004
This is another of the (5) 2004 SACD discs that I purchased, and now I might even like this better than Madman Across the Water. This felt heavy to me and loved the song structure. At $17.15, I certainly have no regrets.
Performance: As disc was recorded in a Chateau there are horns but no strings (one electric violin mostly on Amy) which is my reason for a more heavier sound. Songs are great, toe tapping through out. Super great performance by Elton and band.
Stereo Sonics: Full and rich, sounds fantastic at home and in car.
Multichannel Sonics: This is the point of this disc. Absolutely great, Greg Penny nailed it again. I am so happy as to his placement of the cowbell front/center in the song called Susie. I find it so irritating when the professional multi channel mixers put these small percussion instruments tapping away in one rear speaker. The song Hercules with the two acoustic guitars starting and staying in the rears, brilliant. This disc is mixed to my tastes, very happy.
Packaging: As with all these 2004 discs packaging is great. Plastic jewel case with rounded corners. Original photos, lyrics, and musician credits. Great liner notes by John Tobler 1995.
Again, glad I have another Elton John classic.

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