Personnel: Elton John (vocals, piano); Pete Townshend, Richie Zito (guitar); James Newton-Howard (synthesizer, electric piano); Dee Murray (bass, background vocals); Jeffrey Porcaro (drums); Steve Holly (tambourine, synthesizer drums); Gary Osborne (background vocals).
Recorded at Air Studios, Montserrat.
This digitally remastered edition features sleevenotes by John Tobler.
Elton John was in something of a transitional period in the early 1980s. After he stopped touring in 1977, he continued to appear on the charts, but he no longer dominated them. In 1982, when JUMP UP was released, he was tinkering with his sound, as some of the more synthesizer-driven songs here demonstrate. But, more importantly, his extraordinary partnership with Bernie Taupin had broken up and reformed, leaving Taupin as one of four lyricists on JUMP UP; it was the Taupin collaboration on "Empty Garden," a tribute to John Lennon, that proved to be the record's big hit.
His abilities as a balladeer are much on display in the gorgeous, torch-style "Blue Eyes," which enjoyed chart success and which Roy Orbison would have done well to cover. The other obvious standout, "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)," with its soaring melody and emotional vocal, is a great showcase for Sir Elton's gift with a pop hook. Some songs, like the hard-stomping "Dear John" and "I Am Your Robot," reflect the synth-pop 80s sound, while "Ball and Chain," with its catchy hand claps and sprightly guitar work from guest Pete Townshend, is a little gem.
- Dear John
- Spiteful Child
- Ball & Chain
- Legal Boys
- I Am Your Robot
- Blue Eyes
- Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)
- Where Have All The Good Times Gone?
- All Quiet On The Western Front