No stranger to gold, Sir Elton. For over three decades now, the ostentatious knight has
been cutting gold (and platinum . . . and multi-platinum) records with ridiculous
prolificacy . . . and wearing quantities of precious metal on his less than demurely
costumed personage that would have brought a blush to the countenance of Croesus.
Teaming up for a second round of animation scoring with Lion King cohorts Tim Rice and
Hans Zimmer Ė augmented by the opulent talents of Jewel producer Pat Leonard Ė
must have seemed a surefire formula for another chart-topping Bonanza. Goodbye Yellow
Brick Road, time to repave it with the gold ingots beckoning at the end of the Road to El
But the mythical cityís riches are proving elusive as ever. For once, the
bespectacled, singing peruke with the Midas touch has found himself on the road to the
wrong end of the Billboard charts. Unfairly. This CD is considerably different to the
onscreen soundtrack that has met with a tepid response from US critics, and while it may
lack a 24-carat standout a la Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Sir Elton has once again
plucked a plethora of musical gems from his multi-jewelled tiara of talent.
There are five songs on the CD that didnít make the movie and considerably
reworked versions of those that did. Tinged with Latin American accoutrements of Spanish
guitar and percussion-laden rhythms, EJís familiar piano/vocal style is given a fresh
twist on beautifully crafted numbers such as Friends Never Say Goodbye, The Panic in Me
and My Heart Dances. But the crowning glory is Itís Tough To Be a God, a deliciously
jaunty duet with another animation soundtrack guru Randy Newman. As an added bonus, there
are three joyous excerpts from the Latin-laced score of Hans Zimmer and John Powell.
Yes, Itís Tough To Be a God, but itís easy to be a disciple of this
soundtrack. Pardon my proselytising, but you really should ignore the under-whelming US
response. This Road to El Dorado is the real deal. Itís a treasure.
Review published: September 7, 2000