Take Me To the Pilot – Video 12 – Album “Elton John”

15 12 2009

We have reached vlog number twelve, and it is marked by another one of Elton’s signature songs from the early 1970’s. Take Me To the Pilot was released as the second single from the Elton John album. It was the originally released as the A-Side to Your Song; however, disc jockeys much preferred the a-side and it inherently got much less play. None-the-less, Take Me To the Pilot, has been a staple throughout Elton’s career, appearing in most of his live performances.

Musically, the song is a very straight-forward rock and roll number. The song has evolved and taken many forms throughout its nearly forty-year history. On the Elton John album the song starts with just piano and Elton’s voice, and transforms into an intricate string slash rock piece. In Elton’s solo performances, he starts with upwards of five to seven minutes of piano solo ranging through classical, pop, jazz and rock stylings before finally reaching the beginning of the song. In my version, I tried to replicate the orignal recording as much as possible. There were two reasons for this choice. One, I’m doing covers for the Elton John album, so I felt the music should reflect that album, and two, Elton’s piano solos to introduce the song are out of control, and I’m not sure I’m quite capable…

As much as the song is musically a very straight-forward rock song, the lyric could not be less straight-forward. Elton has often said in live performances that he has absolutely no clue as to what the song is about. Bernie too has indicated that there is really no true meaning behind the lyrics and that he just threw together lines that sounded good next to each other. To me, the song has is suggestive of someone who is facing down demons whether they be societal or personal. There is definitely an element of confrontation of some sort in the song.

Regardless of what the song means or how Elton plays it, I hope you enjoy my rendition. Please feel free to share your comments!

If you feel that it’s real I’m on trial
And I’m here in your prison
Like a coin in your mint
I am dented and I’m spent with high treason

Through a glass eye your throne
Is the one danger zone
Take me to the pilot for control
Take me to the pilot of your soul

Take me to the pilot
Lead me through the chamber
Take me to the pilot
I am but a stranger

Take me to the pilot
Lead me through the chamber
Take me to the pilot
I am but a stranger

Well I know he’s not old
And I’m told he’s a virgin
For he may be she
But what I’m told is never for certain

© 1969 Dick James Music, Inc.

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