Great Album Covers: Elton John’s “Don’t Shoot Me…”

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Don't Shoot Me

Cover Of Elton John's "Don't Shoot Me" (From The Author's Collection)

As we contemplate the three best songs of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Elton John[/lastfm], why not consider one of his most famous album covers, as well?

elton john 1973 don t shoot me i m only the piano player frontal Great Album Covers: Elton Johns Dont Shoot Me...

Shot by legendary photographer Ed Careff and designed by Michael Ross and David Larkham, the cover of Elton John’s Don’t Shoot Me (I’m Only The Piano Player) portrays a dimly lit theater marquee, a lone Cadillac and a solitary pair of patrons.

It’s a photograph packed with nuances. The dark desolate street stands in hard contrast to the “glamor” of having your name in lights, perhaps a nod to Elton’s yet-to-be-attained stardom, perhaps a foreshadowing of how lonely being a star can be.

The choice of the theater marquee is a reference to his and his writing partner, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Bernie Taupin[/lastfm]‘s fascination with the movies, in general, and with the films of the wild west, in particular. Through the pink haze behind the brightly lit box office, you can almost smell the essence of The Last Picture Show, an intoxicating mix of worn leather and cheap perfume.

Enveloped around songs like “Texan Love Song,” “Have Mercy on the Criminal” and “Midnight Creeper,” it was the perfect wrapper for the budding “Teenage Idol.”

Read more about rock’s greatest album covers.

 

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