"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is a ballad performed by musician Elton John. The song was written by Bernie Taupin and composed by John for his album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Its musical style and production is heavily influenced by 1970s soft rock. It was widely praised by critics, and some critics have named it John's best song.
The song was released in 1973 as the album's second single, and entered the Top Ten in both the United Kingdom and the United States. It was one of John's biggest hits, and surpassed the previous single in sales and popularity quickly following its release. In the US, it was certified Gold on 4 January 1974 and Platinum on 13 September 1995 by the RIAA.
The Yellow Brick Road is an image taken from the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz
. In the movie, Dorothy and her friends are instructed to follow the yellow brick road in search of the magical Wizard of Oz, only to find that they had what they were looking for all along. The road leads to the Emerald City in the land of Oz, often referred to as a metaphor for "The road that leads to life's fantasies" or "The road that leads to life's answers."
The Wizard of Oz was reportedly the first film Elton's songwriting partner Bernie Taupin had ever seen, and he conjured the imagery in the lyrics relating to his own life as his desire to "Get back to his roots." It is also a reference to Elton's fame and fortune in contrast to Bernie's attempts to remain "low-key."
In the Eagle Vision "Classic Albums" documentary on the making of the album, producer Gus Dudgeon said that after it was released, he was asked whether he artificially played with Elton's vocal to put it in such a high register. Dudgeon said he did not; it was simply the way Elton decided to sing it. "That's Elton," he said.