This single’s got classic Elton John written all over it.
Kronomyth 11.9: Dan Dare doesn’t know it, but I like Jamaican.
The advance single from Rock of the Westies is one of the last great songs that Elton John released. Is it politically correct? No. Is it freaking awesome? Yes. The slide guitar from Davey Johnstone and the marimbas from Ray Cooper just make this song for me. James Newton Howard also gets a special mention for his short synthesizer solo. What a band!
The B side is a nonalbum track written by Rocket Records artist, Kiki Dee. You’ve got to give Elton credit for plugging the product, but it’s not up to the standards of his work. It’s a downbeat piano ballad in the spirit of “I Feel Like a Bullet” with minimal accompaniment from Davey Johnstone on guitar. Certainly south of the Westies work, prompting the question of what Elton ever saw in it that Kiki deedn’t.
Original 7-inch single version
A1. Island Girl (Elton John/Bernie Taupin) (3:46)
B1. Sugar on the Floor (Kiki Dee) (4:31)
Back-to-back hits 7-inch single reissue
A1. Island Girl
B1. A Word in Spanish
Released on 7-inch single on September 19, 1975 in the UK (DJM, DJS.610), the US and Canada (MCA, MCA-40461), Germany (DJM, 2043 005) and Japan (DJM, IFR-10857) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #1 on the US charts (RIAA-certified platinum single) and #14 on the UK charts.
- Re-released with “A Word in Spanish” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in 1992 in the US (Collectables, COL 4097).