30 Nov 2007
The Story Behind "Just Like Belgium"
"The Fox" was the first album for his new lebel: Geffen Records. Early on, the album consisted of ten tracks left over the 21 At 33 sessions. Geffen rejected six songs of those and Elton return and recorded new songs in studio. Ironically, these songs were turning up "B" side singles of the album. But the album lacked a big hit and got little airplay, thought reviews of industry trade publications proclaimed the album as one of the best since the mid 70s.
"Just Like Belgium" for example, failed to reach the music singles charts. Initially written for Rod Stewart, who turned it down claiming music and lyrics were incompatible. The song related alcohol-soaked vagabonds trying to recapture a trace of glamour of his younger years in Belgium.
Just Like Belgium's lyrics:
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin
"Remember Belgium and the Brussels Museum
Where we piled on the front steps like stray cavaliers
Our code of living meant little to others
The few francs we saved bought some cheap souvenirs
But the red lights where the catfights make it just like Belgium
See us face down on the floor of another cheap barroom
Streetwalkers sweet talk you out of your spare change
And your sweet madame makes it seem just like Belgium
Just like a hustler when they look attractive
It's nothing more than a slap on the back
The price tag of being just a little bit different
The first rule to learn is to keep your own distance"