'Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters' - Elton John
Writers: Elton John and Bernie Taupin Producer: Gus Dudgeon Recorded: January 1972 at Strawberry Studios in Chateau d'Herouville, France Released: Summer 1972 Players: Elton John -- vocals, piano Davey Johnstone -- guitar, mandolin Dee Murray -- bass Album: Honky Chateau (Uni) A popular track from Elton John's sixth album, Honky Chateau, "Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters" is an impressionistic ballad that's been described by John and lyricist Bernie Taupin as a "New York City song." Unlike other songs on Honky Chateau, which used a full band and even guest horn and string players, "Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters" is a stripped-down affair on which John was accompanied only by guitarist Davey Johnstone, who also played mandolin, and bassist Dee Murray. Just before he released Honky Chateau, John -- who was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight -- formally changed his name to Elton Hercules John. Honky Chateau spent five weeks at Number One on the Billboard 200 and was John's second consecutive million-seller. Honky Chateau reached Number Two on the U.K. album chart. The album took its title from Chateau d'Herouville, where Strawberry Studios is located, some 30 miles from Paris.