Sunday 3pm: Revamp & Restoration – The Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin

 

Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin

 

are two tribute albums to English performer Elton John and his frequent songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. Both scheduled for release on 6 April 2018, Revamp was described as John’s project and features covers of the duo’s back catalogue by pop, rock and R&B artists, whereas Restoration was seen as Taupin’s project and features covers by country music artists. Revamp will be released via Island Records and Restoration by Universal Music Group Nashville.

 

The release of the albums will coincide with John’s 2018–2021 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Farewell Tour.

Tuesday 8pm: Feature LP: Elton John – Caribou (1974)

Elton_John_-_CaribouCaribou is the eighth album by the English singer-songwriter Elton John, released in 1974 (see 1974 in music). It was John’s fourth chart-topping album in the United States and his third in the United Kingdom. The album contains the singles, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, which reached number 16 in the UK Singles Chart and number 2 in the US, and “The Bitch Is Back“, which reached number 15 in the UK and number 4 in the US. Both these singles reached number 1 in Canada on the RPM 100 national Top Singles Chart (as did the album itself). The album was named for the Caribou Ranch recording studio, where part of the album was recorded. Elton and associates previously recorded three albums at Château d’Hérouville in France. In the US the album was certified gold in July 1974 and was certified platinum and 2x platinum in March 1993 by the RIAA.

In the liner notes to the 1995 CD re-release, John described the album as being quickly recorded in January 1974, with only about 9 days to get everything recorded, as he and the band “were under enormous pressure” to finish the album and then immediately embark on a Japanese tour. Producer Gus Dudgeon would later add additional backing vocals, horns and other overdubs after John and the band had finished their work.

In addition to the singles, John has over the years played several others songs from this album in concert, including “Grimsby”, “You’re So Static”, “Ticking” and “Dixie Lily”. The 1995 CD reissue contains four songs from the general period in and around the “Caribou” release, though only two of them, the b-sides “Sick City” and “Cold Highway”, were recorded during the album’s sessions. “Step Into Christmas” was recorded during a previous one-off single session, and “Pinball Wizard” was recorded at The Who’s Rampart Studios in England during the sessions for the “Tommy” movie score and soundtrack album.

All songs by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

“The Bitch Is Back” – 3:44
“Pinky” – 3:54
“Grimsby” – 3:47
“Dixie Lily” – 2:54
“Solar Prestige a Gammon” – 2:52
“You’re So Static” – 4:52

“I’ve Seen the Saucers” – 4:48
“Stinker” – 5:20
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” – 5:36
“Ticking” – 7:33

Bonus tracks (1995 Mercury and 1996 Rocket reissue)
“Pinball Wizard” (Pete Townshend) – 5:09
“Sick City” – 5:23
“Cold Highway” – 3:25
Step into Christmas” – 4:32

When MCA Records re-issued this album, on cassette tape, in the 1980s, “You’re So Static” and “Stinker” were swapped in the album’s running order. You’re So Static also featured an early fade out.

At one point, the title of this album was to be “Ol’ Pink Eyes Is Back” a pun on Frank Sinatra’s “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back”.
On the 1995 CD, “You’re So Static” is spelled incorrectly as “Your’re So Static”.

Artist Countdown: Elton John @eltonjohn

elton-johnSir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947) is an English singer-songwriter, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.

In his five-decade career John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, fifty-eight Billboard Top 40 singles, twenty-seven Top 10, four No. 2 and nine No. 1. For 31 consecutive years (1970–2000) he had at least one song in the Billboard Hot 100. He has the most No. 1 hits on US Adult Contemporary Chart (16 No. 1’s). His single “Candle in the Wind 1997” sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is “the best-selling single of all time”. He has received six Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards – winning two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the first Brits Icon in 2013, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, a Disney Legend award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him Number 49 on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era. In 2008, Billboard ranked him the most successful male solo artist on “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists” (third overall).

John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, is an inductee into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Having been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996, John received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services” in 1998. John has performed at a number of royal events, such as the funeral of Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in 1997, the Party at the Palace in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.

He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation and a year later began hosting the annual Academy Award Party, which has since become one of the highest-profile Oscar parties in the Hollywood film industry. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over $200 million. John entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide and same-sex marriage. Source: Wikipedia

Feature LP: Elton John – Leather Jackets (1986) 8pm ET @eltonjohndotcom

EltonJohn-LJLeather Jackets is the 20th studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, recorded at Sol Studios in England and Wisseloord Studios in the Netherlands, and released in 1986. It was his first album to not create any top 40 singles in either the US or the UK since 1970’s Tumbleweed Connection, which had no singles released from it. It is also the poorest-charting album of his career.

In 2006, John declared this his least favourite of all his albums: “Gus Dudgeon did his best but you can’t work with a loony.” He’s also been quoted as saying there were some records where he was “not together at all” and cited this album as an example. With its biker cover, he said it was “very butch but a total disaster. I was not a well budgie, I was married and it was just one bag of coke after another.”

In 2001 Elton regarded Heartache All Over the World as the worst song he’d ever recorded, calling it “pretty insubstantial”.

In 2000, Gus Dudgeon said: “There was a chance he could polish himself off. He’d go out and do some coke and it’d be all over his mouth, his nose would be running and I’d go: ‘Oh God, this is just awful’.”

However, lyricist Bernie Taupin believes The Big Picture deserves the honour of worst album.

“Heartache All Over the World” was the only single to achieve chart success in the US, though it failed to crack the top 50. “Slow Rivers” is a collaboration with Cliff Richard that was released as a single in the UK. Cher collaborated with “Lady Choc Ice” (actually John himself) to write “Don’t Trust That Woman”.

Roger Taylor and John Deacon of Queen play drums and bass guitar respectively on the track “Angeline”.

This was John’s last studio release to be produced by Gus Dudgeon and his last in which he played a grand piano before switching to the Roland RD-1000 digital piano for Reg Strikes Back and the two albums following that. After his throat surgery in 1987, Chris Thomas would be rehired as producer. For the first time in John’s career, no songs on this album are longer than five minutes.

John played “Paris” during his 1986 US tour. He included “Heartache All Over the World” and “Slow Rivers” on his 1986 Australian tour with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, which would eventually yield John’s live album Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. “Heartache” was included in the band portion of the show (John opted not to play piano for that number) while “Slow Rivers” was played during the second half of the show with the orchestra. Due to contractual constraints, “Slow Rivers” was not included on Live in Australia, despite the fact that it was from the orchestral portion of the show, which was the basis for the album.

Though not released as a single, “Paris” would also, ironically, become a minor FM hit for some jazz stations that programmed the track.

This is John’s only studio album that has yet to be remastered as of 2013. However, it is available on compact disc.  (Source: Wikipedia)

CAPITOL RECORDS TO RELEASE ELTON JOHN’S THE DIVING BOARD ON SEPTEMBER 24

Eltonjohn_thedivingboardcover

Capitol Records is proud to announce the release of Elton John’s The Diving Board, the artist’s first solo studio album in seven years, on Tuesday, September 24. Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album features 12 new songs written by Elton and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as three piano interludes composed by the artist. Beginning today, fans who pre-order The Diving Board on iTunes (http://smarturl.it/TheDivingBoard) and EltonJohn.com, will receive an instant download of the album’s premiere single, “Home Again.” The album is also available for pre-order beginning today on Amazon.com (http://smarturl.it/TDBamzn). A video trailer for The Diving Board featuring “Home Again” can be viewed at (http://smarturl.it/TDBtrailer).

The Diving Board will be available in multiple formats: Standard, Deluxe, Super-Deluxe and a 180-gram 2-Disc Vinyl set. The Deluxe physical and digital packages will feature a bonus track from the album sessions, as well as three live tracks recorded by Elton and The Diving Board’s musicians during a special evening of music and conversation that took place at the famed Capitol Studios in April. The Super-Deluxe package will arrive in a specially-designed and embossed box and will include the Deluxe CD and 180-gram Vinyl versions of the album, a DVD of the Capitol Records Studios performances and behind-the-scenes, a case-bound photo book and exclusive art print.

The Diving Board returns Elton John to the piano, bass and drums lineup that marked the artist’s introduction to worldwide audiences more than 40 years ago. As Elton explains, “In many ways, I feel like I’m starting again, making records. Several years ago when beginning to work with T Bone and being in the studio with Leon Russell for The Union, I had to ask myself, ‘What kind of music do I really want to make?’, and I realized that I had to go back to go forward again. I needed to strip away the excesses and get back to the core of what I do as an artist. That’s what The Diving Board represents. I’m incredibly excited about every aspect of this album: The performances, T Bone’s production, Bernie’s lyrics and the songs we’ve created. The Diving Board is the album I’ve been waiting to make for decades.”

According to T Bone Burnett, The Diving Board also evokes memories of the producer’s first exposure to Elton John as a live performer, “I saw Elton at the Troubadour in 1970, in a legendary week of shows. Those shows never left me. A three piece band – piano, bass, and drums, like one enormous instrument – just killing it. So we started from there. I wanted to be able to superimpose this recording over my memory of the sound and the wild intelligence of those shows. From that perspective, forty years down the road, The Diving Board is an album of music by a master at the peak of his artistic powers.”
Capitol Music Group Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett commented, “The Diving Board is simply a masterpiece. It is rare for an artist of Elton’s stature — one who has experienced decades of success and has sold literally hundreds of millions of records – to re-evaluate his artistic ambitions, to push himself and dig so deeply to create one of the strongest albums of his storied career. Yet, Elton has done exactly that. All of us at the company are incredibly proud to be presenting The Diving Board to the public, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that Capitol Records is now home to Elton John.”

The complete track listing for The Diving Board is as follows:

01. Oceans Away
02. Oscar Wilde Gets Out
03. A Town Called Jubilee
04. The Ballad of Blind Tom
05. Dream #1
06. My Quicksand
07. Can’t Stay Alone Tonight
08. Voyeur
09. Home Again
10. Take This Dirty Water
11. Dream #2
12. The New Fever Waltz
13. Mexican Vacation (Kids In The Candlelight)
14. Dream #3
15. The Diving Board

—————————————————
16. Candlelit Bedroom [Deluxe & Super-Deluxe Versions]
17. Home Again (live from Capitol Studios) [Deluxe & Super-Deluxe Versions]
18. Mexican Vacation (Kids In The Candlelight) (live from Capitol Studios) [Deluxe & Super-Deluxe Versions]
19. The New Fever Waltz (live from Capitol Studios) [Deluxe & Super-Deluxe Versions]

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Feature LP: Elton John – Sleeping With The Past (1989) – 11pm ET

 

Sleeping with the Past is the 22nd studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released on 29 August 1989.  It is his best-selling album in Denmark (where it was recorded for tax purposes) and is dedicated to his longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin.  The album featured his first solo #1 single, “Sacrifice”, in his home country of the UK, which helped the album also hit #1 there.  John and Taupin meant for the songs to reflect the style of 1960’s R&B icons such as Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, whom they admired.  It also became his first platinum album in the UK since 1983’s Too Low for Zero, and was also certified Platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA.  Guy Babylon made his debut on this album and would continue to play keyboards with John for the next 20 years.  Fred Mandel left the band shortly after.

Side one

  1. “Durban Deep” – 5:32
  2. Healing Hands” – 4:21
  3. “Whispers” – 5:30
  4. Club at the End of the Street” – 4:49
  5. Sleeping with the Past” – 4:58

Side two

  1. Stones Throw From Hurtin’” – 4:55
  2. Sacrifice” – 5:11
  3. “I Never Knew Her Name” – 3:32
  4. “Amazes Me” – 4:39
  5. “Blue Avenue” – 4:21

Bonus tracks (1999 Polygram International reissue)

  1. “Dancing in the End Zone” – 3:55
  2. “Love Is a Cannibal” – 3:55