Tag: Elton John

Thursday 10/14/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Rock Of The Westies (1975)

Rock of the Westies is the tenth studio album by English musician Elton John, released on October 4, 1975. The title is a spoonerism play on the phrase “West of the Rockies”, the album having been recorded at Caribou Ranch in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

As with Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Rock of the Westies debuted on the US Billboard 200 chart at No. 1, the only two albums at that time to have done so. It was also successful (albeit to a lesser extent) in the artist’s home territory of the UK, where it reached No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart.

  1. “Medley: Yell Help / Wednesday Night / Ugly” 6:15
  2. “Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)” 3:29
  3. “Island Girl” 3:42
  4. “Grow Some Funk of Your Own” 4:47
  5. “I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)” 5:27
  6. “Street Kids” 6:25
  7. “Hard Luck Story” 5:16
  8. “Feed Me” 4:00
  9. “Billy Bones and the White Bird” 4:25
  10. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (featuring Kiki Dee) 4:02
  11. “Planes” 4:31
  12. “Sugar on the Floor” 4:31

Elton John – lead vocals, acoustic piano (all except 8)
James Newton Howard – harpsichord (1), ELKA Rhapsody string synthesizer (1), ARP synthesizer (1, 3), Hohner clavinet (1, 2), mellotron (3), electric piano (4, 5, 7, 8, 9), synthesizers (4, 5, 9)
Davey Johnstone – electric guitar (1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9), backing vocals (2, 3, 4, 6, 8), rhythm guitar (2, 6), voice bag (2), Ovation guitar (3), banjo (3), slide guitar (3, 6), acoustic guitar (4, 5), guitar solo (5)
Caleb Quaye – electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9), backing vocals (2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8), acoustic guitar (3, 4, 5), rhythm guitar (6), lead guitar solo (6)
Kenny Passarelli – bass guitar, backing vocals (2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
Roger Pope – drums (1-5, 7–9)
Ray Cooper – tambourine (1, 3, 5, 6, 9), cowbell (1, 9), congas (1, 3, 6, 7, 8), jawbone (1), marimba (3), castanets (4), bell tree (4), vibraphone (4, 5, 8), shaker (8), wind chimes (8), maracas (9), kettle drums (9)
Labelle – backing vocals (1)
Ann Orson – backing vocals (1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9)
Kiki Dee – backing vocals (2, 3, 4, 6–9)
Clive Franks – backing vocals (8)

Thursday 10/7/21 11pm ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Caribou (1974)

Caribou is the eighth studio album by English singer Elton John, released June 28, 1974. It was his 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 two in the US, and “The Bitch Is Back”, which reached number 15 in the UK and number four in the US. Both singles reached number one in Canada on the RPM 100 national Top Singles Chart, as did the album itself.

The album met with lukewarm reviews on its release and legacy reviews do not consider the record to be among John’s best work from his early 1970s peak period. However, the album was a commercial success and has been certified double-platinum in the US as well as receiving a gold certification in the UK. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards.

  1. “The Bitch Is Back” 3:44
  2. “Pinky” 3:54
  3. “Grimsby” 3:46
  4. “Dixie Lily” 2:55
  5. “Solar Prestige a Gammon” 2:52
  6. “You’re So Static” 4:53
  7. “I’ve Seen the Saucers” 4:48
  8. “Stinker” 5:20
  9. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” 5:36
  10. “Ticking” 7:34
  11. “Pinball Wizard” 5:09
  12. “Sick City” 5:23
  13. “Cold Highway” 3:25
  14. “Step into Christmas” 4:32

Elton John – lead vocals, acoustic piano, Hammond organ (9)
David Hentschel – ARP synthesizer (2, 5, 10), mellotron (9)
Chester D. Thompson – Hammond organ (8)
Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, backing vocals
Dee Murray – bass guitar, backing vocals
Nigel Olsson – drums, backing vocals
Ray Cooper – tambourine, congas, whistle, vibraphone, snare, castanets, tubular bells, maracas
Lenny Pickett – tenor saxophone solo (1), soprano saxophone solo (4, 5), clarinet (5)
Tower of Power – horn section (1, 6, 8, 9)
Emilio Castillo – tenor saxophone
Steve Kupka – baritone saxophone
Lenny Pickett – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet
Mic Gillette – trombone, trumpet
Greg Adams – trumpet, horn arrangements (1, 6, 8)
Del Newman – horn arrangements (9)
Clydie King – backing vocals (1, 6)
Sherlie Matthews – backing vocals (1)
Jessie Mae Smith – backing vocals (1)
Dusty Springfield – backing vocals (1)
Billy Hinsche – backing vocals (9)
Bruce Johnston – backing vocals (9)
Toni Tennille – backing vocals (9)
Carl Wilson – backing vocals (9), vocal arrangements (9)
Daryl Dragon – vocal arrangements (9)

Friday 10/1/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Made In England (1995)

Made in England is the twenty-fourth studio album by English singer-songwriter Elton John, released March 17, 1995 and produced by him and Greg Penny, the first time since Leather Jackets without Chris Thomas. It was dedicated to John’s boyfriend and future husband David Furnish. It was also dedicated to the memory of Denis Gauthier and Peter Williams. It was the last album to feature regular percussionist Ray Cooper until 2016’s Wonderful Crazy Night. Bob Birch became John’s full-time recording and touring bass player and continued that role until his death in 2012.

The song “Please” was covered by bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent and country legend Dolly Parton for the 2018 tribute album Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

  1. “Believe” 4:55
  2. “Made in England” 5:09
  3. “House” 4:27
  4. “Cold” 5:37
  5. “Pain” 3:49
  6. “Belfast” 6:29
  7. “Latitude” 3:34
  8. “Please” 3:52
  9. “Man” 5:16
  10. “Lies” 4:25
  11. “Blessed” 5:01

Elton John – lead and backing vocals, acoustic piano (1-7, 9-11), harmonium (7), keyboards (8), string arrangements (9)
Guy Babylon – keyboards, programming, backing vocals (8), string arrangements (9)
Teddy Borowiecki – accordion (6)
Paul Carrack – Hammond organ (9)
Davey Johnstone – guitars, mandolin, banjo, backing vocals (8)
Bob Birch – bass, backing vocals (8)
Charlie Morgan – drums
Ray Cooper – percussion
Paul Brennan – pipes, flute (6)
Dermont Crehan – violin (6)
Paul Buckmaster – orchestral arrangements and conductor (1, 3, 4, 6)
George Martin – string and French horn arrangements (7), conductor (7)
Gavyn Wright – orchestra leader (6), conductor (9)
The London Session Orchestra – orchestra (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9)

Friday 9/3/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Various Artists – Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin

Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin is a 1991 tribute album consisting of interpretations of sixteen songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Released October 22, 1991. The title refers to a song on John’s album 21 at 33, “Two Rooms at the End of the World”, and to the duo’s unusual collaborative style; it is also the title of a 1991 film documenting their collaboration.

  1. “Border Song” Eric Clapton 4:21
  2. “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)” Kate Bush 4:57
  3. “Come Down in Time” Sting 3:38
  4. “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” The Who 4:32
  5. “Crocodile Rock” The Beach Boys 4:21
  6. “Daniel” Wilson Phillips 4:03
  7. “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” Joe Cocker 3:57
  8. “Levon” Jon Bon Jovi 5:27
  9. “The Bitch is Back” Tina Turner 3:38
  10. “Philadelphia Freedom” Hall & Oates 5:12
  11. “Your Song” Rod Stewart 4:49
  12. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” Oleta Adams 6:02
  13. “Madman Across the Water” Bruce Hornsby 6:10
  14. “Sacrifice” Sinéad O’Connor 5:12
  15. “Burn Down the Mission” Phil Collins 6:11
  16. “Tonight” George Michael 7:23

Friday 9/3/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Wonderful Crazy Night (2016)

Wonderful Crazy Night is the thirtieth studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John. It was released on February 5, 2016. It is John’s first album since 2006’s The Captain & the Kid to feature the Elton John Band, and was written and recorded in 17 days. John’s long-standing percussionist, Ray Cooper, makes his first appearance on any of John’s albums since Made in England in 1995. This is Kim Bullard’s first appearance on keyboards replacing Guy Babylon, and Matt Bissonette replacing Bob Birch on bass.

  1. “Wonderful Crazy Night” 3:13
  2. “In the Name of You” 4:33
  3. “Claw Hammer” 4:22
  4. “Blue Wonderful” 3:37
  5. “I’ve Got 2 Wings” 4:35
  6. “A Good Heart” 4:50
  7. “Looking Up” 4:06
  8. “Guilty Pleasure” 3:38
  9. “Tambourine” 4:17
  10. “The Open Chord” 4:04
  11. “Free and Easy” 3:55
  12. “England and America” 3:51

Elton John – acoustic piano, lead vocals
Kim Bullard – keyboards

Davey Johnstone – guitars, harmony vocals
Matt Bissonette – bass, harmony vocals
Nigel Olsson – drums, harmony vocals
John Mahon – percussion, harmony vocals
Ray Cooper – tambourine (3, 5, 8, 9)
Tom Peterson – baritone saxophone
Joe Sublett – tenor saxophone
Jim Thomson – tenor saxophone
John Grab – trombone
Nick Lane – trombone
William Roper – tuba
Allen Fogle – French horn
Dylan Hart – French horn
Gabe Witcher – horn arrangements and conductor
Ken Stacey – harmony vocals

Wednesday 8/25/21 1am ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) [2003 Edition]

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is the seventh studio album by English singer-songwriter Elton John, first released October 3, 1973 as a double LP. The album has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and is widely regarded as John’s magnum opus. Among the 17 tracks, the album contains the hits “Candle in the Wind”, US number-one single “Bennie and the Jets”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” plus live favourites “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” and “Harmony”.

It was recorded at the Studio d’enregistrement Michel Magne at the Château d’Hérouville in France after problems recording at the intended location in Jamaica. The move provided John and his band with a great deal of creative inspiration and an abundance of quality material was produced, leading to the decision to release the work as a double album (LP).

In 2020, the album was ranked number 112 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was also ranked number 59 in Channel 4’s 2009 list of 100 Greatest Albums.

The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003 when it was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

  1. “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” 11:09
  2. “Candle in the Wind” 3:50
  3. “Bennie and the Jets” 5:23
  4. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” 3:13
  5. “This Song Has No Title” 2:23
  6. “Grey Seal” 4:00
  7. “Jamaica Jerk-Off” 3:39
  8. “I’ve Seen That Movie Too” 5:59
  9. “Sweet Painted Lady” 3:54
  10. “The Ballad of Danny Bailey (1909–34)” 4:23
  11. “Dirty Little Girl” 5:00
  12. “All the Girls Love Alice” 5:09
  13. “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n Roll)” 2:42
  14. “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” 4:57
  15. “Roy Rogers” 4:07
  16. “Social Disease” 3:42
  17. “Harmony” 2:46

2003 Additions

  1. “Whenever You’re Ready (We’ll Go Steady Again)” 2:52
  2. “Jack Rabbit” 1:50
  3. “Screw You (Young Man’s Blues)” 4:42
  4. “Candle in the Wind” (2003 acoustic remix by Greg Penny) 3:51

Elton John – vocals, acoustic piano (1–6, 8–10, 12–17), Fender Rhodes (5, 6), Farfisa organ (3, 5, 7, 13), mellotron (5, 6, 11)
Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, Leslie guitar, slide guitar, steel guitar, banjo
Dee Murray – bass guitar

Nigel Olsson – drums, congas, tambourine, car effects (12)
Dee Murray, Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson – backing vocals (1, 2, 4, 10, 13, 17)
Del Newman – orchestral arrangements (4, 8–10, 15, 17)
David Katz – orchestra contractor (4, 8–10, 15, 17)
Leroy Gómez – saxophone solo (16)
David Hentschel – ARP synthesizer (1, 12)
Kiki Dee – backing vocals (12)
Ray Cooper – tambourine on (12)
Uncredited – Vocal interjections on “Jamaica Jerk-Off” (credited to Prince Rhino, Reggae Dwight and Toots Taupin, possibly a pseudonym for Elton John and Bernie Taupin, though this is uncertain), drum machine, maracas, timbales, claves on “Jamaica Jerk-Off”, castanets on “Funeral for a Friend”, shaker on “I’ve Seen That Movie Too”, tambourine on “Social Disease”, accordion, vibraphone on “Sweet Painted Lady”

Monday 8/23/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Live In Australia (1987)

Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, released in 1987, is the twenty-sixth official album release for Elton John. It is a live album recorded at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on 14 December 1986 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

The concert, recorded on 14 December 1986, was the last of a series of concerts done throughout the last two months of 1986, which were part of John’s Tour De Force (tour) of Australia and New Zealand. The concerts consisted of two sets: the first was limited to John and his 14-piece band, including backing vocalists and the Onward International horn section, and his flamboyant stage dress, featuring Mohawk and Tina Turner wigs and some outlandish eyewear; the second featured John, the band and the 88-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, with him dressed as Mozart.

John’s band was essentially the lineup used on Leather Jackets, which he was touring behind at the time, including Jody Linscott and special guest Ray Cooper, both of whom played percussion.

James Newton Howard, who was at the time an up-and-coming film composer in Hollywood, joined John to conduct and write larger, augmented charts of not only his own previous work on “Tonight,” but also Paul Buckmaster’s original arrangements, since the music was to be played by 88 musicians, instead of the smaller studio orchestra for which the compositions were originally designed. He also wrote brand new full orchestra parts for songs such as “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, which previously only had horn arrangements.

The album features most of the songs recorded in the second half of the show, excluding “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”, “Carla/Etude”, “Cold as Christmas (In the Middle of the Year)” and “Slow Rivers”, which was sung by John alone (John dueted “Slow Rivers” with Cliff Richard on Leather Jackets).

John’s live sound engineer, Clive Franks, handled the recording of the band (assisted by Keith Walker and Dennis Fox), while album producer Gus Dudgeon supervised recording of the orchestra by Leon Minervini and Nic Jeremy. Dudgeon took the tapes back to Wisseloord Studios in the Netherlands for mixing with engineer Graham Dickson, who had also worked on Leather Jackets.

This concert was the last to feature Elton’s legendary stage costumes, which he had featured in his shows since the early 1970s. It was also his last show before undergoing throat surgery in January 1987. Despite being completely successful, the surgery prevented Elton from singing and touring for several months and permanently altered his voice.

“Sixty Years On” – 5:41
“I Need You to Turn To” – 3:14
“The Greatest Discovery” – 4:09
“Tonight” – 5:58
“Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” – 3:58
“The King Must Die” – 5:21
“Take Me to the Pilot” – 4:22
“Tiny Dancer” – 7:46
“Have Mercy on the Criminal” – 5:50
“Madman Across the Water” – 6:38
“Candle in the Wind” – 4:10
“Burn Down the Mission” – 5:49
“Your Song” – 4:04
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” – 6:06

Produced by Gus Dudgeon
Mastered by Greg Fulginiti US
Elton John – piano, vocals
Davey Johnstone – guitars
David Paton – bass guitar
Charlie Morgan – drums
Fred Mandel – keyboards, synthesizers
Ray Cooper – percussion
Jody Linscott – percussion
Alan Carvell – backing vocals
Gordon Neville – backing vocals
Shirley Lewis – backing vocals
James Newton Howard – orchestral arrangements, conductor
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra