Tag: Elton John

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

Sunday 8/15/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection (1971)

Tumbleweed Connection is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Elton John. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London, England in March 1970, and released in October 1970 in the United Kingdom and January 1971 in the United States. It is a concept album based on country and western/Americana themes. All songs are written by John and Bernie Taupin, with the exception of “Love Song” by Lesley Duncan.

In 2012, Tumbleweed Connection was ranked #458 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album peaked at #2 on the UK Albums Chart and #5 on the US Billboard 200 chart. In the US, it was certified gold in March 1971 and platinum in August 1998 by the RIAA.

1. “Ballad of a Well-known Gun” 4:59
2. “Come Down in Time” 3:25
3. “Country Comfort” 5:06
4. “Son of Your Father” 3:48
5. “My Father’s Gun” 6:20
6. “Where to Now St. Peter?” 4:11
7. “Love Song” (Lesley Duncan) 3:41
8. “Amoreena” 5:00
9. “Talking Old Soldiers” 4:06
10. “Burn Down the Mission” 6:21

Elton John – lead vocals, acoustic piano (1, 3-6, 8-10), Hammond organ (8), backing vocals (10)
Brian Dee – Hammond organ (10, 13)
Caleb Quaye – lead guitar (1, 4, 6, 8), acoustic guitar (1, 3, 5, 6), electric guitar (5)
Les Thatcher – acoustic guitar (2, 10), 12-string acoustic guitar (3)
Gordon Huntley – steel guitar (3)

Lesley Duncan – backing vocals (1, 4, 5, 7), acoustic guitar (7)
Mike Egan – acoustic guitar (10)
Dave Glover – bass guitar (1, 4-6)
Herbie Flowers – bass guitar (2, 3, 10)
Chris Laurence – acoustic bass (2, 10)
Dee Murray – backing vocals (3, 6), bass guitar (8)
Roger Pope – drums (1, 4-6), percussion (1)
Barry Morgan – drums (2, 3, 10)
Nigel Olsson – backing vocals (3, 6), drums (8)
Robin Jones – congas (10), tambourine (10)
Karl Jenkins – oboe (2)
Skaila Kanga – harp (2)
Ian Duck – harmonica (3, 4)
Johnny Van Derek – violin (3)
Paul Buckmaster – arrangements, conductor, orchestration
Madeline Bell – backing vocals (1, 4, 5)
Tony Burrows – backing vocals (1, 5)
Kay Garner – backing vocals (1, 4, 5)
Tony Hazzard – backing vocals (1, 5)
Dusty Springfield – backing vocals (1, 5)
Tammi Hunt – backing vocals (4)
Heather Wheatman – backing vocals (4)
Yvonne Wheatman – backing vocals (4)

Wednesday 7/28/21 12am ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Madman Across The Water (1971)

Madman Across the Water is the fourth studio album by Elton John, released November 5, 1971 through DJM and Uni Records. The album was his third album to be released in 1971, at which point John had been rising to prominence as a popular music artist. The album contains 9 tracks, each composed and performed by John and with lyrics written by songwriting partner Bernie Taupin.

There were two singles released from Madman Across the Water, “Levon” and “Tiny Dancer.” It was certified gold in February 1972, followed by platinum in March 1993, and 2× platinum in August 1998 by the RIAA. The album was included in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

  1. “Tiny Dancer” 6:17
  2. “Levon” 5:22
  3. “Razor Face” 4:42
  4. “Madman Across the Water” 5:57
  5. “Indian Sunset” 6:47
  6. “Holiday Inn” 4:17
  7. “Rotten Peaches” 4:58
  8. “All the Nasties” 5:09
  9. “Goodbye” 1:49

Elton John – acoustic piano, vocals
Brian Dee – harmonium (2)
Rick Wakeman – Hammond organ (3, 4, 7)
Jack Emblow – accordion (3)
Diana Lewis – ARP synthesizer (4, 7)
Caleb Quaye – electric guitar (1, 2, 3), acoustic guitar (6)
B. J. Cole – steel guitar (1)
Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar (1, 4, 7), mandolin (6), sitar (6)
Chris Spedding – electric guitar (4), slide guitar (7)
David Glover – bass guitar (1, 3, 6)
Brian Odgers – bass guitar (2)
Herbie Flowers – bass guitar (4, 5, 7)
Chris Laurence – double bass (5)
Dee Murray – backing vocals (1, 6, 7), bass guitar (8)
Roger Pope – drums (1, 3, 6)
Barry Morgan – drums (2)
Terry Cox – drums (4, 5, 7)
Nigel Olsson – backing vocals (1, 6, 7), drums (8)
Ray Cooper – percussion (4), tambourine (7, 8)
Paul Buckmaster – orchestral arrangements and conductor (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9)
David Katz – orchestra contractor (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9)
Tony Burrows – backing vocals (1, 6, 7)
Roger Cook – backing vocals (1, 6, 7)
Lesley Duncan – backing vocals (1, 6, 7)
Barry St. John – backing vocals (1, 6, 7)
Terry Steele – backing vocals (1, 6, 7)
Liza Strike – backing vocals (1, 6, 7)
Sue and Sunny – backing vocals (1, 6, 7)
Cantores em Ecclesia Choir – backing vocals (5, 8)
Robert Kirby – choir director (5, 8)

Monday 7/26/21 10pm ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is the ninth studio album by Elton John. The album is an autobiographical account of the early musical careers of Elton John (Captain Fantastic) and his long-term lyricist Bernie Taupin (the Brown Dirt Cowboy). It was released in May 1975 by MCA in America and DJM in the UK and was an instant commercial success.

The album reached number 1 in its first week of release on the US Billboard 200, the first ever album to do so, reportedly selling 1.4 million copies within 4 days of release, and it stayed in that position in the chart for seven weeks.

Though they would all appear on later albums, this was the last album of the 1970s with the original lineup of the Elton John Band (guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray, and drummer Nigel Olsson). Murray and Olsson, who had formed John’s rhythm section since 1970, were sacked prior to the recording of the follow-up album Rock of the Westies, while Johnstone would leave in 1978. This was the last album until 1983’s Too Low for Zero that Elton John and his classic band would play on together.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 158 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list

1. “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” 5:46
2. “Tower of Babel” 4:28
3. “Bitter Fingers” 4:35
4. “Tell Me When the Whistle Blows” 4:20
5. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” 6:45
6. “(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket” 4:01
7. “Better Off Dead” 2:37
8. “Writing” 3:40
9. “We All Fall in Love Sometimes” 4:15
10. “Curtains” 6:15
11. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” 6:18
12. “One Day at a Time” 3:49
13. “Philadelphia Freedom” 5:22
14. “House of Cards”

Elton John – lead vocals, acoustic piano (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10), Fender Rhodes (1, 4, 5, 8), clavinet (4, 6), ARP String Ensemble (5), harmony vocals (7, 8), harpsichord (9, 10), mellotron (9, 10)
David Hentschel – ARP synthesizer (9, 10)
Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar (1, 5-10), electric guitar (1-4, 6, 9, 10), mandolin (1), backing vocals (3, 5-10), Leslie guitar (5), acoustic piano (8)
Dee Murray – bass guitar, backing vocals (3, 5-10)
Nigel Olsson – drums, backing vocals (3, 5-10)
Ray Cooper – shaker (1, 5, 8), congas (1, 3, 4, 9, 10), gong (1), jawbone (1), tambourine (1-6, 9, 10), bells (3, 9, 10), cymbals (5), triangle (7, 8), bongos (8)
Gene Page – orchestral arrangements (4)