Wednesday 10pm: Feature LP: Elton John – Leather Jackets (1986)

February 6, 2019
Editor In Chief

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 favorite 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 honor 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.

“Leather Jackets” – 4:10
“Hoop of Fire” – 4:14
“Don’t Trust That Woman” 4:58
“Go It Alone” – 4:26
“Gypsy Heart” – 4:46
“Slow Rivers” (Duet with Cliff Richard) – 3:06
“Heartache All Over the World” – 4:17
“Angeline” – 3:24
“Memory of Love” – 4:08
“Paris” – 3:58
“I Fall Apart” – 4:00

Feature LP: Elton John – Blue Moves (1976) 8pm ET

May 1, 2013
Editor In Chief

Elton_John_-_Blue_MovesBlue Moves is the eleventh studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in on 22 October 1976. It was also his second double album (after Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), and his first album released by his own Rocket Records Ltd. While giving a concert at Wembley Arena to promote the album, John spontaneously announced “That’s it, this is the last one.” He didn’t say for how long, but he was serious and temporarily left the touring/live performing scene. Kenny Passerelli, Caleb Quaye, James Newton-Howard and Roger Pope left the band after this. Only Davey Johnstone and Ray Cooper remained for John’s next album, A Single Man.

Despite the album’s darker tone and experimental song lineup, it has held up well with critics and in its initial release made it to #3 on the album charts, partly on the strength of the album’s biggest hit single “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word“. (A single version of “Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)” also made it as a top 40 hit). John has played several songs from Blue Moves live. Versions of “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word”, “Bite Your Lip”, “One Horse Town”, “Tonight”, and “Idol” have surfaced in various concert appearances through the years.

John has stated that Blue Moves is one of his favourite albums he has ever recorded. It was Gus Dudgeon’s last album produced for almost a decade. The cover art for the album is from a painting by British artist Patrick Procktor. In the US, it was certified gold in October and platinum in December of 1976 by the RIAA.

Cage the Songbird” was a tribute to legendary French songstress Edith Piaf, and a year or so later was covered by Kiki Dee on an unreleased Rocket album, which finally was issued in 2008. (“Songbird” originated as part of the Rock of the Westies sessions, but wasn’t completed during them, probably since the song’s more acoustic, delicate sound didn’t fit with the more rock ‘n roll approach to the rest of the songs that made the Rock of the Westies final lineup.) The Beach Boys turned down “Chameleon”, but members of the group (including Bruce Johnston and Toni Tennille) turned out to sing backing vocals on John’s version. An excerpt from “Out of the Blue” was used for the closing titles on Top Gear up until the end of that Top Gear format (in 2001). This was one of two albums in which Davey Johnstone does not provide backing vocals; 1997’s The Big Picture would be the other.

 Source: Wikipedia

Side one

  1. Your Starter for…” (Caleb Quaye) – 1:23
  2. “Tonight” – 7:52
  3. One Horse Town” (John, James Newton-Howard, Taupin) – 5:56
  4. “Chameleon” – 5:27

Side two

  1. “Boogie Pilgrim” (John, Davey Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 6:05
  2. Cage the Songbird” (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 3:25
  3. Crazy Water” – 5:42
  4. “Shoulder Holster” – 5:10

Side three

  1. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” – 3:48
  2. “Out of the Blue” – 6:14
  3. Between Seventeen and Twenty” (John, Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 5:17
  4. “The Wide-Eyed and Laughing” (John, Johnstone, Newton-Howard, Quaye, Taupin) – 3:27
  5. “Someone’s Final Song” – 4:10

Side four

  1. “Where’s the Shoorah?” – 4:09
  2. “If There’s a God in Heaven (What’s He Waiting For?)” (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 4:25
  3. “Idol” – 4:08
  4. “Theme from a Non-Existent TV Series” – 1:19
  5. Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)” – 6:43

Wednesday Double Feature LP – 9pm ET Elton John Debut and 21@ 33

February 27, 2013
Editor In Chief

Elton_John_-_Elton_JohnElton John is the second album by English singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1970. However, because it was his first album released in America, many people there assumed it was his first album, as Empty Sky was not released in the US until 1975. Elton John includes his breakthrough hit, “Your Song”, and helped to establish his career during what was considered the “singer-songwriter” era of popular music. In the US, it was certified gold on 17 February 1971 by the RIAA. In the same year, it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

In 2003, the album was ranked #468 on Rolling Stone magazine‘s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. This was the first of many Elton John albums produced by Gus Dudgeon. On 27 November 2012, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as an album cited as exhibiting “qualitative or historical significance”

 

Album_21_at_3321 at 33 is the fourteenth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released on 13 May 1980. It was recorded at Super Bear Studios, Nice, France, in August 1979, and Rumbo Recorders and Sunset Sound in Los Angeles, California between January to March 1980.
The title comes from the fact that this was John’s 21st album in total at the age of 33. According to the liner notes in the remastered edition of the album, the count includes all standard albums, two “Greatest Hits” compilations, two live albums, as well as the Friends soundtrack, the three-song, 12-inch EP The Thom Bell Sessions and the UK-only “rarities” collection Lady Samantha. The album sold over 900,000 copies in the United States, narrowly missing a Platinum certication.

John has not played any of the material in concert since touring in 1980, with the exception of “Little Jeannie“, “White Lady White Powder” and “Sartorial Eloquence“; all three of which were performed in Central Park that same year. “Little Jeannie” was again performed at the two One Night Only concerts in 2000. Even “Little Jeannie”, which was a huge North American hit, (#3 Pop and #1 Adult Contemporary in the United States, and #1 in Canada), is rarely performed. Two of John’s “classic” bandmates, drummer Nigel Olsson and bass player Dee Murray, reunited with him for one song. His backup keyboardist James Newton-Howard returns and performs on almost every track as was the case on Rock of the Westies and Blue Moves. Other musicians include members of The Eagles and Toto as well as Peter Noone from Herman’s Hermits.

 

Feature LP: Elton John – Rare Masters (1992) 10pm ET

February 26, 2013
Editor In Chief

ejrmRare Masters is an album by Elton John that was released in 1992. This compilation album features all A-side and B-sides released by John between 1968 and 1975 that were not included on original studio albums or Greatest Hits volume II.

The album also includes five outtakes, recorded between the same time period, that had previously been unreleased. It is also the only place where the soundtrack to the 1971 movie Friends has been made available on CD.

When the Elton John back catalogue from 1969-1975 was remastered and released in 1995, many of these songs were released on those albums as well, also in remastered form. –Wikipedia

Disc one

  1. I’ve Been Loving You” – 3:16
  2. “Here’s to the Next Time” (Elton John) – 2:58
  3. Lady Samantha” (also on Empty Sky) – 3:02
  4. “All Across the Havens” (also on Empty Sky) – 2:51
  5. It’s Me That You Need” (also on Empty Sky) – 4:00
  6. “Just Like Strange Rain” (also on Empty Sky) – 3:44
  7. “Bad Side of the Moon” (also on Elton John) – 3:12
  8. Rock n’ Roll Madonna” (also on Elton John)– 4:16
  9. Grey Seal” [original version] (also on Elton John) – 3:35
  10. “Friends” – 2:23 Friends (soundtrack)
  11. “Michelle’s Song” – 4:20
  12. “Seasons” – 3:56
  13. “Variation on Michelle’s Song (A Day in the Country)” – 2:47
  14. “Can I Put You On” – 5:57
  15. “Honey Roll” – 3:07
  16. “Variation on Friends” – 1:43
  17. “I Meant to Do My Work Today (A Day in the Country)” – 1:36
  18. “Four Moods” (Paul Buckmaster) – 11:01
  19. “Seasons Reprise” – 1:39

Disc two

  1. “Madman Across the Water” (Original version) (also on Tumbleweed Connection) – 8:50
  2. “Into the Old Man’s Shoes” (also on Tumbleweed Connection) – 4:01
  3. “Rock Me When He’s Gone” – 5:01
  4. “Slave” [Alternate version] (also on Honky Chateau) – 2:48
  5. Skyline Pigeon” [Piano version] (also on “Empty Sky”) – 3:51
  6. “Jack Rabbit” (also on Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player) – 1:51
  7. “Whenever You’re Ready (We’ll Go Steady Again)” (also on Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player) – 2:51
  8. “Let Me Be Your Car” (also on Rod Stewart album Smiler) – 4:52
  9. “Screw You (Young Man’s Blues)” (also on Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player) – 4:41
  10. Step into Christmas” (also on Caribou)– 4:30
  11. “Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who’d Be a Turkey at Christmas)” – 4:03
  12. Sick City” (also on Caribou)– 5:23
  13. “Cold Highway” (also on Caribou)– 3:26
  14. “One Day (At a Time)” (John Lennon) (also on Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy)– 3:47
  15. I Saw Her Standing There” [live] (Duet with John Lennon) (John LennonPaul McCartney) (also on Here and There)– 3:51
  16. “House of Cards” (also on Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy)– 3:09
  17. “Planes” – 4:14
  18. “Sugar on the Floor” (Kiki Dee) (also on Rock of the Westies) – 4:33

Feature LP: Elton John Greatest Hits 1970 – 2002 – 9pm ET

February 5, 2013
Editor In Chief

Elton_John_-_Greatest_Hits_1970-2002_album_coverGreatest Hits 1970–2002 is a career-spanning collection of Elton John’s biggest hits up to 2002. It was released in an alternate 3-CD version (as opposed to the usual 2-CD) and slightly different versions in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The album debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at number 12 on November 30, 2002. It spent 67 weeks on the chart. It was certified Gold and Platinum on 13 December 2002, 2x Platinum on 5 March 2003, 3x Platinum on 2 August 2004 and 4x and 5x Platinum on 14 February 2011 by the RIAA.

It was the first Elton John compilation released since the time that PolyGram, which had controlled the pre-1976 Elton John catalogue, was sold to Universal Music Group, which controlled the post-1976 recordings. Prior to 1992, rights to John’s music had been complicated as they shifted between various companies. UMG now owns worldwide distribution rights to all of John’s music, while sharing overall ownership with John himself.

The CD omits the #1 Adult Contemporary hit “Mama Can’t Buy You Love” from The Thom Bell Sessions (top 10 in 1979).

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

October 4, 2012
Editor In Chief

 

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

 

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