Revamp – Elton John Tribute Album

Loving this tribute, out today 🙂


‘Revamp’ Track Listing:

  1. Bennie And The Jets – Elton John, P!nk and Logic
  2. We All Fall In Love Sometimes – Coldplay
  3. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Alessia Cara
  4. Candle In The Wind (2018 Version) – Ed Sheeran
  5. Tiny Dancer – Florence + The Machine
  6. Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Mumford & Sons
  7. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Mary J. Blige
  8. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Q-Tip featuring Demi Lovato
  9. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters – The Killers
  10. Daniel – Sam Smith
  11. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Miley Cyrus
  12. Your Song – Lady Gaga

Elton John’s Diamonds 3 CD Box Set

I’ve listened to Elton John’s Diamonds Deluxe Edition on Apple Music.  It has 51 songs and close to 4 hours of music.

The 3 CD limited edition box set has 34 tracks over two discs, plus 17 bonus tracks of personal favorites curated by Elton himself. It also includes a set of 5 postcard illustrations of Elton as well as exclusive annotations for each track and specially chosen 7” or CD-single picture sleeve graphics from various territories around the world in a 72-page hardback book.

‘Diamonds’ coincides with the 50th anniversary of Elton’s phenomenal songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. Meeting in 1967 through a music magazine advert seeking songwriters, Elton and Bernie went on to become one of the most enduring songwriting duos of all time, achieving a sustained level of success that puts them head and shoulders above the competition. Catapulted into the limelight as a songwriting force in 1971 with ‘Your Song,’ the duo never stood still creatively, defining an era with their run of back-to-back classic 1970’s albums. While ‘Candle In The Wind’ topped the charts in three different decades and 2016’s critically acclaimed ‘Wonderful, Crazy, Night’ was a top ten hit in the US, their legacy is one that is unrivaled in terms of longevity, creativity, and commercial success.

My Favorite Character in the Movie Sing

If you haven’t seen the movie Sing yet I urge you to watch it. We love to view it with my great-niece and great-nephews. We took them with their Mom and my brother and sister-in-law last year. to the movie theater to witness it.  Upon repeated viewings, amazingly the performances, the story, and the 3D animation get better and better.

My favorite character is Johnny, an English teenage gorilla who longs to sing, despite his father who wants him to lead a life of crime. His moment of triumph is when he sings and plays the piano, Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”.

Elton John Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Record Store Day

To commemorate the 10th Record Store Day, Elton will serve as the first-ever worldwide Record Store Day Legend and release an expanded, double-vinyl version of his first live album.

Happy 10th birthday to Record Store Day. I love record stores, I can go to the record store in Vegas and spend three hours in there. Just the smell of it, the looking at it, the wonder of it, the memories. I love vinyl so much; the tactile nature, the ritual of it, looking at the sleeve…especially with the old albums and the liner notes – who played on them, the process of putting it on, the needle going on and the sound coming out. And it DOES sound better, I know it does! It’s just the wonder of having vinyl. – Elton John

17.11.70+ has been remastered by Bob Ludwig and will be released as a two-LP set on 180gsm vinyl exclusively through independent record stores on Record Store Day, April 22.

17-11-70+ reinstates seven further songs from the concert and thus it is, at last, the most complete edition of the show available in any format. The version of Amoreena  has never been released on vinyl. See the full track listing below.

17.11.70+ track listing:
A1   Take Me To The Pilot
A2  Honky Tonk Women
A3  Sixty Years On
A4  Can I Put You On

B1  Bad Side Of The Moon
B2 Burn Down The Mission (Incl. My Baby Left Me / Get Back)

C1   Indian Sunset*
C2  Amoreena**
C3  Your Song*

D1   Country Comfort*
D2  I Need You To Turn To*
D3  Border Song*
D4  My Father’s Gun*

* Previously unreleased bonus track
** Newly remixed bonus track

Rest in Peace, Leon Russell

I glanced on my computer at what was trending in Facebook when I saw that Leon Russell, “the Master of Space and Time” passed away peacefully in his sleep. His soul ascends on the Lord’s day this Sunday November 13.

My brother will ask me if I ever saw Leon Russell perform live. I actually did in a very small blues club, the Boxcar Cafe in Southport, CT on October 10, 2004 . He performed with his daughter that night Sugaree Rose Bridges sharing vocals and gigging with his band.

I wanted to give Elton something. But what do you give a guy who has six fully stocked houses? So I thought the only thing I could give him is a song. “In the Hands of Angels,” retelling of the story of the album [The Union], thanks Mr. John (“the guv’ner” in the lyrics), who knew all the places I needed to go and made me feel the love down deep inside.

Leon Russell[8]

For today Leon Russell is, “In The Hands of Angels”.

If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there’s a rock n’ roll heaven
Well you know they’ve got a hell of a band

Wonderful Crazy Night – Elton John

Wonderful Crazy Night

Elton John’s 33rd studio album, co-produced by Elton with T-Bone Burnett and recorded/mixed at the Village in Los Angeles.

Available worldwide on February 5, 2016, all pre-order customers will receive an MP3 of the album’s debut single, “Looking Up”, instantly.

Track Listing

  1. Wonderful Crazy Night
  2. In The Name Of You
  3. Claw Hammer
  4. Blue Wonderful
  5. I’ve Got 2 Wings
  6. A Good Heart
  7. Looking Up
  8. Guilty Pleasure
  9. Tambourine
  10. The Open Chord
  11. Free And Easy
  12. England And America

Available in Standard CD, Vinyl, and Super Deluxe box set.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 40th Anniversary Edition

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) is Elton John’s most identifiable and best-selling studio album.  It is being reintroduced in various editions in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the original recording.

1. The Super Deluxe edition of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road box set includes a newly remastered version of the album, a second disc containing covers by some of today’s most exciting young artists, demos and outtakes from the sessions for the albums, a two-disc recording from Elton’s December 1973 performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in London and DVD containing the 1973 documentary Elton John and Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye To Norma Jean and Other Things, all housed in a beautiful presentation box and accompanied by a lavish 100-page book.

2. Exclusive to, the limited edition, remastered 2-LP edition of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is pressed on heavyweight 180-gram yellow vinyl.

3. The Deluxe Edition of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, released to mark the album’s 40th anniversary, includes a newly remastered version of the album and a second disc containing demos and outtakes from the album sessions, and a set of covers by some of today’s most exciting young artists.

4. Elton’s classic 1973 album, newly remastered on HD Pure Audio Blu-ray. The Pure Audio Blu-ray combines the Blu-ray format’s vast storage capacity and bandwidth necessary for high resolution sound (up to 192 kHz/24Bit) in surround and stereo with the easy and straight-forward handling of a CD.

5. A newly remastered version of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, released to mark the album’s 40th anniversary.

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The Million Dollar Piano, Elton John – A Concert Movie Extravaganza

Elton John has had a very successful long term residence in Las Vegas. For the past three years his show at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace has been “The Million Dollar Piano“. It has grossed $42 Million Dollars in the Six Legs it has run to date! At the centerpiece of the performance is the show’s namesake piano, an engineering marvel featuring more than 68 LED video screens created by Yamaha.

If I had plans to go to Las Vegas and Elton John was performing “The Million Dollar Piano” I would make that event my priority. We just saw Elton John this past November in Bridgeport and it was a phenomenal show. It was clear throughout the evening how much the 10 year Vegas residency has aided Elton John’s live stage act.

Well if you can’t get to Las Vegas here is the next best thing. Elton John is releasing a film of the Las Vegas show, The Million Dollar Piano, which will play at 500 movie theaters in America and 1,200 in over 40 other countries. The concert will screen on March 18th, with an encore showing on March 26th.

Tickets go on sale on Valentines Day, Friday 2/14/14, more info here.

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Elton John In Concert, November 8th, Bridgeport, Ct.

Elton John In Concert, November 8th, Bridgeport, Ct.

It was an exciting evening seeing Elton John and his wonderful band live in concert last night at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Ct. I just got done reading the Rolling Stone Magazine article by James Sullivan “Elton John Hits the Road With the Hits”. He captures the essence of the concert with great panache.

It was reassuring as a longtime Rolling Stone Magazine subscriber to see an article published about a concert we witnessed live the day before!

My favorite song of the night was “I’m Still Standing“, Rosemary loved hearing “Your Song” 🙂

Read more:


American Epic First Installment:The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1927) Nov. 19.

This past June I wrote about a BBC film documentary project, American EpicThe supergroup collaborative on this project includes Robert Redford (Sundance – London), T-Bone Burnett and Jack White as co-producers.

“It’s the story of the American recording industry from 1926 to 1936, this incredible occurrence. In 1926 the record industry fell off 80 per cent in one year because of the proliferation of radio in the big cities. The middle-class people and the wealthy people who were able to buy radios no longer wanted to buy records, because they could get music for free – why buy a record? So the recording companies, having equipment and nothing to do, decided to go down south, where people didn’t have electricity, and therefore didn’t have radios. So they started recording people down south – they started recording the poorest people in the country and broadcasting their voices all around the world.” – T-Bone Burnett


It’s important to take note that certain patterns or trends repeat over time. The record industry is at the “tipping point” with digital download revenues beginning to enter the negative range as sales are down 1% and will probably continue downward from there. Record companies are circling their wagons by making investment stakes in cloud music streaming services, most notably Spotify. So the effect that radio had on record sales is happening again with streaming. The one bright spot is vinyl sales which are up significantly, 30%+. People love specialty vinyl, 180/220 grade vinyl recordings.  Just ask Jack White 😉

Elton John noted that he was recently working with T-Bone Burnett, and Jack White to record a direct to analog recording . “I just did a thing with him the other day for ‘American Epic,’ a six-episode program about the history of the blues,” said John. “I got to use the original machine from 1934 that Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong recorded on, and I wrote a special song with Bernie [Taupin], and Jack White played on it. So it went straight to analog.

Jack White is deeply involved with music preservation and specialty vinyl. The Music of Our Heart has blogged about his increasing role as our Saviour of Sound. His record company, Third Man Records has manufactured and is selling the definitive preserved music volumes that will go with and expand upon the American Epic documentary.  The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932, Volume 1 at $400.

The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917-1932,’ this epic, two-volume omnibus of art, words and music housed in a limited-edition, hand-sculpted cabinet-of-wonder, to be jointly released by Jack White’s Third Man Records and John Fahey’s Revenant Records. ‘Volume One,’ covers the label’s improbable rise from 1917-1927.

The ‘Rise and Fall’ wonder-cabinet gives equal status to page-turning narrative and new scholarship; original and newly created graphic art; industrial design; and compelling analog and digital music experiences. ‘Volume One’ contains the following:

* 800 newly-remastered digital tracks, representing 172 artists
* 200+ fully-restored original 1920s ads and images
* 6x 180g vinyl LPs pressed on burled chestnut colored vinyl w/ hand-engraved, blind-embossed gold-leaf labels, housed in a laser-etched white birch LP folio
* 250 page deluxe large-format clothbound hardcover art book
* 360 page encyclopedia-style softcover field guide containing artist portraits and full Paramount discography
* Handcrafted quarter-sawn oak cabinet with lush sage velvet upholstery and custom-forged metal hardware
* First-of-its-kind music and image player app, allowing user mgmt of all tracks and ads, housed on custom-designed USB drive

If you seek to know more about music archives and their importance to our history and culture, I recommend today’s NPR column the Record by Ann Powers, “Holding Music History In Your Hands: Why Archives Matter“.

Music is not a thing, but things are important to music. You can’t really understand 1920s blues without learning how to shimmy and slow drag. Gospel becomes richer once you hold the songbooks, and the prayer books, that created a holy framework for its squalls and deep harmonies. – Ann Powers

I also refer you to companion content on NPR the Record and the Weekend Edition, “Paramount Records: The Label Inadvertently Crucial To The Blues” and the audio segment which will feature an interview with Jack White (available starting at Noon today)

Courtesy of Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images

We have a very rich heritage to explore, listen to and learn about with the American Epic project. I love the supporting music volumes, music authorities like Ann Powers, Tom Cole, Jack White increasing our insights and the next level initiatives of the American Epic project producing a worldwide concert tour, music releases, a book, an exhibition, and an educational outreach program.

As an educator and amateur musicologist I can’t wait to get immerse myself in this music history experience. The first installment of the BBC American Epic The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1927) will be broadcast on November 19th. Check with your cable provider to see if they offer the BBC program channel (Optimum offers BBC on Channel 101).