An affectionate and detailed look at the music of Elton John, by a fan, not a fanatic.
Episode 37 - 'Elton John' at 50 (Part 2) with John Higgins and Skaila Kanga
Here's the rest of my track by track breakdown with John Higgins of the 'Elton John' album. The album lit a fuse. Four and a half months later, Elton exploded at the Troubadour. John and I got to talk about some of the strides and the mis-steps that were taken along the way.
John is Feature Writer at www.eltonjohn.com as well as Elton's Legacy Consultant. Elton fans can thank him for the exceptional 50th anniversary articles he's been writing, and show him love and eternal recognition for finding a way, alongside Daryl Easlea from Universal, and others, to make the upcoming box set 'Elton: Jewel Box' a reality.
Also starring in this episode is the delightful Skaila Kanga. We talked about her harp work on the 'Elton John' album, her musical history, and her time in the classroom with Elton. Skaila has worked with essentially everyone over a hugely successful career, and she was still extremely busy when we spoke, back in March
Skaila's been keeping busy during the enforced hiatus from live and studio work: she's been posting some lovely seasonal videos of her harp playing over at her YouTube channel.
Episode 36 - Jewel Box Joy
Well it's finally happened. I've got pretty much everything I've ever asked for, and probably a bit more. In this quickie episode, I dip into the mind-bending rarities track-list, and talk about what's new and what's not.
All of the details can be found at the Elton John website.
Episode 35 - 'Elton John' at 50 with John Higgins
Enormous thanks to John Higgins - Feature Writer for the eltonjohn.com website - who came onto the podcast to share his love for the 'Black Album', and to tell me some of the stories that he'd been able to hear during interviews that he carried out with Paul Buckmaster and Gus Dudgeon about their work on the project.
We listened through some 'mixes' that I've made of the tracks, making use of the separate channels in the 5.1 mixes, which I feel make for a pleasing new outlook onto some of Elton's densest material.
Apologies to anyone who's been waiting on an episode, or a reply from me. There are several excuses in the episode, I won't repeat them here.
Part two of this interview will be up very soon!
Episode 34 - Fantasy Residency and More Songs They Gave Away
In this episode I apologise for my absence; make some excuses; review the autobiography, in a limited sense; talk about the way that the book, the film and reality interact in one case; accept that I was wrong in another; mentally stage a residency, made up of Elton's deep cuts; all before the main event, which is a follow up to episode 14 - The Songs They Gave Away. In that sense, it's a bit of a grab-bag.
Prepare for the familiar to sound very different, in the hands of other artists, and also for some songs that (I hope) you won't have heard before.
Episode 33 - Anett Murray Interview
This episode starts off with a Rocketman competition, courtesy of Paramount Home Media (here is the prize pack that's up for grabs) before the main event, an interview with Anett Murray, wife of Dee Murray, and a big part of the Elton John family during the first half of the seventies.
Anett tells us some fascinating stories of life at home and on the road with Dee. I would like to thank her for sharing her memories with the podcast. Add in some wonderful music, and we have here a very special episode!
The photograph that Anett mentions, of her wedding day, can be found here. If you're on Facebook, consider joining the 'Induct Nigel, Davey and Dee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame' group. There are countless wonderful pictures like this one, and you can also help the cause for these musicians to be properly recognised for the enormous contribution that they made to Elton's music.
The songs that are excerpted in the episode are as follows:
You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover - Bo Diddley, 1962
I'm In A Different World - The Four Tops, 1968
(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher - Jackie Wilson, 1967
Space Oddity (Vocal, Drums and Bass only) - David Bowie, 1969
And The Gods Came Down - The Spencer Davis Group, 1970
Sitting Doing Nothing - Elton John, 1968
Take Me To The Pilot (BBC Live Session) - Elton John, 25th June 1970
Burn Down the Mission (Live Fillmore East) - Elton John, 21st November 1970
Jawbone - The Band, 1969
Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (Live Hammersmith Odeon) - Elton John, 23rd December 1973
Philadelphia Freedom (Live Central Park) - Elton John, 13th September 1980
Burning Buildings - Elton John, 1984
Rocket Man (Keys, Guitars and Bass only) - Elton John, 1972.
The email address to enter the competition is email@example.com. Unlike what I say in the episode, the competition is in fact open to residents of the US or Canada.
Episode 32 - Mysteries of Elton
Welcome aboard the Mystery Machine, as we take a Flight of Fancy into the unknown corners of Elton's musical world. In this episode, I investigate the spookiest, dustiest corners of discogs, I search for the bootlegs that don’t even exist in our reality, and I uncover the songs that live only in the memories of people who say that they have heard them.
Several pieces of music, where the level of Elton’s involvement is disputed, are played in the episode. You can listen to the songs again, and vote, using this online form, to record your opinion as to whether you hear Elton in the music that is presented.
Feel free to submit your own responses still, but I have collected the results here.