Friday, March 25, 2022

Aisle of Dwight: Elton John 75

I'm gonna break my little rule of not covering anyone I've done before, but I have an excuse.

Since I last celebrated him seven years ago this May, the concert I posted has been reissued officially, so I had to take it out of the folder and make a link to the page for it.

But I haven't ever tributed the guy on his birthday, so we'll fire this up in lieu of the dearly departed Queen of Soul -- whom I've covered several more times than he -- and who was somehow born exactly five years before him.

Today's queen makes me proud to be one of them homosekshuls, you know? Back when he came out, it wasn't a ticket to the keynote slot at the $10,000/plate Human Rights Campaign dinner and your own reality TV show on Oxygen.

He's on the cusp of retirement -- I think he is finishing or just finished his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. OK, I looked it up and the postponements from COVID-19 mean it ends in the summer of 2023.

One of those rare superheroes that's both a queen and a Knight, he got his MBE in 1998.

You've seen the movies, you've bought the records.... heck, you even have the Captain Fantastic lunchbox set. Can you believe Elton John is 75 years old???? Jesus Christ I feel ancient, and I'm 20 years his junior.

You know what else is baffling? He's had the same band since I was in Partridge Family coveralls, and I love those guys, but somehow I have always been partial to him solo at the piano, with the orchestro-percussive flourishes of the great Ray Cooper (he's 75 in September, watch out) alongside.

That was what that tremendous From Russia with Elton show from 1979 was all about, from back when the Cold War -- now freezing back to an ICBM frenzy faster than a cool seven figure executive bonus at Lockheed Martin -- was beginning to thaw. Did you ever think we'd be fucking pining for the days of Nineteen Seventy fucking Nine?

But like I said, that one's been issued for real (buy it here), so we'll pop one up that's just as hot -- with a ton of nearly-never-performed deep cuts, too -- from 45 years ago this Spring, that features the birthday boy (with an ebullient Mr. Cooper in the 2nd hour) doing his solo thing in the historic Rainbow Theatre in London, just before running off with Thom Bell and a whole South American country's worth of cocaine.

Elton John
"Rainbow Rock"
Rainbow Theatre
London, UK

01 Your Song
02 The Greatest Discovery
03 Border Song
04 Daniel
05 Sweet Painted Lady
06 Rocket Man
07 I Heard It Through the Grapewine
08 Candle In the Wind
09 Roy Rogers
10 Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)
11 Cage the Songbird
12 Where to Now St. Peter?
13 Ticking
14 Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me

01 Take Me to the Pilot
02 Funeral for a Friend
03 Tonight
04 Better Off Dead
05 Idol
06 I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)
07 I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself
08 Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
09 Crazy Water
10 Bennie and the Jets
11 Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
12 Goodbye

Total time: 1:58:52

Elton John - piano & vocals
Ray Cooper - percussion

low gen, perhaps master, soundboard capture of unknown origin
sourced from the 1992 Silver Rarities bootleg silver CD "Rainbow Rock"
declipped, clicks and gaps between tracks removed & track markers optimized by EN, March 2022
625 MB FLAC/March 2022 archive link

I might do one more in March, or wait until August for that person's birthday. I'll decide over the weekend.

Anyway I'm staying away from rock stars unless they're top tier ones I've never covered, or barely covered lol. Sir EJ is clearly in that category and you only turn the big 7-5 once, so here's some Saturday Night fighting on Friday for you all.--J.

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