Elton John (album)

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Elton John
Elton John - Elton John.jpg
Studio album by Elton John
Released 10 April 1970 (1970-04-10)
Recorded November 1969 - January 1970
Studio Trident Studios
(London, England)
Genre
Length 39:27
Label DJM
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Empty Sky
(1969)
Elton John
(1970)
Tumbleweed Connection
(1970)
Singles from Elton John
  1. "Border Song"
    Released: April 1970
  2. "Take Me to the Pilot"
    Released: 26 October 1970 (B Side)
  3. "Your Song"
    Released: 26 October 1970 (A Side)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau(B)[2]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[3]

Elton John is the second studio album by English singer-songwriter Elton John, released on 10 April 1970 by DJM Records. It was released by Uni Records as John's debut album in the United States; many people there assumed it was his first album, as Empty Sky was not released in that country until 1975. Elton John includes his breakthrough single "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 in February 1971 by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In the same year, it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

This was the first of a string of John albums produced by Gus Dudgeon. As Dudgeon recalled in a Mix magazine interview, the album was not actually intended to launch John as an artist, but rather as a collection of polished demos for other artists to consider recording his and co-writer Bernie Taupin's songs.[4]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 468 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. On 27 November 2012, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as an album cited as exhibiting "qualitative or historical significance".[5]

The song "No Shoe Strings on Louise" was intended (as homage or parody) to sound like a Mick Jagger song.[6][7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Your Song"4:02
2."I Need You to Turn To"2:35
3."Take Me to the Pilot"3:47
4."No Shoe Strings on Louise"3:31
5."First Episode at Hienton"4:48
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Sixty Years On"4:35
7."Border Song"3:22
8."The Greatest Discovery"4:12
9."The Cage"3:28
10."The King Must Die"5:23

Bonus tracks (1995 Mercury and 1996 Rocket reissue)[edit]

No.TitleLength
11."Bad Side of the Moon"3:15
12."Grey Seal (Original version)"3:35
13."Rock and Roll Madonna"4:17

Bonus tracks (2008 deluxe edition)[edit]

Disc one – original album

Disc two

  1. "Your Song" (Piano demo) – 3:35
  2. "I Need You to Turn To" (Piano demo) – 2:12
  3. "Take Me to the Pilot" (Piano demo) – 2:36
  4. "No Shoe Strings on Louise" (Piano demo) – 3:33
  5. "Sixty Years On" (Piano demo) – 4:21
  6. "The Greatest Discovery" (Piano demo) – 3:58
  7. "The Cage" (Piano demo) – 3:21
  8. "The King Must Die" (Piano demo) – 5:24
  9. "Rock and Roll Madonna" (Piano demo) – 3:11
  10. "Thank You Mama" (Piano demo) – 3:20
  11. "All the Way Down to El Paso" (Piano demo) – 2:49
  12. "I'm Going Home" (Piano demo) – 3:05
  13. "Grey Seal" (Piano demo) – 3:19
  14. "Rock And Roll Madonna" (Alternate take) – 2:55
  15. "Bad Side of the Moon" – 3:13
  16. "Grey Seal" (Original version) – 3:36
  17. "Rock and Roll Madonna" – 4:17
  18. "Border Song" (BBC session) – 3:21
  19. "Your Song" (BBC session) – 4:01
  20. "Take Me to the Pilot" (BBC session) – 3:33

Notes

  • On the album released in Portugal, a French horn is used in the introduction to "The Greatest Discovery" instead of a cello as is found on all other versions. An extended version of the introduction to "Sixty Years On" is available on the 1990 box set To Be Continued.
  • The original German release from 1970 (Hansa 80807) opens with the song "Rock and Roll Madonna", and the song "I Need You to Turn To" does not appear on the LP. The rest of the tracks and the running order remain the same as the worldwide release.
  • The album was remastered as a multichannel Super Audio CD in 2004.

B-sides[edit]

Song Format
"Bad Side of the Moon" "Border Song" 7" (US)
"Into the Old Man's Shoes" "Your Song" 7" (UK)

Personnel[edit]

  • Elton John – piano, vocals (all tracks), harpsichord (2)
  • Frank Clark – acoustic guitar (1), double bass (track 10)
  • Colin Green – additional guitar (track 1, 7), Spanish guitar (6)
  • Roland Harker – guitar (2)
  • Clive Hicks – acoustic guitar (9), rhythm guitar (4), twelve-string guitar (1), guitar (7, 8, 10)
  • Alan Parker – rhythm guitar (3)
  • Caleb Quaye – lead guitar (tracks 3–5), additional guitar (9)
  • Les Hurdle – bass guitar (10)
  • Dave Richmond – bass guitar (tracks 1, 7, 8)
  • Alan Weighall – bass guitar (tracks 3, 4, 9)
  • Brian Deeorgan (tracks 6, 7)
  • Diana Lewis – synthesizer (tracks 5, 9)
  • Paul Buckmaster – cello (8)
  • Skaila Kangaharp (tracks 2, 8)
  • Terry Cox – drums (tracks 8, 10)
  • Dennis Lopez – percussion (tracks 3, 4)
  • Barry Morgan – drums (tracks 1, 3, 4, 7, 9)
  • Tex Navarra – percussion (9)
  • Madeline Bell – backing vocals (tracks 3, 4, 7, 9)
  • Tony Burrows – backing vocals (tracks 3, 4, 7, 9)
  • Roger Cook – backing vocals (tracks 3, 4, 7, 9)
  • Lesley Duncan – backing vocals (tracks 3, 4, 7, 9)
  • Kay Garner – backing vocals (tracks 3, 4, 7, 9)
  • Tony Hazzard – backing vocals (tracks 3, 4, 7, 9)
  • Barbara Moore – backing vocals, choir leader (7)
Technical
  • Gus Dudgeon – producer, liner notes
  • Robin Geoffrey Cable – engineer
  • Gus Skinas – editing
  • Darrell Johnson – original mastering
  • Tony Cousins – remastering
  • Ricky Graham – digital transfers
  • Greg Penny – surround sound
  • Paul Buckmasterarrangement
  • David Katz – orchestra contractor
  • Steve Brown – production coordinator
  • David Larkham – art direction
  • Stowell Stanford – photography
  • Jim Goff – artwork
  • John Tobler – liner notes

Accolades[edit]

Grammy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1971 Elton John Album of the Year[8] Nominated
Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male[9] Nominated

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine "Elton John". Allmusic.
  2. ^ "CG: elton john". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived 2 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ http://www.mixonline.com/news/profiles/gus-dudgeon-1942-2002/364951
  5. ^ "Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Grammy.org. Retrieved 21 December 2012
  6. ^ J (April 18, 2015). "Won't you please excuse my frankness but it's not my cup of tea: Elton John – Elton John (1970)". www.resurrectionsongs.com. Retrieved October 3, 2016. The side is rounded off with the 'Rolling Stones country' tinged 'No Shoe Strings on Louise' (even Elton's phrasing is similar to Jagger's at times – "All those city women want to make us poor men and this land's got the worse for the worrying")... 
  7. ^ Bernardin, Claude (1995). Rocket Man: Elton John From A – Z. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood/Praeger. p. 186. ISBN 0-275-95698-9. He tried to impersonate Mick Jagger. The song is about loose women. 
  8. ^ "GRAMMYs' Best Albums 1970–1979". grammy.org. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  9. ^ "Grammy Awards: Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male". rockonthenet.com. Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  10. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  11. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 14, No. 26". RPM. 13 February 1971. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  12. ^ "dutchcharts.nl Elton John – Elton John" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  13. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  14. ^ "Elton John > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Allmusic: Elton John : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  16. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1971" (in Dutch). Archived from the original (ASP) on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "American album certifications – Elton John – Elton John". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH