Sir Elton John has just been named the first-ever Record Store Day Legend in honor of the vinyl collector's 10th annual event--and he's celebrating with an expansion of one of his beloved early live records.
It's no secret that Elton is an enthusiastic vinyl listener, making appearances in local record stores all over the world and an interviewee in the 2015 documentary All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records. So the inaugural position of Record Store Day Legend couldn't fit any better. Nor could the subsequent announcement that 17-11-70, his personal pick for his own favorite live album, will be expanded as a 2LP set for the special event on April 22.
Taking its name from the recording date, 17-11-70 (titled 11-17-70 for American markets) was recorded by a 25-year-old John with bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson at Phil Ramone's A&R Recording Studios for a WABC-FM broadcast. (Guitarist Davey Johnstone, who would form the crux of Elton's greatest band, would not join the group for another year.) With Elton's third album Tumbleweed Connection having been released a month prior (and sophomore breakthrough Elton John only six months before that), his catalog of tunes was already growing, and the original album featured great interpretations of his own album side favorites "Take Me to the Pilot" and "Sixty Years On," a cover of The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women," and a blazing album closer medley featuring his original "Burn Down the Mission," Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "My Baby Left Me" and The Beatles' "Get Back." While sales were relatively soft (owing to either a glut of Elton John titles on the marketplace or a widely-circulating bootleg offering fans more of the concert), it still made it to the Top 20 of both the U.S. and U.K. charts--giving John four albums simultaneously in the Top 100 of Billboard's chart, a feat not matched since The Beatles' early reign.
Now, 17-11-70+ will expand the offering to two LPs, finally offering the complete show (albeit out of sequence). The extra LP offers a new mix of "Amoreena," which was incorporated into a 1995 CD reissue and makes its vinyl debut here, plus familiar hits like "Your Song" and "Border Song" plus early favorites like "Country Comfort" and "I Need You to Turn To." It's a fitting tribute to not only one of vinyl's greatest champions, but one of the greatest artists lucky enough to have his songs pressed onto disc.
17-11-70+ (Rocket/Mercury/UMe, 2017)
- Take Me to the Pilot
- Honky Tonk Women
- Sixty Years On
- Can I Put You On
- Bad Side of the Moon
- Medley: Burn Down the Mission/My Baby Left Me/Get Back
- Indian Sunset
- Your Song
- Country Comfort
- I Need You to Turn To
- Border Song
- My Father's Gun
All tracks recorded live at A&R Recording Studios, New York City - 11/17/1970 for a live radio broadcast on WABC-FM
All tracks on LP 1 released as DJM Records DJLPS 414 (U.K.) / UNI Records 93105, 1971
All tracks on LP 2 previously unreleased except an alternate mix of Track 2, included on Rocket/Mercury CD 314 528 165-2, 1995