2019 marks the 40th anniversary of Elton John’s landmark tour of Russia, where he stunned audiences as the first rocker to perform in the country. His concerts there were intimate events where he performed alongside percussion master Ray Cooper. The stripped-down duo performances showed a side of Elton that had rarely been seen in the preceding decade, as he revisited classics and new songs alike with a fiery intensity.
Elton’s May 28 show was broadcast on the BBC and tapes of the show quickly made the rounds among his legion of fans. The captivating performances and wide-reaching setlist made it a favorite for decades to come. Now, fans will be treated to the first-ever widespread official release of Live From Moscow 1979 , a collection of highlights from that concert. Previously only available in a limited edition, 2-LP clear vinyl set for Record Store Day, the same 16-track program will be released in a 2-CD set or 2-LP black vinyl configuration on January 24, and will also be made available through digital download and streaming providers.
The producers of Live From Moscow 1979 went back to the original broadcast masters to ensure optimum sound quality, and those tapes were then remastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering. The presentation is also first-rate, with the vinyl configuration housed in a gatefold sleeve and the CD set presented in an LP-replica mini gatefold package. And though hardcore fans might wonder why “Roy Rogers,” “Ego,” or a host of other deep cuts performed in Moscow didn’t make the cut for this official release, the 16-track collection remains a document of some of the best tracks from a thrilling, historic concert.
Live From Moscow 1979 will be released on January 24 from Mercury/UMe. You can check out the track listing below and place your pre-orders, too!
Elton John with Ray Cooper, Live From Moscow 1979 (previously released on UMe RSD-exclusive 2-LP set 602577135903 — reissued UMe, 2019)
2. Skyline Pigeon
3. Take Me To The Pilot
4. Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)
1. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
2. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
3. Candle In The Wind
4. I Heard It Through The Grapevine
1. Funeral For A Friend
3. Better Off Dead
4. Bennie And The Jets
1. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
2. Crazy Water
3. Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) / Pinball Wizard
4. Crocodile Rock / Get Back / Back In The U.S.S.R