Elton John with Ray Cooper
2019 marked 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 percussionist Ray Cooper. Now, Elton brings his May 28, 1979 concert in Moscow to CD and wide release vinyl for the first time; the show was previously released for Record Store Day 2019 on LP. 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.