Thursday, August 25, 2005

It all started today in 1970.

On August 25th, 1970, Elton John made his U.S. debut at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. The performance kicked off a brief tour and led to a recording contract with MCA.

Some interesting facts and quotes from that night courtesy of Paul Mclauchlan's Cornflakes and Classics;

Elton was wearing a beard, bell-bottom jeans and a red shirt with "Rock And Roll" spelt in white letters. Elton was co-headliner with David Ackles. The set lasted about an hour. Leon Russell was in the audience. Elton played nightly through August 30.

The photo used for the Honky Chateau album cover was taken backstage on this night.

Robert Hilburn wrote in the August 27th Los Angeles Times:

Rejoice. Rock music which has been going through a rather uneventful period recently, has a new star. He's Elton John, a 23-year-old Englishman,whose debut Tuesday night at the Troubadour was, in almost every way, magnificent.
... His music is so staggeringly original that it is obvious he is not merely operating within a given field (such as country or blues or rock) but, like Randy Newman and Laura Nyro among others, creating his own field... He has, to be sure, borrowed from country, rock, blues, folk and other influences, but he has mixed them in his own way. The resulting songs are so varied in texture that his work defies classificatlon . . .
While his voice most often resembles Jose Feliciano, there are at times touches of Leon Russell and Mick Jagger...
John's songs are co-written by lyricist Bernie Taupin, whose lyrics often capture the same timeless, objective spirit of the Band's Robbie Robertson . . .
Beyond his vocals, melodies and arrangements there is a certain sense of the absurd . . . that is reminiscent of the American rock stars of the mid-1950s . . .
By the end of the evening, there was no question about John's talent and potential.
Tuesday night at The Troubadour was just the beginning. He's going to be one of rock's biggest and most important stars.

Kathy Orloff, Chicago Sun Times:

"He was a major star before the end of his first set."
"The future seems incredibly bright for John."

John L. Wasserman, San Fransisco Chronicle

"He had hardly opened his mouth when it was apparent that he is going to be a very, very big star."

John Gibson, Holywood Reporter

"It's not often that someone gets a standing ovation at the Troubadour, but Elton John did - twice."

In 1990 Rolling Stone Magazine rated this show as amoung the twenty concerts that changed rock and roll.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Lestat" to premiere in San Francisco on Dec 17.

See this article in the Chicago Tribune.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sanctuary not on solid ground?

It seems that Elton's new label Sanctuary is not exactly on stable ground right now.

LONDON (Reuters) - Music group Sanctuary (SGP.L: Quote, Profile, Research), home to artists ranging from Axl Rose to Elton John, warned of further deterioration to its trading conditions on Tuesday and said that key buy-out talks had fallen through.

Shares, which stood at 42 pence at the beginning of the summer, continued their slide, falling 35 percent to 11-1/4 pence by 0839 GMT (9:39 a.m. British time) -- their lowest point in more than 13 years.

The company said it has obtained waivers and amendments to its financial covenants, and increased some of its bank facilities to 120 million pounds. It has also obtained waivers and amendments to its outstanding 30 million pounds of convertible loan notes.

"Trading has remained difficult, which, together with the operational constraints placed on the business during this time, seems likely to result in a further deterioration of the results for the full year," the company said in a statement.

Sanctuary said in June that it was in talks with an outside party that could result in a bid for part or all of the company, but it said on Tuesday that those particular discussions were "unlikely to lead to an offer at or near to the current share price".

Sanctuary is the world's biggest independent music label and a major player in artist management, touring and merchandising.

A period of rapid growth saw it buy up several large artist-management companies, but problems at units such as Sanctuary Urban -- headed by Mathew Knowles, father and manager of singer Beyonce -- have hit a sour note in recent months, including a profit warning in June.

Sanctuary said that discussions are continuing with several other parties which could lead to "a range of possible transactions including a possible offer for the company".

The company has held talks with EMI (EMI.L: Quote, Profile, Research), Warner Music Group (WMG.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and several private-equity and venture-capital groups about a potential investment, asset sale or buy-out, according to sources familiar with the situation.

"While we are relieved that Sanctuary has renegotiated some its covenants, we believe the situation remains highly risky until Sanctuary provides some evidence of being able to pay down debt, perhaps through a disposal of some of its music catalogue," the media team at Numis Securities said in a research note.

Monday, August 22, 2005

"Captain Fantastic" Deluxe Edition, a little more news

This is from with the new information bolded;

There was some doubt after our announcement of a Deluxe Edition for Elton John's Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy, which was Elton's first album to enter Billboard at # 1 with 7 weeks of staying power at that point. The RIAA awarded triple-platinum album housed some important Elton John tunes like "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." The album metaphorically relates the journey of Elton (Captain Fantastic) and his long-time collaborator, Bernie Taupin (Brown Dirt Cowboy). Just a few weeks after the release of this album, Elton John played a show at London's Wembley Stadium (June 21, 1975) during the Midsummer Music Festival. This show was the first and only time that Elton played the entirety of Captain Fantastic to a throng of 100,000 fans, discussing each song before playing it, providing significant insight into the entire album. This show, remixed, is the addition (along with a few other goodies) to this 30th Anniversary reissue of one of Elton's best performing albums. Not only will the concert be included, alongside Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy, remastered and containing a bonus addition of "House of Cards," the B-side to "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," as well as the inclusion of "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," "One Day At a Time," and "Philadelphia Freedom" found on the last reissue. The entire set is released in the original artwork and packaging from the LP era. The songs, "Pinball Wizard" and "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" are on the live set after the Captain Fantastic performance. The included booklet will contain an intoduction by Bernie Taupin as well as new liner notes. Elton John will re-perform the entire album in concerts at NYC's Madison Square Garden and Boston's Fleet Center just days after the release of this celebratory 30th Anniversary Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy. Turns out we were right!!

UPDATE: ICE Magazine reports that Greg Penny worked on the Captain Fantastic Deluxe Edition mixing the June 1975 Wembley show for the first time. Its also possible for the September 13 date could be pushed a week or two for non-musical reasons. They are trying to faithfully recreate the LP-era artwork and that could delay the release.

"Ghetto Gospel" - 2Pac featuring Elton debuts at #1 in Australia

The attraction to this abomination using the sample from "Indian Sunset" continues in Australia as "Ghetto Gospel" debuts at #1.