Released in an edition of just 800, this vinyl collection brings together a half-dozen albums which, while not definitively representative of Elton John’s broad spread of solo work, are his personal favourites. While neither best-selling nor most widely celebrated, taken as a whole the six discs (not exactly creaking under the weight of hits) offer a career-spanning glimpse into exactly how Reg Dwight became the Queen Mother of Pop.
First of the handsomely remastered platters is Elton John (his second, the one with Your Song). Live radio broadcast 17.11.70 captured his original trio line-up (Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson) in fine form as they captivated America with baffling ease, but Madman Across The Water was where Elton, Tiny Dancer in tow, sealed his reputation. Autobiographical concept work Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy peaks with Someone Saved My Life Tonight, and recalls early struggles alongside his lyricist Bernie Taupin. A 10-year leap takes us to Montserrat for Too Low For Zero and Elton in his I’m Still Standing pomp. Sole vinyl debut Songs From The West Coast brings the listener full circle, with Taupin and Olsson on hand for an assured, 70s-echoing highlight from 2001.
The whole shebang comes in a sumptuous, individually numbered, red Burberry box flecked with gold glitter and embossed with an enormous gold signature. How very Elton.