Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
20 Legendary Covers: Chartbusters Go Pop
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
19 recordings Elton cut for the DJM label in 1969-70. All tracks are faithful cover versions of pop hits of the day, and include 'United We Stand', 'Love Of The Common People', 'Spirit In The Sky', 'Travellin' Band', 'Up A... more »
19 recordings Elton cut for the DJM label in 1969-70. All tracks are faithful cover versions of pop hits of the day, and include 'United We Stand', 'Love Of The Common People', 'Spirit In The Sky', 'Travellin' Band', 'Up Around The Bend', 'Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours' and 'In The Summertime'. 1999 release.
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Elton before he was famous
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 06/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the late sixties and early seventies, when Elton recorded these tracks, there was a market in Britain for budget albums filled with faithful covers of the latest hits. Back then, records were often regarded as an expensive luxury so such albums provided an affordable way of acquiring a sizeable collection of hit songs without buying the original singles. As records became more affordable and the market for compilations of current hits by original artists (especially the series, Now that's what I call music, which started in the UK in 1983 and killed off whatever still remained of the market at the time) expanded, these releases gradually faded into history. The artists who performed these covers never received any credit on the albums but they got paid for their efforts and it also gave them experience of working in a recording studio. Until Elton John made the big time with his first hit (Your song) in 1971, he found that recording covers for these budget albums was useful way of earning some money.
This compilation gathers together many of Elton's covers of contemporary UK hits from 1969 and 1970 that originally appeared on those budget albums. Elton's performances on these songs cannot be faulted, given that he was working to a limited budget and he was not allowed to re-interpret any of the songs. Elton uses his natural voice (no bad imitations here) but the covers are faithful to the hit version being covered.
Among the songs he covered were covered Natural sinner (Fair weather), United we stand (Brotherhood of man), Spirit in the sky (Norman Greenbaum), Travelling band, Up around the bend (both originally by Creedence Clearwater Revival), I can't tell the bottom from the top (Hollies), Good morning freedom (Blue mink), She sold me magic (Lou Christie), Come and get it (Badfinger), Love of the common people (Nicky Thomas), Signed sealed delivered (Stevie Wonder), It's all in the game (Four Tops), Yellow river (Christie), My baby loves loving (White plains), Cotton fields (Beach boys), In the summertime (Mungo Jerry), Young gifted and black (Bob and Marcia) and Lady D'Arbanville (Cat Stevens). Some of the hits that Elton covered were themselves covers, but the versions I've mentioned were the ones that charted in the UK at the time.
Note that these covers have been released in various permutations - some re-issues miss off some of the songs I've mentioned (check the track listing).
This album is something of a curiosity, which is of as much interest to fans of the British pop charts of 1969 and 1970 as it is to Elton's fans wishing to hear these covers. Of course these covers aren't as good as the originals, nor are they as good as the covers that Elton occasionally recorded after he became famous (such as Lucy in the sky with diamonds), but they are far better than I expected them to be.
Although this cannot be described as essential, it provides a fascinating insight into a piece of pop music history that some (perhaps including Elton) but prefer to be forgotten."
Great for the collection!
J. Pearson | Bothell, WA USA | 04/11/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"PD Harris' review is spot-on. I only wanted to add that the singer on It's All In The Game is actually David Byron, the original lead singer for Uriah Heep, and a great singer in his own right."
A humble beginning
John Sposato | Syracuse, NY, USA | 09/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These weren't released by DJM. They were on budget labels of LPs that have reasonable fascimiles of the latest hits, if you've ever heard such a thing. Released by Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra Records in the U.S. in 1998."