Monday, 5 August 2013

Retro CD's: Reg Dwight's Piano Goes Pop (RPM Records)

Several years ago when rummaging through a CD shop in Bristol, Rachel and myself stumbled upon this release of early recordings by Elton John in a bargain sale.

I was quite intrigued by the title  Reg Dwight's Piano Plays Pop and on closer inspection it revealed that its actually 20 tracks which were recorded by Elton John for anonymous cover LP's during 1969 and 1970.

Elton at that time was on the verge of launching his own successful solo career but was also a very much in demand session musician, as this album clearly proves.

Even now, The Hollies still proudly announce at their concerts that Elton John played piano on their 1970 hit I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top, what they probably don't realise is that Elton also recorded the track for The Chartbusters albums, the version featured here is very much in the Elton John mode and wouldn't have seemed out of place on any of his early LP's.

Similarly there are fabulous versions of Cat Steven's Lady D'Arbanville, White Planes My Baby Loves Lovin' and Lou Christie's She Sold Me Magic. Even Elton's version of Norman Greenbaum's bubblegum anthem Spirit In The Sky surpasses the original.

The cheeky CD packaging, features several hallmarks of the original albums including pretty models and the slogan Can you tell the difference between these and the original sounds? The answer yes - and in this case many of them are better.

Worth seeking out!

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