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Elton John - To Be Continued...

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To Be Continued...

Elton John

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This four-CD set has had a somewhat confused history, mostly owing to licensing changes and the mergers and acquisitions of various record labels. Prepared in the late '80s by MCA Records, which had the rights to Elton John's U.S. catalog, To Be Continued... marked a major improvement over the sound of his extant CDs of the period. But MCA's rights lapsed in the 1990s, and the Elton John catalog reverted to Polydor Records, which put it back out in upgraded editions on the Island Records label. This set was deleted by 1994, and was soon selling for serious amounts of money as a collector's item. Then, in 1999, MCA's parent company, Universal Music, bought Polydor, and suddenly this box reappeared. As to its virtues, the 68 songs here include all of the highlights of the first 25 years of Elton John's career -- not just the hits and the notable album tracks, but outtakes, unissued live tracks, and demos. Disc one opens with the first original song that Elton John ever recorded, a solo composition called "Come Back Baby," cut with Bluesology, his mid-'60s band, and also includes the solo demo of "Your Song" and a previously unissued outtake of "Gray Seal"; their presence alone ensures that most fans will regard this set as a must-own item. There's nothing quite as compelling as those early treasures, but disc two and disc three do pull together all of the essential sides from across ten years of history, including John's work with John Lennon, Kiki Dee, and France Gall, and includes a previously unissued live version of "I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)." Disc four, covering the years 1982-1990, is highlighted by the single mix of "Act of War," featuring Millie Jackson, and a previously unissued live version of "Carla Etude." The accompanying booklet includes some very interesting reminiscences by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, but obviously not enough on the specific tracks -- the producers felt compelled to add in a free-standing sheet detailing recording dates and personnel. Astonishingly, the sound on this set has held up extremely well, despite its dating back to the 1990 -- one can hear Caleb Quaye and Les Thatcher's guitars cleanly on the outtake of "Gray Seal," and the piano, bass, and orchestra on "Friends" are close and vivid. And the more recent stuff sounds even better. It's a rare occurrence in pop music reissues, especially with all of the upgrades in sound, sources, and technology going on all of the time, but producer Andy McKaie built something to last with this box.
© Bruce Eder /TiVo

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To Be Continued...

Elton John

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1
Come Back Baby
00:02:45

Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Jack Baverstock, Producer - Bluesology, MainArtist

℗ 1990 Mercury Records Limited

2
Lady Samantha
00:03:03

Frank Owen, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Brown, Producer - Caleb Quaye, Guitar, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Clive Franks, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tony Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Graham Vickery, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer - Don Fay, Flute, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1969 This Record Company Ltd.

3
It's Me That You Need
00:04:01

Frank Owen, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Stephen Brown, Producer - Caleb Quaye, Guitar, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Clive Franks, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tony Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Graham Vickery, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer - Don Fay, Flute, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1969 This Record Company Ltd.

4
Your Song
00:03:33

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1990 This Record Company Ltd.

5
Rock And Roll Madonna
00:04:17

Paul Buckmaster, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1970 This Record Company Ltd.

6
Bad Side Of The Moon
00:03:11

Paul Buckmaster, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1970 This Record Company Ltd.

7
Your Song
00:04:00

Barry Morgan, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Frank Clark, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Richmond, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Clive Hicks, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1970 This Record Company Ltd.

8
Take Me To The Pilot
00:03:46

Paul Buckmaster, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1970 This Record Company Ltd.

9
Border Song
00:03:21

Paul Buckmaster, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1970 This Record Company Ltd.

10
Sixty Years On
00:04:56

Paul Buckmaster, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1970 This Record Company Ltd.

11
Country Comfort
00:05:07

Barry Morgan, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Herbie Flowers, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gordon Huntley, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Duck, Harmonica, AssociatedPerformer - Les Thatcher, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Van Derek, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1970 This Record Company Ltd.

12
Grey Seal
00:03:35

Paul Buckmaster, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1990 This Record Company Ltd.

13
Friends
00:02:24

Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, MainArtist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1971 This Record Company Ltd.

14
Levon
00:05:22

Brian Dee, Harmonium, AssociatedPerformer - Lesley Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Morgan, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Liza Strike, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barry St. John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Odgers, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Les Thatcher, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Glover, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunny Leslie, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1971 This Record Company Ltd.

15
Tiny Dancer
00:06:15

Roger Cook, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lesley Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Terry Steele, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Liza Strike, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - BJ Cole, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Burrows, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - David Glover, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barry St. John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Glover, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunny Leslie, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1971 This Record Company Ltd.

16
Madman Across The Water
00:05:57

Terry Cox, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Herbie Flowers, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Wakeman, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Spedding, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Diana Lewis, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1971 This Record Company Ltd.

17
Honky Cat
00:05:13

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Banjo, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Scott, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ivan Julien, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Jean Louis Chautemps, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jacques Bolognesi, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Alain Hatot, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1972 This Record Company Ltd.

18
Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters
00:04:58

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, Mandolin, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ken Scott, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1972 This Record Company Ltd.

DISCO 2

1
Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time)
00:04:42

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - David Hentschel, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Scott, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1972 This Record Company Ltd.

2
Daniel
00:03:53

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, Mellotron, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Maracas, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Scott, Engineer, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

3
Crocodile Rock
00:03:55

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Organ, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Scott, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1972 This Record Company Ltd.

4
Bennie And The Jets
00:05:20

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Organ, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

5
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
00:03:14

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Del Newman, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

6
All The Girls Love Alice
00:05:08

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Del Newman, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

7
Funeral For A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding
00:11:07

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, MainArtist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Del Newman, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

8
Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)
00:02:53

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

9
Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
00:04:54

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

10
Jack Rabbit
00:01:51

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

11
Harmony
00:02:45

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Del Newman, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

12
Screw You (Young Man's Blues)
00:04:42

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1972 This Record Company Ltd.

13
Step Into Christmas
00:04:30

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1973 This Record Company Ltd.

14
The Bitch Is Back
00:03:43

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Dusty Springfield, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sherlie Matthews, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Lenny Pickett, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Clydie King, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Kelsey, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dave Hentschel, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Clive Franks, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - The Tower Of Power Horn Section, Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Jessie Mae Smith, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1974 This Record Company Ltd.

15
Pinball Wizard
00:05:14

Elton John, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Townshend, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bill Curbishley, Producer, Executive Producer - Robert Rosenberg, Producer, Executive Producer

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

16
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
00:06:44

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

DISCO 3

1
Philadelphia Freedom
00:05:38

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

2
One Day At A Time
00:03:48

John Lennon, Participant, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1974 Mercury Records Limited

3
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
00:06:16

John Lennon, Participant, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1974 This Record Company Ltd.

4
I Saw Her Standing There Live From Madison Square Garden, USA/1974
00:03:41

John Lennon, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Paul Mccartney, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

5
Island Girl
00:03:44

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Banjo, Electric Guitar, Steel Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, Marimba, Conga, AssociatedPerformer - Kiki Dee, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Synthesizer, Mellotron, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Guercio, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1975 This Record Company Ltd.

6
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
00:03:47

Kenny Passarelli, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - John Stewart, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - James Newton Howard, Conductor, String Arranger, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Carl Fortina, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - ARUN CHAKRAVERTY, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mark Howlett, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Dunne, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1976 Mercury Records Limited

7
Don't Go Breaking My Heart
00:04:31

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Kiki Dee, MainArtist

℗ 1976 This Record Company Ltd.

8
I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford)
00:03:34

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1990 Mercury Records Limited

9
Ego
00:03:58

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Clive Franks, Producer

℗ 1978 Mercury Records Limited

10
Song For Guy
00:06:39

Elton John, Composer, Producer, Piano, Synthesizer, Mellotron, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stuart Epps, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ray Cooper, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Clive Franks, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Dunne, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1978 Mercury Records Limited

11
Mama Can't Buy You Love
00:04:03

Casey James, ComposerLyricist - Leroy Bell, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, MainArtist - THOM BELL, Conductor, Producer, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1979 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Cartier
00:00:53

Elton John, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gary Osborne, ComposerLyricist - Clive Franks, Producer

℗ 1980 Mercury Records Limited

13
Little Jeannie
00:05:11

Bruce Johnston, Vocal Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Jerry Hey, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - DAVID FOSTER, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Elton John, Producer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Jim Horn, Horn Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Osborne, ComposerLyricist - Clive Franks, Producer

℗ 1980 Mercury Records Limited

14
Donner Pour Donner
00:04:25

Michel Berger, Producer, ComposerLyricist - MARTY PAICH, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - France Gall, MainArtist - Clive Franks, Producer

℗ 1980 Mercury Records Limited

15
Fanfare/Chloe
00:06:20

Elton John, Composer, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - James Newton Howard, Composer - Gary Osborne, ComposerLyricist - Clive Franks, Producer

℗ 1981 Mercury Records Limited

16
The Retreat
00:04:45

Alvin Tyler, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Producer, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - DAVID PAICH, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - STEVE LUKATHER, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - James Newton Howard, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer - Reggie McBride, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Clive Franks, Producer

℗ 1982 Mercury Records Limited

Descripción del álbum

This four-CD set has had a somewhat confused history, mostly owing to licensing changes and the mergers and acquisitions of various record labels. Prepared in the late '80s by MCA Records, which had the rights to Elton John's U.S. catalog, To Be Continued... marked a major improvement over the sound of his extant CDs of the period. But MCA's rights lapsed in the 1990s, and the Elton John catalog reverted to Polydor Records, which put it back out in upgraded editions on the Island Records label. This set was deleted by 1994, and was soon selling for serious amounts of money as a collector's item. Then, in 1999, MCA's parent company, Universal Music, bought Polydor, and suddenly this box reappeared. As to its virtues, the 68 songs here include all of the highlights of the first 25 years of Elton John's career -- not just the hits and the notable album tracks, but outtakes, unissued live tracks, and demos. Disc one opens with the first original song that Elton John ever recorded, a solo composition called "Come Back Baby," cut with Bluesology, his mid-'60s band, and also includes the solo demo of "Your Song" and a previously unissued outtake of "Gray Seal"; their presence alone ensures that most fans will regard this set as a must-own item. There's nothing quite as compelling as those early treasures, but disc two and disc three do pull together all of the essential sides from across ten years of history, including John's work with John Lennon, Kiki Dee, and France Gall, and includes a previously unissued live version of "I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)." Disc four, covering the years 1982-1990, is highlighted by the single mix of "Act of War," featuring Millie Jackson, and a previously unissued live version of "Carla Etude." The accompanying booklet includes some very interesting reminiscences by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, but obviously not enough on the specific tracks -- the producers felt compelled to add in a free-standing sheet detailing recording dates and personnel. Astonishingly, the sound on this set has held up extremely well, despite its dating back to the 1990 -- one can hear Caleb Quaye and Les Thatcher's guitars cleanly on the outtake of "Gray Seal," and the piano, bass, and orchestra on "Friends" are close and vivid. And the more recent stuff sounds even better. It's a rare occurrence in pop music reissues, especially with all of the upgrades in sound, sources, and technology going on all of the time, but producer Andy McKaie built something to last with this box.
© Bruce Eder /TiVo

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