Elton John Opening Vault With ‘Jewel Box’: Listen

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Elton John (Photo: Michael Ochs, Getty Images; used with permission)

Elton John has announced a boxed set that features many previously unreleased recordings from the earliest stages of his career. The collection, Elton: Jewel Box, comprises 148 songs and delves through every period of his career with deep cuts and rarities. The set arrives November 13 via UMe/EMI and will be available on 8-CDs, 4-LPs, 3-LPs, and 2-LPs.

The Sept. 17 announcement included the debut of a previously unreleased track, “Sing Me No Sad Songs,” written and recorded as a band demo in 1969. The song is described as “a fascinating first taste of what was to come from Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin, and one that mentions not one, but two, future smashes in its lyrics – ‘Sad Songs (Say So Much)’ and ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’.” Listen to it below.

The 8-CD Super Deluxe Edition comes in a hardcover book with the discs housed in the back, all wrapped in an outer slipcase. Each section comes accompanied by extensive notes. Three different LP collections are available: a 4-LP gatefold set of Deep Cuts, a 3-LP gatefold set of Rarities and B-side highlights, and a 2-LP gatefold set, And This Is Me…

All audio was mastered at Abbey Road Studios by GRAMMY-winning mastering engineer Sean Magee.

Listen to the 1969 band demo of “Sing Me No Sad Songs”

[With an unprecedented number of previously unheard and unreleased tracks painstakingly excavated from deep within the UMG archives, this is the ultimate treasure trove for Elton John fans.]

In the announcement, John said, “I find it hard to comprehend just how prolific Bernie and I were during the early days. The songs just poured out of us, and the band were just unbelievable in the studio. I always want to push forward with everything I do and look to the future, but having time during lockdown to take stock and pull these moments from my memory from each era has been a joy. As a devout record collector myself, this project has really excited me.”

On Oct. 9, John released “Regimental Sgt. Zippo,” the title track of an unreleased debut album which “captures Elton and Bernie in full 60s psychedelic mode [and] is an affectionate nod to Sgt. Pepper and the era.”

Details of the 8-CD Elton: Jewel Box

Discs 1 & 2: Deep Cuts – A selection of personal favorites. The book includes a track-by-track commentary by Elton.

Discs 3, 4, and 5: Rarities 1965 -1971 – His much sought-after 1960s and early 1970s demos and music that cemented the foundations of the iconic Elton John / Bernie Taupin writing partnership. Daryl Easlea narrates this fascinating story with contributions from those who were there at the time. These discs encompass 65 songs, all but a few of which have been stored in the vaults for more than 50 years. Most of these demos were recorded during sessions before John was signed to a recording contract or released his first album. Also included are the first song he ever wrote and his debut appearance on a record (both “Come Back Baby” – 1965), John and Taupin’s first composition (“Scarecrow” – 1967), and newly unearthed piano/vocal demos of some of John’s most acclaimed songs from his early albums. The packaging appropriately contains rare archival artwork and select original lyric sheets.

Listen to the piano and tambourine demo of “Here’s to the Next Time,” from 1967

Discs 6 & 7: B-Sides 1976-2005 – 36 non-LP tracks and flipsides, never before compiled together. 17 songs are previously only available on vinyl, resulting in all of John’s studio B-sides now being offered digitally for the first time in his career.

Disc 8: And This Is Me . . . – To coincide with the Oct. 27 release of the updated paperback edition of John’s memoir, Me, the final collection celebrates the songs mentioned by name by John in his autobiography, closing with the 2020 Academy Award-winning duet with Taron Egerton, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.”

See the complete track listing below the links.

CD1 DEEP CUTS

1 Monkey Suit Elton John and Leon Russell
2 Where To Now St Peter?
3 Mellow
4 The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-34)
5 Chameleon
6 Gone To Shiloh Elton John and Leon Russell
7 We All Fall In Love Sometimes
8 Too Low For Zero
9 The Power with Little Richard
10 All That I’m Allowed
11 The Bridge
12 The New Fever Waltz
13 Stone’s Throw From Hurtin’
14 The North
15 Hoop Of Fire
16 Boogie Pilgrim

CD2 DEEP CUTS

1 Ticking
2 Crystal
3 All Quiet On The Western Front
4 Tell Me When The Whistle Blows
5 Freaks In Love
6 Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody) Elton John and Leon Russell
7 The Emperor’s New Clothes
8 House
9 (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket
10 Understanding Women
11 Shoot Down The Moon
12 Have Mercy On The Criminal
13 Blues For Baby And Me
14 My Quicksand
15 Street Kids

CD3: RARITIES – PART ONE 1965 – 1968

1 Come Back Baby Bluesology
2 Mr. Frantic Bluesology
3 Scarecrow Piano/Tambourine Demo
4 A Dandelion Dies In The Wind Piano Demo
5 Velvet Fountain Piano Demo
6 A Little Love Goes A Long Way Piano Demo
7 If You Could See Me Now Piano Demo
8 Mr. Lightning Strikerman Piano Demo
9 Countryside Love Affair Piano Demo
10 I Could Never Fall In Love With Anybody Else Piano Demo
11 I Get A Little Bit Lonely Piano Demo
12 The Witch’s House Piano Demo
13 Get Out Of This Town Piano/Tambourine Demo
14 Year Of The Teddy Bear Piano Demo
15 Where It’s At Piano/Percussion Demo
16 Who’s Gonna Love You Piano/Percussion Demo
17 Nina Band Version
18 Angel Tree Piano/Guitar/Tambourine Demo
19 Here’s To The Next Time Piano/Tambourine Demo
20 Thank You For All Your Loving Band Version
21 Watching The Planes Go By Band Version
22 When The First Tear Shows Arranged Band Version
23 Tartan Coloured Lady Arranged Band Version

CD4. RARITIES PART TWO 1968

1 Hourglass Band Version
2 71-75 New Oxford Street Band Demo
3 Turn To Me Arranged Band Version
4 Reminds Me Of You Piano Demo
5 I Can’t Go On Living Without You Arranged Band Version
6 And The Clock Goes Round Piano Demo
7 When I Was Tealby Abbey Piano Demo
8 I’ll Stop Living When You Stop Loving Me Piano Demo
9 Trying To Hold On To A Love That’s Dying Piano Demo
10 Sitting Doing Nothing Band Version
11 Regimental Sgt. Zippo Band Version
12 Cry Willow Cry Band Demo
13 There Is Still A Little Love Band Demo
14 If I Asked You Band Demo
15 Skyline Pigeon Piano Demo
16 Two Of A Kind Arranged Band Version
17 The Girl On Angel Pavement Arranged Band Version
18 Smokestack Children Arranged Band Version
19 Baby I Miss You Band Demo
20 All Across The Havens Piano/Guitar Demo
21 Bonnie’s Gone Away Piano/Guitar Demo
22 Just An Ordinary Man Piano Demo
23 There’s Still Time For Me Piano/Guitar/Tambourine Demo

CD5: RARITIES PART THREE 1968 – 1971

1 The Tide Will Turn For Rebecca Piano Demo
2 Dick Barton Theme (Devil’s Gallop) Bread And Beer Band
3 Breakdown Blues Bread And Beer Band
4 Taking The Sun From My Eyes Arranged Band Version
5 It’s Me That You Need Band Demo
6 Sing Me No Sad Songs Band Demo
7 The Flowers Will Never Die Piano Demo
8 In The Morning Band Demo
9 Open Your Eyes To The Sun Piano/Tambourine Demo
10 One Time, Sometime or Never Band Demo
11 Slow Fade To Blue Piano/Guitar Demo
12 Rolling Western Union Piano Demo
13 My Father’s Gun Piano Demo
14 Amoreena Piano Demo
15 Burn Down The Mission Piano Demo
16 Razor Face Piano Demo
17 Madman Across The Water Piano Demo
18 Holiday Inn Piano Demo
19 All The Nasties Piano Demo

CD6: B SIDES PART ONE 1976-1984

1 Snow Queen (Elton John and Kiki Dee)
2 Conquer The Sun
3 Cartier
4 White Man Danger
5 Tactics
6 Steal Away Child
7 Love So Cold
8 Les Aveux (Elton John and France Gall)
9 Donner Pour Donner (Elton John and France Gall)
10 J’veux D’la Tendresse
11 Fools In Fashion
12 Can’t Get Over Getting Over Losing You
13 Tortured
14 Hey Papa Legba
15 Take Me Down To The Ocean
16 Where Have All The Good Times Gone? (Alternate Mix)
17 The Retreat
18 Choc Ice Goes Mental
19 A Simple Man

CD7: B-SIDES PART TWO 1984-2005

1 Lonely Boy
2 Highlander
3 Billy And The Kids
4 Lord Of The Flies
5 Rope Around A Fool
6 Medicine Man
7 I Know Why I’m In Love
8 Big Man In A Little Suit
9 God Never Came Here
10 The North Star
11 Did Anybody Sleep With Joan Of Arc
12 So Sad The Renegade
13 A Little Peace
14 Keep It A Mystery
15 How’s Tomorrow
16 Peter’s Song
17 Things Only Get Better With Love

CD8: AND THIS IS ME . . .

1 Empty Sky
2 Lady Samantha
3 Border Song
4 My Father’s Gun
5 All The Nasties
6 I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself
7 Philadelphia Freedom
8 Song For Guy
9 Sartorial Eloquence
10 Elton’s Song
11 Cold As Christmas (In The Middle Of The Year)
12 I Fall Apart
13 Amazes Me
14 The Last Song
15 American Triangle
16 (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again (Elton John and Taron Egerton)

Since the release of the ultimate greatest hits album Diamonds in 2017, John announced his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour at New York’s Gotham Hall in January 2018. Encompassing 5 continents and over 300 dates, this three-year-long tour started in September 2018 and marks his retirement from touring after more than 50 years on the road.

When the farewell tour resumes, following the pandemic, tickets will be available here and here.

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  1. recordhound
    #1 recordhound 18 September, 2020, 06:53

    not a bad tune, but disappointed that From Denver to L.A. still hasn’t been released since that rare one off single came out way back when.

    Reply this comment
    • Billy K.
      Billy K. 18 September, 2020, 13:17

      Yes, a mixed bag on this one. Lots of stuff I’ve never even heard of. Glad to see “Choc Ice Goes Mental” on this set.

      A nice companion to the previous 2-disc of rarities.

      But not only missing “From Denver to LA” but also “Flintstone Boy”(which—I think was only a B-side of a 45),

      Reply this comment

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