I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Elton John Podcast

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February 25, 2018  

Episode 12 - Bernie’s Early Themes - ‘67-’69

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A thematic analysis of Bernie's early work, with a particular focus on his songs about incarceration and exile. One very special rarity is included. 

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February 14, 2018  

Episode 11 - The Greatest Covers

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If you like Elton John songs, then you'll probably like these relatively obscure renditions of Elton John songs, by musicians who tried to do something original with the material. 

 

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February 10, 2018  

Episode 10 - The One - 25 And A Half Years On

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Elton came back from rehab stronger than ever at the end of 1991. Here, in review, is the album that he brought back from the brink with him. The context, the music, the lyrics, the instrumentation - it's all given the analysis it deserves in this episode

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December 31, 2017  

Episode 9 - At Home With Sheila and Reg

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A tribute to Elton's first musical mentor - his mother Sheila. This episode is a trip through the music of the 1950s that was dear to Sheila, to her mum Ivy, and to Reg. On the way, we take in the story of how Reg came to play the piano, and get an idea of the pieces of music that were in his early repertoire. We go all the way up to 1962, when Little Reg sees Little Richard live, and the 'Elton John' touchpaper is lit.

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December 11, 2017  

Episode 8 - Dee Murray Love-In

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Dee Murray was a truly innovative force in the Elton John band. In this episode I look at what made him special, from the jigsaw puzzle of ideas that Dee and Elton threw around in the 3-piece band; taking in the almost-soul of Philadelphia Freedom; and beyond, into the 1980s. A biographical, loving, and detailed look at the work of the man that made the music we love even lovlier. And all of this without mentioning his incredible backing vocals once (ooops). 

Homemade bass transcriptions from YouTube are used throughout to highlight the parts – thank you so much to:

Enormous thanks also to Brian for the interview.

 

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November 25, 2017  

Episode 7 - Reconstructing ‘A Song For Europe 1969′

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I attempt to piece together the weekly Saturday evening TV shows, hosted by the impish Lulu, that led up to the UK's selection being made for the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest, and follow up the progress of the careers of the six sets of songwriters who got through to that final stage. Whatever became of them?

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November 18, 2017  

Episode 6 - Cool As Christmas - Collaborations That Make Elton Cooler

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Elton's not always seen as a particularly cool musician to be a fan of. Lots of well-respected artists have no problem associating themselves with him though. In this episode, I go through those collaborations and connections, and pick out the ones, some more obscure than others, which, I feel, elevate Elton's position as an innovative creative force. 

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November 12, 2017  

Episode 5 - Don’t Say It With ‘Diamonds’

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This week, Elton released another greatest hits collection, to somehow celebrate his and Bernie's 50 year anniversary of writing together. In this episode I look at 12 'genuine diamonds' - products that would actually be essential purchases for anyone who already owns the mainstream EJ releases. In the end I just make myself a bit angry - there's so much not being released, and we get this basic greatest hits....

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November 3, 2017  

Episode 4 - It Was 40 Years Ago Today, Grumpy Elton Sacked The Band On Stage

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This is the story of the band that Elton essentially sacked, live on stage, entirely out of the blue.

40 years ago, Elton played a charity gig at Wembley Pool. The band were expecting him to announce that he was going out on tour again, with them as his backing band. A very different announcement was made. In this episode we work out what led Elton to make that decision. 

Here's a picture of the band in question. Here's the setlist.fm page for the night. Here's the full show on YouTube.

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November 1, 2017  

Episode 3 - Regimental Sgt Zippo - The Debut Album That Never Was

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This episode skips through the 1968 almost-debut album, track-by-track. How good would this album have been if it had come out in 1968? How would it have fared? Actually that's a question I don't answer. I think we know the answer. There are some real surprises along the way, and some things that even the most ardent early Elton fan will probably be hearing for the first time. 

The auction for the acetate took place momentarily here. The release was discussed on the Steve Hoffman forum here. Information about Bayons Manor, Tealby, can be found here

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October 26, 2017  

Episode 2 - Buckmaster Before Elton

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This episode takes you back to the 2nd of November 1969, to a Miles Davis gig, at Ronnie Scott's jazz club, where Elton met a 23 year old Paul Buckmaster for the first time.

How did Buckmaster get to be the guest of Miles Davis that night? What was the musical background of this graduate of the Royal Academy of Music?

This episode is a musical journey through Buckmaster's early arrangements and his earliest 'cello performances on vinyl. 

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October 26, 2017  

Episode 1 - Elton’s Buried Treasure

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Welcome to the 'I Guess That's Why They Call It The Elton John Podcast' podcast. Yes it is a rather unweildy title.

In the first episode, Neil (your able host) takes some classic songs, and turns them upside down, until the vocals and bass fall out, and then invites you to listen to what's underneath. Hear the songs afresh from a whole new angle.

There's also a general introduction to the series at the beginning of the episode. More episode are coming on a regular basis, there are so many great topics to discover together! 
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