The Elton John CD Review

Here and There (1976)


Disc 1:
1.Skyline Pigeon
2.Border Song
3.Take Me to the Pilot
4.Country Comfort
5.Love Song
6.Bad Side of the Moon
7.Burn Down the Mission
8.Honky Cat
9.Crocodile Rock
10.Candle in the Wind
11.Your Song
12.Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting

Disc 2:
1.Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
2.Rocket Man
3.Take Me to the Pilot
4.Bennie and the Jets
5.Grey Seal
6.Daniel
7.You're So Static
8.Whatever Get's You Through the Night
9.Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
10.I Saw Her Standing There
11.Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
12.Your Song
13.The Bitch is Back

 

Whereas the transition from album to CD hurt Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy in terms of packaging, the transition on this live release helped in terms of content. Although a double CD was made from a single album, there is almost three times as much music that was featured here as opposed to the original album release. This was basically a contractual obligation album that fulfilled a ten album deal with Dick James Music (DJM). The structure was a live album comprised of two performance from 1974, the peak of Elton's career. Side One (Here) was recorded in England and Side Two (There) in New York City. The original release had five songs on each side. It was a bit of a disappointment for two reasons: one being the constraints of time on a vinyl disc, the other being the contrast of the two sides. Side One in England was performed in front of a royal audience including Prince Margaret and is very laid back in style making the sound too "fine". In contrast, the New York City concert (on Thanksgiving Day, no less) is a wild affair that seems a bit too "rough".


When the CD was remastered almost twenty years later, the decision to add sixteen songs to the package was a great calculated move. What we now get is a great majority of the well known tracks that made Elton what he is. In addition to the familiar staples, we get lesser know but equally profound tracks such as Grey Seal, Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding and Burn Down the Mission. What is also nice is that there are very few duplicates: Take Me To The Pilot and Your Song appear twice, but it's forgivable since the styles on the two discs are so different. The only drawback may be the hefty price of a double CD.


Another reason why this release is a "must" is the famous story that occurred at the New York City show. Elton, who had made friends with his idol John Lennon, made the ex-Beatle a wager that his song that he helped record: Whatever Get's You Through The Night would go number one. If Elton was right, Lennon had to appear with him on stage. To Lennon's horror, he lost the bet. Although physically sick with nerves from haven't played live in quite some time, Lennon lived up to his promise. The two performed Lennon's number one single along with the other track they recorded together, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds and, ironically, a Paul McCartney composition I Saw Her Standing There. All three are included on this expanded release. Sad to say, this was to be the last ever appearance on stage from John Lennon.

It's always nice to have a great live recording available that contains so much history.


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