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Elton John Opens ‘Elton: Jewel Box’ Of Unreleased Gems And Rarities

The set comprises no fewer than 148 songs reaching all the way back to Elton’s pre-fame days in 1965.

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Elton John Bernie Taupin David Gahr Getty Images
Photo: David Gahr/Getty Images

Elton John has announced an expansive new collection of deep cuts, rarities and B-sides, Elton: Jewel Box, to be released on November 13 via Ume/EMI. The set comprises no fewer than 148 songs reaching all the way back to his pre-fame days in 1965, concluding in 2019. It will be available on 8CD, 4LP, 3LP, 2LP, digital download, and streaming formats.

The eight-CD box set comes in a hardcover book with the discs housed in the back, all wrapped in an outer slipcase. Each section features extensive notes, including a track-by-track commentary by Elton himself for the 16-track Deep Cuts disc.

There are three different LP collections, also available to pre-order now. These are a 4LP gatefold black vinyl set of Deep Cuts (curated by Elton); a 3LP gatefold black vinyl set of Rarities and B-side highlights; and the 2LP gatefold black vinyl set And This Is Me…All of the audio on the releases was mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Grammy-winning mastering engineer Sean Magee.

To set the scene for the countless rare and lesser-heard Elton gems being presented, today sees the first-ever release of “Sing Me No Sad Songs.” The song was written and recorded as a band demo in 1969, and stands as an early example of the artist’s developing working relationship with lyricist Bernie Taupin. It’s also remarkable for its namechecks of two future Elton classics in its lyrics, 1984’s “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” and Elton’s first UK No.1 single, 1976’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

“The songs just poured out of us”

Says Elton: “To delve back through every period of my career in such detail for ‘Jewel Box’ has been an absolute pleasure. Hearing these long lost tracks again, 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, and I couldn’t be happier with the level of craft involved in such a carefully curated, lovingly constructed box set. I’m sure my fans will enjoy it as much as I have.”

Elton John credit Michael Ochs

Photo: Michael Ochs

Elton: Jewel Box is themed as follows:

Discs 1 & 2: Deep Cuts – A selection of personal favorites, curated by Elton. The box set book includes his track-by-track commentary.

Discs 3, 4, and 5: Rarities 1965 -1971 – Elton’s much sought-after 1960s and early 1970s demos and music that cemented the foundations of the iconic Elton John/Bernie Taupin writing partnership. The compelling, previously unreleased, missing piece in his illustrious career. 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 Elton was signed to a recording contract or released his first album. Also included are the first song ever written by Elton, also his debut appearance on a record (1965’s “Come Back Baby”), Elton and Bernie’s first composition (1967’s “Scarecrow”), and newly-unearthed piano/vocal demos of some of Elton’s most acclaimed songs from his early albums. The packaging appropriately contains rare archival artwork and select original lyric sheets.

Discs 6 & 7: B-Sides 1976-2005 – Non-LP tracks and flipsides, never before compiled together. Of the 36 tracks, 17 have previously only been available on vinyl. All of Elton’s studio B-sides are thus now being offered digitally for the first time in his career.

Disc 8: And This Is Me… Coinciding with the release of the updated paperback edition of Me, the final collection celebrates the songs mentioned by name by Elton in his acclaimed autobiography, and concludes with the 2020 Academy Award-winning duet with Taron Egerton, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.”

Elton: Jewel Box is released on November 13. Pre-order it here.

The full Elton: Jewel Box tracklist is:

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

4LP Bespoke Gatefold Black Vinyl Set Jewel Box – Deep Cuts

LP 1

1 Monkey Suit Elton John and Leon Russell

2 Where To Now St. Peter ?

3 Mellow

4 The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-34)

B

1 Chameleon

2 Gone to Shiloh Elton John and Leon Russell

3 We All Fall In Love Sometimes

4 Too Low For Zero

LP2

1 The Power with Little Richard

2 All That I’m Allowed

3 The Bridge

4 The New Fever Waltz

B

1 Stone’s Throw From Hurtin’

2 The North

3 Hoop Of Fire

4 Boogie Pilgrim

LP 3

1 Ticking

2 Crystal

3 All Quiet On The Western Front

B

1 Tell Me When The Whistle Blows

2 Freaks In Love

3 Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody) Elton John and Leon Russell

4 The Emperor’s New Clothes

LP 4

1 House

2 (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket

3 Understanding Women

4 Shoot Down The Moon

B

1 Have Mercy On The Criminal

2 Blues For Baby And Me

3 My Quicksand

4 Street Kids

3LP Gatefold Black Vinyl Set Jewel Box – Rarities and B-Sides

LP 1

1 Come Back Baby (Bluesology)

2 Scarecrow Piano/Tambourine Demo

3 A Dandelion Dies In The Wind Piano Demo

4 Velvet Fountain Piano Demo

5 Get Out Of This Town Piano/Tambourine Demo

6 Countryside Love Affair Piano Demo

7 The Witch’s House Piano Demo

8 Year Of The Teddy Bear Piano Demo

B

1 A Little Love Goes A Long, Long Way Piano Demo

2 Mr. Lightning Strikerman Piano Demo

3 I Couldn’t Fall In Love With Anybody Else Piano Demo

4 I Get A Little Bit Lonely Piano Demo

5 Nina Band Version

6 Angel Tree Piano/Guitar/Tambourine Demo

7 Here’s To The Next Time Piano/Tambourine Demo

LP2

1 Watching The Planes Go By Band Demo

2 When The First Tear Shows Arranged Band Version

3 Tartan Coloured Lady Arranged Band Version

4 When I Was Tealby Abbey Piano Demo

5 Turn To Me Arranged Band Version

6 And The Clock Goes Round Piano Demo

7 I Can’t Go On Living Without You Arranged Band Version

B

1 Regimental Sgt. Zippo Band Version

2 Cry Willow Cry Band Demo

3 Skyline Pigeon Piano Demo

4 Two Of A Kind Arranged Band Version

5 The Girl On Angel Pavement Arranged Band Version

6 Smokestack Children Arranged Band Version

7 There’s Still Time For Me Piano/Guitar/Tambourine Demo

LP 3

1 The Tide Will Turn For Rebecca Piano Demo

2 Taking The Sun From My Eyes Arranged Band Version

3 Sing Me No Sad Songs Band Demo

4 Rolling Western Union   Piano Demo

5 Amoreena Piano Demo

6 Madman Across The Water Piano Demo

B

1 Snow Queen (Elton John and Kiki Dee)

2 The Retreat

3 Billy And The Kids

4 Medicine Man

5 Peter’s Song

2LP Gatefold Black Vinyl Set Jewel Box – “And This Is Me…”

LP1

1 Empty Sky

2 Lady Samantha

3 Border Song

4 My Father’s Gun

B

1 All The Nasties

2 I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself

3 Philadelphia Freedom

4 Song For Guy

LP2

1 Sartorial Eloquence

2 Elton’s Song

3 Cold As Christmas

4 I Fall Apart

B

1 Amazes Me

2 The Last Song

3 American Triangle

4 (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again (Elton John and Taron Egerton)

Listen to the best of Elton John on Apple Music and Spotify.

 

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