Elton John - To Be Continued... (4 Disc Box Set)

4 CDs

By Anderson Merchandisers

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Description & Features+

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, All Music Guide


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Elton John
Number of discs
Track list
1, Come Back Baby, Lady Samantha, It's Me That You Need, Your Song, Rock And Roll Madonna, Bad Side Of The Moon, Your Song, Take Me To The Pilot, Border Song, Sixty Years On, Country Comfort, Grey Seal, Friends, Levon, Tiny Dancer, Madman Across The Water, Honky Cat, Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters, 2, Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long Long Time), Daniel, Crocodile Rock, Bennie And The Jets, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, All The Girls Love Alice, Funeral For A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding, Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again), Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting), Jack Rabbit, Harmony, Screw You (Young Man's Blues), Step Into Christmas, The Bitch Is Back, Pinball Wizard, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, 3, Philadelphia Freedom, One Day At A Time, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, I Saw Her Standing There, Island Girl, Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word, Don't Go Breaking My Heart, I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford), Ego, Song For Guy, Mama Can't Buy You Love, Cartier, Little Jeannie, Donner Pour Donner, Fanfare/Chloe, The Retreat, Blue Eyes, 4, Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny), I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, I'm Still Standing, Sad Songs (Say So Much), Act Of War (Part 1), Nikita, Candle In The Wind, Carla Etude, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That, Give Peace A Chance, Sacrifice, Made For Me, You Gotta Love Someone, I Swear I Heard The Night Talking, Easier To Walk Away
Anderson Merchandisers
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