Thursday, July 18, 2024

(Listen) Elton John’s Debut Performance of “Rocket Man” from 1972 from New 50th Anniversary “Honky Chateau”


We are in the middle of 50th anniversary releases for Elton John’s amazing run of albums between 1970 and 1976. Coming on March 24th, the remastered “Honky Chateau” all polished up with a glistening new sound and a bunch of demos from the original sessions.

Here below is “Rocket Man,” performed live at The Royal Festival Hall in London along with the whole album right before the 1972 release. “Rocket Man” was the first single from the album, and of course has gone to lots of fame as the title of Elton’s movie etc.

My favorite songs from this album were “Honky Cat,” which remains one of Elton’s greatest piano performances, and “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.” The album was released on the heels, literally, of “Madman Across the Water,” and just before “Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player.” Elton John, seriously, set new heights then for a solo artist. He wasn’t from a group like the Beatles. He was on his own. Remarkable.

This Sunday Elton and his husband David Furnish throw their annual Oscar gala to raise money for their AIDS Foundation, the most successful organization in their field. They set up an enormous series of tented buildings in West Hollywood and play host to a combination of A list stars and donors. Bravo!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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