The album 17-11-70 was not meant to be a live one at all; we did one of the first ever stereo radio broadcasts live at A&R Recording Studios in New York City in 1970 on the 17th of November. It was Phil Ramone’s studio, one of the greatest producers of all time, and we just went in the booth and played it as a three-piece: Nigel Olsson on drums and vocals, Dee Murray on bass and vocals, and myself. There was a studio audience of about 100 sitting outside the booth, hearing it coming through the loud speakers, and we just played. I’m astonished by how good we were, listening to this record. It wasn’t initially coming out as a live album, but there were so many bootlegs in those days that the record company put it out. I’m glad they did because it really is something I’m very very proud of. – Elton
The album was released on DJM Records in the UK in April 1971, (then on UNI in the US in May) capturing six of the concert’s tracks on a single platter. It entered the Billboard album charts on May 29, peaking at No 11, and was one of four albums Elton released that year which placed simultaneously in the Billboard album chart…the first time that had happened since the Beatles did it in 1964.
7-11-70+ reinstates seven further songs from the concert and thus it is, at last, the most complete edition of the show available in any format. The version of Amoreena here has never been released on vinyl. See the full track listing below.
17.11.70+ has been remastered by Bob Ludwig and will be released as a two-LP set on 180gsm vinyl exclusively through independent record stores on Record Store Day, April 22.
Find your nearest Record Store Day participating record shop here. (Please note: there are a lot of independent stores that participate in Record Store Day; not all of them will choose to participate in all promotions, or carry all releases.)
17.11.70+ track listing:
A1 Take Me To The Pilot
A2 Honky Tonk Women
A3 Sixty Years On
A4 Can I Put You On
B1 Bad Side Of The Moon
B2 Burn Down The Mission (Incl. My Baby Left Me / Get Back)
C1 Indian Sunset*
C3 Your Song*
D1 Country Comfort*
D2 I Need You To Turn To*
D3 Border Song*
D4 My Father’s Gun*
* Previously unreleased bonus track
** Newly remixed bonus track
The reissue, dubbed 17.11.70+, comes as John was anointed as the first Worldwide Record Store Day Legend to mark the annual celebration’s 10th anniversary.
“Happy 10th birthday to Record Store Day,” John said of the honor. “I love record stores, I can go to the record store in [Las] Vegas and spend three hours in there. Just the smell of it, the looking at it, the wonder of it, the memories.”
In a video recorded for Record Store Day, the singer talked about his love of vinyl and his most recent purchase, a bootleg copy of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo that “cost a fortune.” John also admitted that he cried when Tower Records closed, but he’s heartened by the surge of vinyl sales and the support of independent record stores.
“I love vinyl so much,” John said. “The tactile nature, the ritual of it, looking at the sleeve … especially with the old albums and the liner notes – who played on them, the process of putting it on, the needle going on and the sound coming out. And it does sound better, I know it does. I’ve been around long enough to know, I’ve been in so many studios … It does sound better. So it’s just the wonder of having vinyl.”
John added that he sold his massive record collection in 1990 at auction for $250,000, which he donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Two years ago, the singer decided to start a new collection and “slowly” began amassing records; fast-forward to today and his new vinyl collection contains over 7,000 pieces.
17-11-70, originally released in 1971 after the live radio broadcast of the performance was widely bootlegged, initially only included six tracks, including an 18-minute medley featuring John’s take on the Beatles’ “Get Back.”
A subsequent CD reissue tacked an additional song – “Amoreena” – back onto the track list, but the 2-LP Record Store Day version marks the first time the entire 13-song recording has been officially released.
“The album 17-11-70 was not meant to be a live one at all; we did one of the first-ever stereo radio broadcasts live at A&R Recording Studios in New York City in 1970 on the 17th of November,” John said of the live LP. “It was Phil Ramone’s studio, one of the greatest producers of all time, and we just went in the booth and played it as a three-piece: Nigel Olsson on drums and vocals, Dee Murray on bass and vocals, and myself.”
John continued, “There was a studio audience of about 100 sitting outside the booth, hearing it coming through the loud speakers, and we just played. I’m astonished by how good we were, listening to this record a lot of it was improvised, and you can do that when you’re a three-piece band because I’m really the lead instrument, and Dee and Nigel were so brilliant at following what I did. There’s a 16-minute track on it that was completely improvised, more or less, and I’m very proud of it: I think it’s one of the greatest live albums ever made. It wasn’t initially coming out as a live album, but there were so many bootlegs in those days that the record company put it out. I’m glad they did because it really is something I’m very, very proud of.”
17.11.70+ will be released as a 2-LP set on 180-gram vinyl, with all the recordings remastered by mastering engineer extraordinaire Bob Ludwig. Additionally, the version of “Amoreena” features a different mix than the controversial take that appeared on the 17-11-70 reissue.
– Rolling Stone
Rock star Sir Elton John says vinyl albums provide a better listening experience than CDs or streaming music.
“It does sound better,” said the star. “I know people say it doesn’t, but it does.
“I’ve been around long enough to know. I’ve been in so many studios, I’ve made so many records. It just sounds better.”
Sir Elton’s comments came as he was named a “Record Store Day Legend”, honouring his support of record shops.
There has long been a debate over the merits of vinyl over digital formats.
Apostles argue that an LP’s analogue sound signal produces a more authentic, honest sound, while digital formats like CD and downloads compromise quality for the sake of portability and convenience.
Audio engineers argue that digital files are inherently more accurate – and that some of the “warmth” of vinyl is, in fact, distortion introduced by the turntable.
In reality, both have their pros and cons, but the perception that vinyl is superior has been a key reason behind the format’s resurgence.
Sales in the UK topped three million last year, the highest total in 25 years according to the BPI, which represents the music industry.
Sir Elton will be releasing a new version of his legendary live album, 17-11-70, to commemorate the 10th annual Record Store Day on 22 April.
This exclusive edition adds six further songs to the original tracklisting, including previously unreleased recordings of Indian Sunset, Your Song and My Father’s Gun.
“It wasn’t supposed to be a live album, it was a radio broadcast,” the musician told the BBC, “but it was bootlegged so much that the record company decided to put it out.”
“It’s probably one of the best live albums of all time,” boasts Sir Elton.
“I’m never one to say good things about myself, but it is pretty fabulous.”
The star is well known for his love of record shops – having bought his first singles (At the Hop by Danny and the Juniors; and Reet Petite by Jackie Wilson) at the age of 10.
He said was “honoured” to be named a Record Store Day Legend, and wholeheartedly supported the initiative – which aims to tempt record-buyers back into their local, independent shops.
Special vinyl releases are made exclusively for the day and many shops and cities host artist performances and events to mark the occasion.
BBC Music is an official partner of the event; and BBC Radio 6 Music will premiere a selection of the exclusive new records in the week leading up to the event, culminating in a live broadcast from Vinyl Tap in Huddersfield on Friday, 21 April, hosted by Lauren Laverne.
BBC Radio 3’s Record Review will also celebrate the initiative with a live show at Spiritland, a listening cafe just north of King’s Cross in London, on the day itself.
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