Live album featuring performances from two 1974 concerts.
The title of the album reflects its British origins; the 'Here' side was recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in London on May 18, 1974 Elton's third, and latest, performance at the esteemed South Bank venue. Elton developed the concert in a unique way: he performed the first song, "Skyline Pigeon", solo at the piano. Then bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson joined him for the second number, "Border Song". By the time "Honky Cat" comes around, the full band, including guitarist Davey Johnstone and percussionist Ray Cooper, have arrived on stage. The minute-long "duck call" solo on Honky Cat is courtesy of Ray Cooper and no doubt remains the only time this particular woodwind instrument was featured on a rock tour or, for that matter, at this venue. Lesley Duncan's "Love Song" was the first song Elton ever recorded on one of his own studio albums (Tumbleweed Connection) that was not written by him and Bernie Taupin. Lesley had sung backing vocals at a handful of Elton concerts in the early 1970s, and on 16 songs across three of his first four studio albums, before joining him on the Royal Festival Hall stage this evening.
'There' was recorded at Madison Square Garden in New York City on November 28, 1974. This was just Elton's second concert at this venue, which has since become his favorite to play in and at which he has now performed over 70 times, including the Concert For New York City (2001), From the Big Apple to the Big Easy (2005), and the 60th Annual Grammy Awards (2018). On the 1974 tour, and many others to follow, the opening of "Funeral For A Friend" was the actual original album recording performed on synthesizer by Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album engineer David Hentschel. Long-time Elton devotees notice that at this concert, recorded just seven months after "Bennie And The Jets" topped the charts, the audience reaction builds in recognition with each thump of the song's opening chords. On more recent tours, all it takes is the first chord and the crowd goes wild.
• 180g Vinyl
• Remastered (2018) by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine
• Vinyl cutting by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios, London
Live In London At The Royal Festival Hall
1. Skyline Pigeon
2. Border Song
3. Honky Cat
4. Love Song
5. Crocodile Rock
Live In New York At Madison Square Garden:
1. Funeral For A Friend
2. Love Lies Bleeding
3. Rocket Man
4. Bennie And The Jets
5. Take Me To The Pilot