This concert, on December 14, 1986, before 11,000 people in the Sydney Entertainment Centre, was the last in a series of 27 performances covering all of Australia. The tour had begun in Brisbane and had played to capacity audiences everywhere, including Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The first half of the show featured Elton John and his 13-piece band - and you are joining the concert, after the interval, just as the 88-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is heard and seen for the first time on this, the last night of the tour. The whole show was also being televised live via satellite to an estimated audience of ten million. The instruments of the orchestra have been repositioned in the stereo spectrum, during the mixing process, in order to afford them maximum clarity. There are absolutely no overdubs on this album.
At the time, Elton was the only rock act to have taken a full orchestra out on tour. The orchestra conductor for the tour and this album was James Newton Howard, who had been Elton's keyboardist from 1975 to 1981. James is now a preeminent film soundtrack scorer and has worked on over 100 films, including Pretty Woman, The Fugitive, The Sixth Sense, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, The Hunger Games series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. A great number of songs on this tour and album had not been performed live by Elton for nearly 15 years. While planning the set list for this orchestral tour, he selected songs from the early records that featured string and horn arrangements: Elton John, Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across The Water. All but four of the songs on this album were originally from those three albums.
Well before this tour began, Elton was told by his doctor that he should not use his voice at all (singing or speaking) due to nodes on his vocal cords. This is why his vocals have that very raspy quality which only adds to the emotion of the songs. Elton had successful throat surgery just three weeks after the final show of the tour the night this album was recorded.
• Double LP
• 180g Vinyl
• Remastered (2018) by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine
• Vinyl cutting by Sean Magee at Abbey Road Studios, London
• Gatefold jacket
1. Sixty Years On
2. I Need You To Turn To
3. The Greatest Discovery
1. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
2. The King Must Die
3. Take Me To The Pilot
4. Tiny Dancer
1. Have Mercy On The Criminal
2. Madman Across The Water
3. Candle In The Wind
1. Burn Down The Mission
2. Your Song
3. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me