Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Elton John - Top Of The Pops (1970)

I would think that most Elton John fans will know that during 1969 and 1970 he supplemented his income by recording sessions for cheapo various artists albums such as 'Top Of The Pops', 'Hot Hits', and 'Chartbusters'. Even when he had his own hit single in the charts in 1970 with 'Your Song', he still did the sessions, as he's said that he had a ball doing them. There have been a number of compilations of these recordings over the years, but they tended to concentrate on more overtly 'pop' songs, whereas he did also record a number of prog and classic rock tracks which seem to have been ignored. For this collection I've tried to compile a more musically rewarding album, so I've removed the bubblegum pop of 'In The Summertime', 'Neanderthal Man', and 'Snake In The Grass', as well as the embarrassing attempts at reggae, as on Nicky Thomas' 'Love Of The Common People', and replaced them with songs by The Moody Blues, Simon and Garfunkel and The Bee Gees. The most surprising thing about listening to this album is that now that you know it's Elton singing, you ask yourself how you didn't recognise his vocals back in the 70's, as he often made no attempt to try to sound like the original artist. Now we know who was involved, it makes for a nice little collection of 70's pop hits as sung by an emerging superstar, but listening to them now I'm amazed that I was ever fooled into thinking that they sounded anything like the original recordings! 

Track listing

01 Natural Sinner (Fairweather)
02 Come And Get It (Badfinger)
03 Let's Work Together (Canned Heat)
04 Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel)
05 Question (The Moody Blues)
06 August October (Robin Gibb)
07 Travellin' Band (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
08 Lady D'Arbanville (Cat Stevens)
09 Spirit In The Sky (Norman Greenbaum)
10 I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top (The Hollies)
11 Up Around The Bend (Creedence Clearwater Revival)
12 It's All In The Game (The Four Tops)
13 Don't Forget To Remember (The Bee Gees)
14 United We Stand (Brotherhood Of Man)

Enjoy / Enjoy


  1. GREAT collection. Very impressive. One slight issue. "United We Stand" was The Brotherhood of Man. It's easy to make that mistake since the Brotherhood and White Plains were closely associated with Tony Burrows. But still, very good collection. Thank you.

  2. Good point. That's what comes of trying to add them from memory!

  3. Thank you very much ! David Byron did interesting covers too before singing in Uriah Heep.

    1. There are half a dozens CD's available on Artistry Records of Byron's session recordings, but it also appears that he duetted with Elton on three songs on this post - 'Up Around The Bend', 'Come And Get It', and 'It's All In The Game'.

  4. I didn’t know this about Elton. Thanks for educating me.
    Makes me curious about the poppy ones that you did not use.

    1. There aren't quite enough songs left for a second album, but you can find these on Youtube if you want to check them out.
      My Baby Loves Lovin'
      In The Summertime
      Neanderthal Man
      Yellow River
      Love Of The Common People
      Young, Gifted And Black
      Snake In The Grass
      She Sold Me Magic
      Good Morning Freedom
      Signed Sealed Delivered

    2. Thanks for this information. I'll be making a "Deluxe Edition" shortly. Pop be damned, I want it all.

  5. Yeah, me too. Is there a chance of a sequel "Pop! Goes the Elton" or some such?! Fascinating listen, and you're right, he sounds almost always recognizably like Elton...

  6. Surprisingly, it's mainly the Bee Gees and CCR tracks where he tries to sound more like the original...