Remember how I mentioned awhile back that our good buddy Joe (of 125 Records, natch) had gifted you, me, and everybody with some stellar bits of bootleggy goodness?

Well, here comes some more.

It’s amazing to me that, in the several years I’ve been babbling away in this spot, I’ve never written about Elton John. I know, to many of you, he’s nothing more than a dried-up, puffy old relic, and I can understand this line of thinking. Sir Elton’s best days are so far behind him that it’s easy to imagine they never happened at all.

For my money, though — and I will fight you on this if I have to, so please don’t make me — between, say, 1972 and 1978, Elton and Bernie Taupin were totally fucking unstoppable. They made writing great songs seem so easy that, in a way, it undermined their legacy. Not that either of them are exactly hurting for critical praise or cash, but if they’d died in a plane crash in 1979, I think they’d already have the kind of universal, rose-colored acclaim that guys like Hendrix or Brian Wilson or Dylan get. Seriously, think about it — if there was no Ice on Fire or Leather Jackets to stain their memory, albums like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player would be part of the broader lexicon, rather than just examples of wasted potential.

Matter of fact, I think Elton is due an Idiot’s Guide here. It’ll be painful slogging through his post-’78 output, but I can do it.

But on to today’s business — Joe has passed along this early Elton gig, and we love him for it. I believe this is from December 24, 1974, right smack in the middle of the former Reginald Dwight’s peak as a songwriter and performer. The sound is a little tinny, but if you’ve listened to many bootlegs from the era, you’ll know it goes with the territory.

Download, my friends, and enjoy. I’ll meet you back here next week for some Jason Falkner rarities!

Funeral For A Friend
Love Lies Bleeding
Candle In the Wind
Grimsby
Crocodile Rock
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Grey Seal
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
Your Song
Rocket Man
High Flying Bird
Burn Down The Mission
The Bitch Is Back

About the Author

Jeff Giles

Jeff Giles is the founder and editor-in-chief of Popdose and Dadnabbit, as well as an entertainment writer whose work can be seen at Rotten Tomatoes and a number of other sites. Hey, why not follow him at Twitter while you're at it?

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