Birthday Boy.


 ELTON: Goodbye Was a Complete Band Effort  




Elton John celebrated his 67th birthday yesterday (Tuesday) by releasing the 40th anniversary of his landmark album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Available in numerous configurations, it has been re-mastered and the various expanded versions contain unreleased tracks, demos, a concert from 1973, a DVD, and some of today’s artists reinterpreting the songs — including Ed Sheeran, The Zac Brown Band, The Band Perry, Imelda May, Fall Out Boy and Miguel.

In an exclusive interview earlier this month, Elton tells us that while his name is on the album sleeve, it was a complete band effort. Guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson “all had musical freedom to do what they wanted, so there was no resentment of me being the big cheese… We were a really good machine… I owe this album and many more to the musicians I played with. But this band was something else.”

To show his appreciation, they each get a royalty from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Johnstone and Olsson still play with Elton. Murray died from skin cancer in 1992. He was 45. 

Released in October 1973, Elton says Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was his “real pop music album, even though it’s not full of pop music.”

Among the hits on this two-record set are “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding” and the title track.

Elton’s new concert film, Million Dollar Piano, which documents his current Las Vegas residency, is being shown in theaters across the country tonight (Wednesday). For a theater near you log onto

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