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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Bargain price reissue of Elton's first 5 of Elton's first 6 albums (it omits his first album Empty Sky) Not much information on the albums as they come in in a box with vinyl replica sleeves in a cool box, but no sleeve notes beyond the track listing.
The albums are :
'Elton John' (1970) which comes with 3 Bonus tracks "Bad Side of the Moon", "Grey Seal" [Original version] "Rock And Roll Madonna" , contains the hits 'Your Song' and 'Border Song'
'Tumbleweed Connection' (1970) No singles from this but great American influenced album, with 2 bonus tracks "Into the Old Man's Shoes" and "Madman Across the Water" [Original version]
'Madman Across the Water' (1971) with the great 'Tiny Dancer' on it but no Bonus tracks.
'Honky Château' (1972) with teh hit single 'Rocket man' and one bonus track 'Slave' (alternate fast version)
'Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player' (1973) with the hits 'Daniel' and 'Crocodile rock' and 4 Bonuys tracks "Screw You (Young Man's Blues)", "Jack Rabbit", "Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)" and "Skyline Pigeon" (Piano version).
Looking at the track listings these are the issues from 1996 repackaged. They dont suffer overly from compression or loudness as many CD's from that period do.
Nothing really new here for Elton John fans but if you dont have these or only ahve one or two of teh albums a great way to start with what could be described as the best of Elton John. Ovberall a nice basic package.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A few years ago,Eltons career was in the doldrums ,and now he seems to be in the ascendancy again with his last few albums have been amongst his best,so a new boxed set has just been issued that reviews his first five studio albums
ELTON JOHN(50.53)
"Your song"what a classic to begin with,a lovely song
"I need yiu to turn to" a triumphant ballad
"Take me to the pilot" slighly tuneless song,with background vocal by the great Madelyne Bell.
"No shoe strings on Louise"Elton sounds like the stones on "exile on main street".
"First episode at Heinton"is a four minute,very moving ballad.
" Sixty years on"this track is heavily saampled on the new mini album,there is a magnificent orchstral arrangement featured on this track.
"Border song"another early classic.,Aretha Franklin recorded an amazing version of this.
"The greatest discovery"another lovely song thst just hits the heartstrings.
"The cage"another upbeat stomper.
"The king must die"sounds like "come down in time"from "Tumbleweed".
"Bad side of the moon"(Single version)another upbeat out take that is very good.
"Grey Seal"very influenced by the "Quadrophenia" era sound of the Who
"Rock and roll madonna"sums it all up nicely.

TUMBLEWEED CONNECTION(60.11)
"Ballad of a well known gun"A gospel tinged rockker to start.
"Come down in time"one of Elton and Bernies greatest songs
"Country comforts" as sing-a-long as it gets.
"Son of your father"another gospel type song,even down to the steel guitar solo.
"My fathers gun"another upbeat song that really shows how Elton and Bernies skills were developing.
"Where to now St Peter",leads back to the country influence.
"Love song"sung with the excellent Leslie Duncan,on backing vocals,excellent song indeed.
"Amoreena" an upbeat song that holds its own,which considering the quality of the songs is no bad thing.
"Talking old soldiers" a very sad,moving song.
"Burn down the mission" a storming song that rocks like hell.
"Into the old mans shoes" Another American influenced song
"Madman across the water(Original version)"Brilliant version of the title track of the next album.

MADMAN ACROSS THE WATER(45.20)
"Tiny dancer"The original version and still the best,however having said that there is a good version on the new "Old grey whistle test" compilation
"Levon"written alledgelly about the former band member Levon Helm.
""Razor face"another story in a song.
"Madman across the water" in a word,magnificent.
"Indian sunset"six minutes of beauty.it sounds a little like Peter Hammill.
"Holiday inn"a very English song,about staying in an Ameerican hotel chain.
"Rotten peaches"again a story song about life on the road.
"All the nasties"a mid paced gospel song.
"Goodbye"a short goodye to "Madman across the water" and a huge welcome to

HONKY CHATEAU (48.21)
"Honky cat"not my favourite Elton track.
"Mellow"is just that.
"I think im gonna kill mysself"a very cheery song.
"Susie(dramas)"typical Elton funk.
"Rocket man(I think its going to be a long,long time)"a lovely song that was a massive hit.
"Salvation" a very good track indeed
"Slave"another of Eltons traveloguesongs/
"Amy" sounds like "Honky cat"
"Mona lisas and mad hatters"need i say more?
"Hercules"a John Lennonesque vocal to end the album andthat brings us to

DON'T SHOOT ME IM ONLY THE PIANO PLAYER(56.25)
"Daniel" a classy hit single.
" Teacher i need you"Elton at his 50's best.
"Elderberry wine"an out and out rocker.
"Blues for my baby and me "a slower song.
" Midnight creeper"A memphis style romp.
"Have mercy on the criminal" an upbeat blues song,
""I'm gonna be a teenage idol"i guess you are.
"Texan love song"a pretty little song.
"Crocodile rock"brilliant single.
"High flying bird"sampled on the new album.
"Screw you (Young man blues)
Jack Rabbit(Single version)anoter great song
Whenever you're ready(We'll go steady again(Single version)originally a b side
"Skyline pigeon(piano version)"brings the album to a glorious end

ELTON JOHN
DIANA LEWIS
PAUL BUCKMASTER
BERNIE TAUPIN
GUS DUDGEON
CALEB QUAYE
STEVE BROWN
NIGEL OLSSON
JEAN LUC PONTY
DEE MURRAY
DAVEY JOHNSTONE

THE PACKAGING IS MAGNIFICENT,FIVE CARD REPLICA GATEFOLD SLEEVES HOUSED IN A FLIP TOP BOX
CD ONE.....50.53
CD TWO.....60.11
CD THREE.....45.20
CD FOUR.....48.21
CD FIVE.....56.25

VALUE FOR MONEY*****
BEST TRACK......MADMAN ACROSS THE WATER,MONA LISAS AND MADHATTERS
RELEASED ......2012
MERCURY RECORDS
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2013
I love early Elton John and had these albums back in the day, so when Amazon sent me an ad for box sets which included this set I had to buy them. They come in replica sleeves but with extra tracks. The alternative version of 'Madman Across the Water' is superb. After playing the C.Ds through for the first time I have been singing them to myself all the time. Now I have to invest in Captain Fantastic, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.....
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2012
Terrific box set of Elton John's groundbreaking first 5 studio albums, revealing the immence songwriting talents of Bernie Taupin's poetic lyrics and Elton's musical versatility. By the time these albums had been released, Elton John was the biggest selling solo recording artist in the world, outselling even Elvis Presley. The term "classic" is over-used in pop culture, but these albums represent some of the finest pieces of popular music ever made. And released at an incredibly low price.
A must for all serious music fans!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2013
I had all of Eltons albums on vinly and i decided to purchase these discs to allow me to enjoy them in the car,these albums are excellent and i would recomend them to anyone who enjoys good music some relly brilliant songs well worth alisten
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Well, he may be hitting the headlines thanks to a doof doof rejigging from some Antipodean dancemongers, but really, what people want is the proper, early Elton John, before the good drugs and the bad wigs kicked in. So, thanks to the wonders of the Universal marketing department, you can now get five albums in a nice blue box.

So you're getting five of Elton John's best loved albums from 1970-1973 covering "Elton John", "Tumbleweed Connection", "Madman Across The Water", "Honky Chateau" and "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player". These were the records that made him the man he is today, breaking him over in the American colonies and resulting in him being the first musician since The Beatles to have four albums simultaneously in the Top Twenty. For sure, it misses out on his DJM debut, but no-one will shed any tears over that.

"Elton John" has the gems 'Border Town' and 'Your Song', with the latter Elton's first UK hit, reaching No. 7 in the charts and the parent album reaching No. 4 in the US charts. "Tumbleweed Connection" sees some backing vocals from Dusty Springfield, a cracking cover of Lesley Duncan's "Love Song" and one of my personal favourites, 'Burn Down the Mission'. Skipping the "Friends" soundtrack and a live album, and it's on into "Madman Across The Water" saw the arrival of guitarist Davey Johnstone, the unveiling of that bloody 'Tiny Dancer' song and the splendid 'Razor Face'.

Six months later (sheesh, no wonder he hit the coke) and "Honky Chateau" saw him having UK success to go with his US profile, but despite its success, it wasn't as strong as the two records that had gone before. But anything with 'Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters' can't be all bad. Finally, things are rounded off with "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player". I'm not going to lie. I've never cared for it. It seemed to be a tired album, with too many songs reminiscent of something else. And, yes, I know Elton says that was deliberate, but it just didn't work for me. Even if Noel Gallagher is a fan.

These are vanilla editions with none of the bonus tracks that have garnished the re-releases. But for anyone who is intrigued by his recent dance rejuvenations, then this will do nicely.
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on 1 July 2013
Here we have five classic early Elton Albums for under £20! The sound quality is amazing - no corners cut there - and the packaging is excellent giving card reproductions of the original album covers, all boxed.

Elton was producing some amazing stuff in the early 70s and it's all here, the whole lead up to his classic double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which is also highly recommended.
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on 23 March 2015
Great value set of the first 5 albums from Elton, sound quality great and I love the way the cd sleeves mimic the original artwork of the vinyl albums.
100% brilliant and at the price totally unbelievable value. Anyone who wants to hear Elton at his very best should get this box set as apart from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road his best work was during this period
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on 16 August 2013
Seminal works from Elton from an era which has much focus currently especially with the David Bowie retrospective.Elton at his best and all his early stuff in one inexpensive box set

inner sleeves are poor quality cardboard, but you cant complain at this one because of the low cost.
Buy this and enjoy some stuff you probably wont of heard
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on 24 April 2014
As someone who bought everything the man produced, (on vinyl originally) this was an opportunity to update to my favourite format. Singing along, straight out of the box, this is Elton at his formative best. Would have been better if 'Empty Sky' had been included.
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