MTH-V: Elton John Live in ’71

Following up on the recent New Listen, I’d like to honor Elton‘s piano trio format by featuring the incarnation that helped to catapult his career. Notably, it was with this trio that he made his US debut at the LA’s The Troubadour in 1970. The trio is:

Elton John – piano & vocals
Dee Murray – bass & backing vocals
Nigel Olsson – drums & backing vocals

For various contractual reasons, Murray and Olsson didn’t regularly play on a lot of Elton’s early studio albums. But, along with the eventual addition of guitarist Davey Johnstone, they were Elton’s core live band until 1975. Johnstone has pretty much remained in the band since, with Murray and Olsson both sporadically rejoining Elton since. Olsson once again joined Elton in 2000 and continues to tour with him through present day.

The below videos are from a live set at the BBC studios in 1971 in support of Madman Across the Water, the album from which these songs come. If you’ve not explored much of Elton’s material beyond the radio, then you’re in for a real treat. It’s a side of him often obscured by fanciful wardrobes and the hit parade. No costumes. No spectacle. Just three musicians and excellent songs.

“Razor Face”

“Rotten Peaches”

“Holiday Inn”

Previous Elton entries are here, here, and here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.