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Sir Elton: The Definitive Biography Paperback – February 27, 2001

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (February 27, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786708204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786708208
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,191,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Martin on January 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
W Martin (WMPuppet@aol.com) from United States , January 24, 2001 Only for the casual fan, REAL fans will find this tedious. For the casual fan, there is no better book on the life and career of Sir Elton John than this. However, for any serious fan this "updated" re-issue is a waste. Mr. Norman never did appear to have his heart in writing the original and ten years later all he has managed to add is about a half dozen pages of quotes from Elton's stepmother Edna Dwight, who he secured an interview, following the death of Elton's father Stanley. Mrs. Dwights reflections, including a picture and some letters between father and son, are very interesting. They shed a very different light on her late husband's relationship with Elton, from the version Elton has given through the years. But that's it.
Mr. Norman has come up with NOTHING on Elton's breakup with longtime manager John Reid. He merely includes what has been reported in the tabloid press. (Mr. Norman's idea of research?) While this story is still evolving, as any industry insider will tell you, it's dynamite. A book in and of itself. An author with the ego of Philip Norman's should be ashamed for releasing an updated version without including the REAL story regarding Mr. Reid. But then again, this is the same author who released the book in it's original form without including any information on Elton's multiple addictions that nearly cost him his life. Everyone in the business was fully aware of the situation at the time, yet Mr. Norman's reaction was one of total shock, learning of the condition when Elton went public after the books initial release.
The book in it's first printing, while giving a good overview of Elton's life and career was riddled with errors, including misquotes, wrong dates and fabrications.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I sympathize with those who find the pace of this one troubling. I bought the first edition when it came out twelve years ago; I was only ten years-old but read it with eyes wide-open. I was excited to hear Norman was coming out with a new version including everything that the first edition and second edition originally offered--but with supplemental info that captured the story of his 1990s renaissance. I was, however, disappointed in the following:
A) only one or two additional chapters had been added to cover this significant time of John's career
B) the discography (by leading archivist Mark Lewisohn) had been updated, but nowhere near as comprehensive (the new one is SHORTER)
C) what had once been three extensive sections of color and b&w photos had been compromised into only two
... so, be advised of these differences that make this new version a disappointing replacement for Norman's original.
BUT, make no mistake. I have given 4 stars based on the merits of Norman's extensive research and outstanding writing as a biographer. He paints a fair and honest picture of a superstar based on first hand testimony from John's closest friends, relatives and bandmates. This is, and always will be, the 'definitve' portrait in words.
This book was not "authorized", by the way. However, of the original, Elton John himself was quoted at the time as saying "He's got me spot on" (this quote is printed, of course, on the back of the book). I think that says enough. Enjoy the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Cox on December 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
After having read the entire 500+/- page book I have to appreciate that Mr. Norman is a serious fan of Elton. The book is well researched. If you want to know what color outfit he wore at a particular gig you're probably in luck. If you want to know about Elton and his songwriting/music this is probably not the book for you. So many of Elton classic albums are just brushed off or hardly mentioned. Really. If you're lucky you may get a tracklisting; other albums not even that. While the private lives of musicians can be interesting to a point please don't forget what made them famous in the first place. There is little to no mention of the recordings of several albums (what was the mood, who was there, what inspired the song).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Metcalfe on February 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
The grim realisation that the last 20 years would be given very superficial treatment dawns when you are several hundred pages in and it's still the early 80's. Very disappointing as Elton had a very popular and successful period during the mid-80's and several top albums and great tours were glossed over. The last 10 years fairs even worse - it appears a superficial update to cash in on EJ's Knighthood status. Even the well publicised friendship with the Princess of Wales is hardly touched. Pity 'cause I enjoyed particularly the coverage of the 70's ...
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