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Rare Masters [2 CD] CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, October 20, 1992
$37.99 $10.97

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Elton John Rare Masters US 2-CD album set

Amazon.com

During Elton John's most commercially successful period, between 1970 and 1975, he was also at his most prolific. Usually producing two albums a year, he also knocked off a dozen or so non-LP B-sides, a handful of demos for other artists, and even a soundtrack album for 1971's obscure Friends. Rare Masters, which brings much of this work together with a handful of other odds and ends (an alternate version of "Madman Across the Water," John's debut single, "I've Been Loving You"), is hardly a substitute for Greatest Hits, but its generally high quality is impressive. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Elton John
  • ASIN: B000001DXH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,261 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I understand that apparently most (all?) of the rarities on this box set are available on the newly-remastered individual albums as bonuses. But even if that's true, who cares? The fact that the soundtrack to "Friends" has been re-released in ANY form is worth the price of admission in itself, as it is quite simply the loveliest soundtrack work Elton has ever done (forget "The Lion King"!), weaving light rock/pop and orchestrations into a distinctive whole of hippie innocence. As wonderful as this all is, there is one complaint I have--one which annoys me to no end and the only thing that keeps me from awarding this set five stars. The song sequence of the "Friends" soundtrack, for some weird reason, has been slightly juggled. Why, I don't know, as I can't think of any good reason for it. But this means that those of us who adored the vinyl version of it first won't be able to listen to it in the same order that was on our old records. Some probably won't notice this, but I found it annoying because I loved the original song sequence exactly as it was. I've actually gone through the trouble of using my CD-burner to make a backup of my own "Friends" CD with the songs in their original sequence. The box is otherwise perfect and the songs magnificent throughout, but be prepared to have to do at least some track-play programming every time you insert the CD if you want to hear "Friends" the same way you did all those tender years ago.
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Format: Audio CD
When I was a lot younger I bought all of Elton John's albums and singles on vinyl. When I upgraded my albums to CD I was disappointed (at first) to find that many of the B-sides that appeared on singles were not issued to CD. Later releases of Elton John's 1970s era albums contain many of these B-sides as bonus tracks. So buyer beware if you have the later EJ reissues.

This set is great because nearly all of the 1970s era B-sides are in one place. These are oddities and rarities, some very beautiful. One of them, "Skyline Pidgeon" is one of my all time EJ favorites. This version is better than the harpsicord based original that appears on 1969's "Empty Sky" album. This version of "Skyline Pidgeon," often called the "piano version" was issued in 1973 as the B-side to the hit single "Daniel". It was probably recorded at the same time as the "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player" album.

Besides the famous "I Saw Her Standing There" live duet with John Lennon (which also appears on the extended edition of "Here And There"), one of the prettiest Elton John tracks on this collection is "One Day At A Time." This beautifully produced piece was issued as the B-side to Elton John's #1 hit single, "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." Yes, the A-side was penned by Lennon/McCartney. "One Day At the Time" was written and originally recorded by John Lennon and appeared on his "Mind Games" album in late 1973. You know what? I always liked Elton John's version of this song better than Lennon's.

"Step into Christmas" is a great holiday track to which I bought and still own the original 45. The B-side to this record was the hilarious "Ho Ho Ho Who'd Be A Turkey at Christmas". I'm sure this was recorded as a throwaway for the single.. but hey...
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Format: Audio CD
This 2-CD set is where you can obtain the "Friends" music from the movie, "Friends" (1971) on CD.
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Format: Audio CD
I was delighted to find this 1992-release 2CD set for sale in November 1993 in a music retail store in Melbourne without having being aware previously of its existence. What a great find, I exulted!! I already knew of these songs via a 1981 Elton John discography I had read, but was pessimistic about tracking down the ridiculously overpriced original 7" vinyl singles needed to complete my collection of Elton's early work.

Some great stuff on here that you won't hear on any other Elton album (or anywhere else for tht matter):

1968 I've Been Loving You - his first single. Not real great but, hey, everyone's got to start somewhere!

1969 Lady Samantha - groovy evocative song, the best of his pre-fame singles

1970 B-sides Grey Seal and Bad Side Of The Moon. The latter has a catchy repeated intro line that I still can't figure out what they're singing despite many, many listens; it sounds like "Who's a mile high, who's a mile high ...!!" but I could be wrong there!

1970 Friends - a nice song , sort of romantic and sentimental

1970 Can I Put You On . I like this one - it sounds like it could have been recorded for Tumbleweed Connection . Rocking finale

1971 The extended version of Madman Across The Water is cool

1972 The re-recorded version of Skyline Pigeon, done at the same time as the Don't Shoot Me... sessions. Fantastic song

1973 Let Me Be Your Car. Elton does this as a piano + voice demo and gives it a lot of sparkle

1974 Cold Highway and Sick City . B-sides to Caribou singles would have helped that album if included in place of dud tracks.

1974 Live version of John Lennon /Elton version of I Saw Her Standing There. Indispensible night of magic at Madison Square Garden in Nov.
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