ELTON JOHN – ” Honky Chateau ” Expanded 50th Anniversary Edition

Posted: February 2, 2023 in MUSIC

Elton John’s “Honky Château” album will be reissued in expanded 50th Anniversary editions by UMR/EMI on March 24th. in 2CD, 2LP, and limited edition gold vinyl LP configurations.

To preview the release, “Rocket Man” (Live at The Festival Hall, London 1972) and “Mellow” (Session Demo) are shared today. The live version of what became an undying Elton signature marked its first public performance on February 5th, 1972, two months before the song became the first single from “Honky Château” in April, itself one month before the LP appeared. It features what became Elton’s classic band line-up of the era, with Davey Johnstone on guitar, Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums, and mirrors the track’s studio arrangement on stage with accuracy and freshness.

‘Honky Chateau – 50 Anniversary Edition’ will include a bonus disc of live tracks records at The Festival Hall, London two months before the album was released including the first time ‘Rocket Man’ was performed live.

‘Honky Chateau’ was released in May, 1972, just six months after the previous album ‘Madman Across The Water’ (with ‘Levon’ and ‘Tiny Dancer’) and seven months before the next album ‘Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player’ (With ‘Crocodile Rock’ and ‘Daniel’). Elton says the songs for the album came fast.

“The first morning we were there, I had three (songs) done by the time the band drifted downstairs looking for something to eat: ‘Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters,’ ‘Amy’ and ‘Rocket Man.’” The remainder of the album would follow suit; ‘Susie (Dramas),’ ‘Hercules,’ ‘Salvation,’ ‘Honky Cat,’ ‘Slave,’ ‘I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself’ and ‘Mellow.’”

The demo of “Mellow” is from the Honky at the Château segments of the expanded 2LP and 2CD editions of the album. These are spread across two sections which feature the demo versions of every track on the album with the exception of “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.” The 2CD edition adds eight tracks from the finished LP as performed at the Royal Festival Hall, “Rocket Man” among them. A 40-page booklet with rare photos, memorabilia, and an essay featuring eye witness interviews accompanies the 2CD edition, and an eight-page booklet the 2LP version.

As detailed “Honky Château” was Elton’s fifth studio album and a significant step towards his global superstardom. It also marked the first time he recorded at the residential Château d’Hérouville studio of its title, situated 25 miles north-west of Paris.

It was a time of unbridled creativity, as the superstar would later remember of the prolific sessions.

I’m excited to release brand new formats of “Honky Château” to celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary!

This was one of the most creative periods with Bernie and I writing song after song including ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Honky Cat’ and ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters’, so I hope you enjoy joining me back at the Château!

Releasing on March 24th, a newly created selection of outtakes from the original session demos, and unseen photos and memorabilia from 1972 have been unearthed.

Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Organ: Elton John, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist: Dee Murray , Guitar, Background Vocalist: Davey Johnstone , Drums, Background Vocalist: Nigel Olsson Producer: Gus Dudgeon

Honky Château 50th anniversary edition”, which are released on March 24th. 

2CD – The double CD offers the original album, a newly created selection of outtakes from the original session tapes and eight live recordings from the Royal Festival Hall show in 1972, where the tracks received their live debut, just a few days after being recorded at the Château. It includes a 40-page booklet with an essay featuring interviews from those who were there at the time.

2LP – The 2LP vinyl edition includes the nine session demos but not the Royal Festival Hall live performances. It comes with a booklet featuring an essay and images etc. 

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