Elton John is digging deep into his archives for Elton: Jewel Box, a new archival release featuring 148 songs spanning 1965 to 2019. The collection will be released November 13 on eight CDs and a variety of multi-disc LP configurations, as well as digitally.
The collection features deep cuts, rarities, B-sides and songs that Elton specifically talks about in his memoir, Me. The 8 CD box set includes a hardcover book, featuring a track-by-track commentary for the deep cuts. You can buy the songs on LP as four LPs of Deep Cuts, a three LP set of Rarities and B-Sides, or a 2 LP set called And This Is Me.
The first track from the collection is available now: “Sing Me No Sad Songs,” which Elton and Bernie Taupin wrote and recorded as a demo in 1969. Interestingly, the lyrics mention both the phrases “sad songs” and “don’t go breaking my heart” — titles of two future Elton/Bernie hits. There’s also a song called “Snow Queen,” featuring Elton and Kiki Dee.
In a statement, Elton says, “To delve back through every period of my career in such detail for Jewel Box has been an absolute pleasure. Hearing these long lost tracks again, I find it hard to comprehend just how prolific Bernie and I were during the early days. The songs just poured out of us, and the band were just unbelievable in the studio.”
He adds, “I always want to push forward with everything I do and look to the future, but having time during lockdown to take stock and pull these moments from my memory from each era has been a joy. As a devout record collector myself, this project has really excited me, and I couldn’t be happier with the level of craft involved in such a carefully curated, lovingly constructed box set.”
While there’s no track listing available yet, there are descriptions of each disc:
Discs 1 & 2: Deep Cuts — A selection of personal favorites, curated by Elton. The box set book includes a track-by-track commentary by Elton.
Discs 3, 4, and 5: Rarities 1965 -1971 — 65 songs featuring Elton‘s 1960s and early 1970s demos and music. The packaging appropriately contains rare archival artwork and select original lyric sheets.
Discs 6 & 7: B-Sides 1976-2005 — Non-LP tracks and flipsides, 36 in all. 17 of them were previously only available on vinyl
Disc 8: And This Is Me… — To coincide with the release of the updated paperback edition of Me, this disc features the songs mentioned by name by Elton in Me, including his Oscar-winning duet with Taron Egerton, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.”
By Andrea Dresdale
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