The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, October 01, 2007

Elton John

Elton John’s “17-11-70” aka “11-17-70”

I have long been a fan of the early (’70) live album by Mr. Elton John – I remember there was a colored (yellow) vinyl bootleg of it before the legit issue appeared in 1971. The U.S. copy has always been known as “11-17-70” (month, day, year), while the British / Euro copy is known as “17-11-70” – the way they write the dates (day, month, year). The band is the trio of Elton John, Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson.

Recently, I got the re-mastered ’95 CD of it – fantastic live performance, superlative sound – and a bonus track (“Amoreena”). It took me 35+ years, but I finally found an LP of “17-11-70” – and it seems to have slightly differing credits than the U.S. copy!

US copy says: “The performances on this album were recorded during a live radio concert, broadcast in New York by WABC-FM on November 17th, 1970. The broadcast originated at A&R Recording Studios, New York. The recording engineer was Phil Ramone. The tapes were mixed at Trident Studios, London and the reduction was engineered by David Hentschel.”

UK / Euro copy says: “This album was recorded live on the 17th of November 1970 at A&R Recording Studios, New York. The recording engineer was Phil Ramone. It was re-mixed at Dick James Studio, London, and the reduction was engineered by Clive Franks.”

CD booklet agrees with the US copy of the LP, with additional credits stating “Re-mastered by Tony Cousins with assistance from Crispin Murray at Metropolis Mastering, London; Mixed by Gus Dudgeon and Matt Howe at Metropolis Studio E. Engineered by Matt Howe”

Interesting, divergent liner notes. Now that I have both a UK / Euro LP and a US LP, maybe I should compare them – to see if they ‘sound’ any different? Certainly, the new CD version will sound the best. The CD booklet says (according to a ’71 interview) that Elton “regarded the American version as superior”. Hmmm…

It’s amazing to me that it took me 35+ years to come across a UK / Euro copy of “17-11-70” – perhaps I just never looked, when in the UK or Europe? The actual copy I found is a German “Hansa / DJM” copy (85 268 IT “Made in Germany”).

FYI, all vinyl track-listings run: Take Me To The Pilot / Honky Tonk Women / Sixty Years On / Can I Put You On? / Bad Side Of The Moon / Burn Down The Mission. The ’95 CD runs: Bad Side Of The Moon / Amoreena / Take Me To The Pilot / Sixty Years On / Honky Tonk Women / Can I Put You On? / Burn Down The Mission – CD runs 51:55.


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