5-Song Soundtrack Contains Rare, Reimagined Versions of ‘Don’t Cry For Me’
Plus Original Versions & Special Renditions of Whitney Houston Songs Performed by Kygo, Lucky Daye, Samaria, SG Lewis, Jax Jones, and more
LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire/ — Ahead of the December 23 theatrical release of TriStar Pictures’ Whitney Houston biopic, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody, RCA Records has dropped the official 35-song soundtrack, serving as a musical memoir of the cinematic voyage. Listen Here.
“This totally unique soundtrack album brings many of Whitney’s classics into 2023 and beyond. Contemporary, current and often scorching, if you love Whitney’s music, you must own this album!” says Clive Davis.
Featuring music spanning two decades of Houston’s legendary career, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (The Movie: Whitney New, Classic and Reimagined) includes nearly two hours of remixed and original versions of Whitney Houston songs, with special guest features by BeBe Winans, Clean Bandit, Kygo, Lucky Daye, SG Lewis, Samaria, Jax Jones, Leikeli47, P2J, Oxlade, Pheelz, and more.
“We are thrilled to be releasing the amazing 35-song soundtrack to the Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody film with RCA Records,” says Pat Houston, President of The Estate of Whitney E. Houston. “We think the fans will be excited to hear some incredible music they know and love, as well as some new never-before-released tracks, including ‘Far Enough’ and the incredible ‘Don’t Cry For Me,’ which ends the film.”
Last week, RCA announced the original soundtrack would include three rare versions of “Don’t Cry For Me” – a never-before-released a cappella, a full-length film version by Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, and a reimagined recording by record producer Sam Feldt. Houston’s iconic performance of the song was made famous after a striking rendition at the 1994 Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA) benefit concert – a moment that would stun the audience and go down in history as one of the most memorable performances of Whitney Houston’s illustrious career.
“I am extremely honored and proud to have been asked to reimagine a track made by all-time legend Whitney Houston,” says Sam Feldt. “Being a key part of this unique movie’s soundtrack by turning this classic into a 2023 ready dance-pop banger is an absolute pleasure, and I can’t wait for the fans to hear it.”
“I’m beyond excited for the fans and the next generation of fans to experience the greatness of Whitney and what her voice meant and still means to all of us,” says Rodney Jerkins.
One of the most iconic and influential singers in music history, Houston sold over 200 million albums throughout her legendary career, to become one of the best-selling artists of the 20th century. Her self-titled debut album, Whitney Houston was one of the most acclaimed albums in modern recording history, spending 14 weeks at #1 on Billboard Top 200 and selling more than twenty-five million copies worldwide. The streak continued when Houston became the first female artist to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 with her sophomore album, Whitney.
Together, the two albums spurred seven #1 singles with a catalog of hits that include, “Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “Greatest Love of All,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me),” “Didn’t We Almost Have It All,” “So Emotional,” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” A run that would lead Houston to become the only Black artist to earn three RIAA Diamond-certified albums.
On February 10, Legacy Recordings, in cooperation with The Estate of Whitney E. Houston, will release the icon’s first two studio albums on vinyl, featuring the original album packaging and an exclusive Target edition – both available for pre-order HERE.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody Soundtrack Tracklisting
- I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston & P2J)
- Don’t Cry For Me (Whitney Houston & Sam Feldt)
- Higher Love (Whitney Houston & Kygo)
- The Greatest Love Of All (Whitney Houston & Jax Jones)
- I’m Every Woman (Whitney Houston & SG Lewis)
- How Will I Know (Whitney Houston & Clean Bandit)
- I Love The Lord (Whitney Houston, BeBe Winans, Great John)
- Don’t Cry For Me (Darkchild Film Version)
- Honest (Heartbreak Hotel) [Whitney Houston & Lucky Daye]
- Okay (Whitney Houston, Oxlade, Pheelz)
- You’ll Never Stand Alone (Moto Blanco Remix)
- Love Will Save The Day (MATVEI Remix)
- Tomorrow (Whitney Houston & Samaria)
- Home (Live from The Merv Griffin Show)
- You Give Good Love
- Saving All My Love for You
- If You Say My Eyes Are Beautiful (Whitney Houston & Jermaine Jackson)
- Far Enough
- I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
- So Emotional
- Where Do Broken Hearts Go
- Moment Of Truth
- I’m Your Baby Tonight
- The Star-Spangled Banner (Live from Super Bowl XXV)
- One Moment In Time
- I Will Always Love You (Live from The Concert for a New South Africa)
- Medley: I Loves You, Porgy / And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going / I Have Nothing (Live from The 21st Annual American Music Awards)
- Run To You
- Impossible Things (Whitney Houston & Leikeli47)
- Why Does It Hurt So Bad (from the “Waiting to Exhale” – Original Soundtrack)
- It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay
- My Love Is Your Love
- I Didn’t Know My Own Strength (Live from The Oprah Winfrey Show)
- Clive’s Message
- Don’t Cry For Me (A Cappella)
SOURCE RCA Records
Urban One Inc’s Reach Media Announces R&B Superstar Ralph Tresvant of New Edition as Host of “Love and R&B”
SILVER SPRING, Md. /PRNewswire/ — Today, Urban One Inc’s Reach Media and Radio One announced that Ralph Tresvant, lead singer of famed supergroup New Edition, is now the new host of the network’s long-running syndicated show “Love and R&B,” heard nightly on all affiliate stations, effective February 13.
David Kantor, CEO of Urban One’s Reach Media and Radio One audio divisions, says, “Ralph Tresvant brings us a timeless brand filled with style, charisma, and star power. He’s a great communicator with vast musical knowledge who will be creating real and riveting radio. Ralph gives us the complete brand who can quickly build a large, loyal following with must listen-to moments each and every night.”
Not coincidentally, the “Love and R&B with Ralph Tresvant” show debuts right before Valentine’s Day, building on the show’s legacy of playing classic slow jams and love songs by artists that are keeping traditional R&B music alive and well.
“I’m excited to show a side of me that I’ve never shared before through the embodiment of true R&B music,” says Tresvant. “I love the medium of radio and as a kid growing up in Boston, I was inspired by the great radio hosts I heard. I’ve learned how important it is to be on both sides of the mic. Growing up in this business, I’ve learned to be vulnerable and relatable but will also bring that New Edition excitement to the airwaves! I’m ready to connect with my fans and communities all around the US like never before! Everyone says real R&B is gone… I’m thrilled to have a radio show that will change the musical landscape.”
Tresvant continued, “Indeed, I’m thankful for this opportunity and my team Jodi Gomes, LaShawn Thomas and my agent, Gary Bernstein, who brokered the deal. I’m grateful to be a part of the Urban One family and thank my longtime supporters Cathy Hughes, Alfred Liggins, David Kantor, Kashon Powell, Gary Bond, Colby Colb, and Derek Harper.”
Ralph Tresvant has captivated audiences for 40 years as the legendary front man of New Edition, a solo artist, entertainer, writer, and producer. Now, this entertainer turned radio star will be broadcasting in top markets including Dallas, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Richmond, with additional markets to be announced.
Kashon Powell, Radio One’s VP of Programming says, “I’m excited to welcome Ralph to our Urban One family. He’s the ultimate entertainer so I’m confident that he will make an immediate connection with radio listeners across the country.”
About Urban One:
Urban One Inc. (urban1.com), together with its subsidiaries, is the largest diversified media company that primarily targets Black Americans and urban consumers in the United States. The Company owns TV One, LLC (tvone.tv), a television network serving more than 59 million households, offering a broad range of original programming, classic series and movies designed to entertain, inform, and inspire a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. As of September 30, 2022, we owned and/or operated 66 independently formatted, revenue producing broadcast stations (including 55 FM or AM stations, 9 HD stations, and the 2 low power television stations) branded under the tradename “Radio One” in 15 urban markets in the United States. Through its controlling interest in Reach Media, Inc. (blackamericaweb.com), the Company also operates syndicated programming including the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, the Russ Parr Morning Show, and the DL Hughley Show. In addition to its radio and television broadcast assets, Urban One owns iOne Digital (ionedigital.com), our wholly owned digital platform serving the African American community through social content, news, information, and entertainment websites, including its Cassius, Bossip, HipHopWired and MadameNoire digital platforms and brands. We also have invested in a minority ownership interest in MGM National Harbor, a gaming resort located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Through our national multi-media operations, we provide advertisers with a unique and powerful delivery mechanism to the African American and urban audiences.
SOURCE Urban One, Inc.
Black History Month comes to life across SiriusXM Canada
With limited-run channels, special programming events, and more, February will spotlight the Black artists and changemakers who have made their mark on history
TORONTO /CNW/ – Today, SiriusXM unveiled its lineup of special programming across music, talk, sports, and comedy in honour of Black History Month. SiriusXM will showcase Black history and its influence on culture all year long, throughout February, with a collection of limited-run channels and special events spotlighting the artists and other influential figures who have transformed Black communities and shaped society, art, and more.
“This Black History Month, SiriusXM is amplifying the Black experience and the impact of Black artists, creators, our hosts and talent have had on pop culture through our curated content,” said Kimberly K. Wilson, SVP, Brand and Consumer Marketing at SiriusXM. “The Power of Black Culture has influenced music of all genres, sports, comedy, and talk. We’re thrilled to honour Black voices across the diaspora and celebrate their brilliance.”
“While we run channels dedicated to amplifying Black voices and highlighting the Black experience year-round, our Black History Month programming aims to honour the generations of Black artists who have helped shape music as we know it today,” said Dion Summers, VP, Urban Music Programming at SiriusXM. “From jazz and blues to hip-hop and R&B, the influence of Black musicians is present throughout all aspects of culture, and we’re excited to offer our SiriusXM listeners a platform to experience and listen to Black artists’ cultural pride expressed through their music.”
Programming highlights for Black History Month across SiriusXM includes:
CHANNELS AND MODES
The Apollo Theater Channel: From the early days of Jazz, through decades of R&B and Hip-Hop to today, The Apollo has been, and continues to be, the mecca of Black culture. Now, SiriusXM spotlights the music and artists that have graced the stage and have been influenced by the legendary organization. The Apollo Theater Channel features SiriusXM Apollo shows (including Alicia Keys, H.E.R., and more), artists who’ve performed at the Apollo, and those who’ve been inspired by the Apollo. You’ll also hear classic performances from artists who’ve graced the iconic Apollo stage over the years. The Apollo Theater Channel airs for two weeks on channel 104 starting February 14 and for 30 days on the SiriusXM App.
Notorious Radio: Inspired by the Brooklyn-born rapper, Notorious B.I.G., the Notorious Radio channel will feature his entire catalogue of music, along with music of other Hip-Hop artists and luminaries paying tribute to the rap legend gone far too soon. Notorious B.I.G. changed Hip-Hop forever when he burst onto the rap scene in the early 90s, and his laid-back lyrical delivery tells the tales of celebration and strife. Hear why Rolling Stone calls B.I.G. “the greatest rapper that ever lived,” on Notorious Radio for one week starting February 8 on channel 105 and 30 days starting February 3 on the SiriusXM App.
The Whitney Channel: Widely considered The Voice, and the most awarded female artist of all time, the incomparable Whitney Houston continues to inspire and amaze with her signature ballads and upbeat dance songs. The Whitney Channel will feature her many pop and R&B classics, along with remixes and live performances. You’ll also hear from celebrities and fellow artists who had the pleasure of knowing and working with Whitney. During Black History Month, fans can also watch the new biopic, “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody” on digital (2/7) and Blu-Ray (2/28), a powerful and triumphant celebration of the incomparable Whitney Houston. The Whitney Channel airs on channel 14 and on the SiriusXM App for 30 days starting February 3.
Black Music Forever: Hear the tracks that currently move The Culture, and discover the music that’s on the come-up. If it’s Hip-Hop and R&B that’s killin’ it in the clubs, or emerging Afropop and Caribbean vibes – hear it all on Black Music Forever airing on channel 105 for one week starting February 15 and for 30 days on the SiriusXM App starting February 3.
Music that Moves: Throughout the month of February, SiriusXM’s music channels will include a variety of content celebrating Black artists, including:
- A special airing of Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show February 12 on The Heat (ch. 46).
- Hip-Hop Nation’s (ch. 44) Swaggy Sie, Torae, Gray Rizzy, DJ Nina 9 all will sit down with emerging artists and tap in on their views of Black History in Music/Hip Hop like Lola Brooke, Domani, TiaCorinne and more on Black History NEXT.
- HITS 1 (ch.2) will celebrate and elevate Black Pop Artists and showcase music and conversation with Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Beyonce, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, Metro Boomin, Nicky Minaj, Steve Lacy, SZA, Rema, and more all month long.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis sit down for an onstage conversation about their body of work, their impact and legacy for a special on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio (ch. 310).
- Jamaican singer, songwriter and actor, Ziggy Marley, spotlights five of his favourite MC’s and plays a song from each on Rock the Bells Radio (ch. 43) in The Furious Five.
- The History of Soul Music A-Z, hosted by Valerie Simpson, will air on Soul Town (ch. 49).
- Mixtape: North (ch. 164) will spotlight Canadian Black history moments throughout the month with vignettes by DJ Frank Vinatra.
- About to Pop will showcase music from up-and-coming Black Canadian artists on Poplandia (ch. 754).
- Montréal Hip-Hop artist and historian Kapois Lamort will delve into the often-untold history of Québec’s Black community and the impact of Black music on Québécois culture on Influence Franco (ch. 174) all month long.
NBA HBCU Classic and HBCU Legacy Bowl broadcasts: SiriusXM will produce and air the national audio broadcasts of two sporting events involving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in February. The NBA HBCU Classic basketball game, featuring Grambling State University vs. Southern University, will air on SiriusXM NBA Radio (ch. 86) on February 18 at 4:00pm ET. The HBCU Legacy Bowl, an all-star game that features the best NFL draft-eligible football players from HBCUs, will air on SiriusXM College Sports Radio (ch. 84) on February 25 at 4:00pm ET.
Sports Tributes and Trailblazers: Across SiriusXM’s sports channels, Black athletes and leaders will be honoured through a variety of special rebroadcasts. This includes:
- Trailblazers: A Celebration of Black History in the NFL on SiriusXM NFL Radio (ch. 88);
- Bill Russell Tribute on SiriusXM NBA Radio (ch. 86);
- Muhammad Ali Tribute on SiriusXM Fight Nation (ch. 156);
- 2014 Town Hall with Pele on SiriusXM FC (ch. 157);
- A series of specials on MLB Network Radio (ch. 89) celebrating all-time great players Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, as well as roundtable conversations with contemporary black ballplayers who discuss the trailblazers that came before them along with their own experiences on and off the diamond.
- SiriusXM’s Black Diamonds podcast, hosted by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president and historian Bob Kendrick, tells the in-depth stories about the players, people and events that shaped the legendary Negro Leagues. Episodes are available on podcast platforms and on MLB Network Radio (ch. 89).
- And SiriusXM® NHL Network Radio™ (ch. 91) will be collaborating with William Douglas, regional writer for NHL.com and founder of the Color of Hockey blog on a spotlight interview series of Black hockey players, coaches and more, all month long.
Comedy: SiriusXM’s comedy programming will take a look at some of the biggest names in stand-up, past and present, celebrating Black excellence in comedy. Coverage includes:
- Weekly hour-long themed comedy blocks on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio (ch. 96), including the 1960s/70s, the 1980s/90s (hosted by Sinbad), Fresh Faces, and The Kings of Comedy (hosted by Cedric the Entertainer).
- On She’s So Funny (ch. 771), hosts Sha Hayes & Del Harrison from UpLate with Sha & Del will celebrate Black Excellence and Love.
- Stand-up comedian Roy Wood Jr. is taking over Comedy Central Radio (ch. 95), lending his own witty insight and playing comedy from some of his favourite comedians in a celebration of Black History Month on Friday, February 3 at 6:00pm ET.
- Fridays during the month of February, Comedy Greats (ch. 94) will broadcast exclusive content from Jamie Foxx and Paul Mooney.
- On Laugh USA (ch. 98), listeners will hear a compilation of the funniest Black artists in modern comedy, which will air every Monday and Wednesday at 11:00am and 2:00pm ET.
- Raw Dog Comedy (ch. 99) will also broadcast half hour blocks of comedy from some of the best current and rising Black comedians, which will air every Friday at 12:00pm ET and Saturday at 6:00pm ET.
- Chris Robinson, one of one of the premier comics in Canada, will be taking over Ben Miner’s Comic Stripped on Just For Laughs Canada (ch. 168) for the month of February. This series of one-hour specials, airing February 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 8:00pm ET, will take listeners through a deep dive into the history of Black stand-up comedy in Canada. He’ll be joined by Canadian stand-ups such as Brandon Ash-Mohammed, Zabrina Douglas and Kenny Robinson, and will feature comedy from Dana Alexander, Hisham Kelati, Tamara Shevon and more.
Talk: Throughout the month, SiriusXM will also spotlight special talk programming including:
- Urban View (ch. 126) is the home for dynamic discourse from prominent Black voices – including Joe Madison, Karen Hunter, Clay Cane, Lurie Daniel Favors, Heather B., Rev. Al Sharpton and more – and every day will continue to cover issues impacting the African American community.
- All throughout the month Progress (ch. 127) will place a spotlight on US Congressional Black Caucus members, as they discuss their achievements and the issues they’re still tackling, as well as conversations about how to keep people of colour engaged and active in the political arena.
- Doctor Radio (ch. 110), presented by NYU Langone Health, will feature special live weekly programming focused on health-related topics and issues facing Black communities, including a one-hour special hosted by Dr. Joseph Ravenell from the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health on Friday, February 10 from 10:00-11:00am ET which will focus on various aspects of healthcare for African-Americans, and will highlight racial disparities in health.
- Business Radio will present special programming highlighting Black entrepreneurs and trailblazers in business and corporate America, with programs such as Wharton Business Daily, Randi Zuckerberg Means Business, and Marketing Matters featuring guests and entrepreneurs who are sharing pivotal moments in Black business history.
- Kids Place Live (ch.78) will kick off the month with interstitials from Black artists who will share stories about luminaries in Black history. The channel will also highlight family-centric songs by Black artists, from both current and past musicians. Additionally, every weekend the channel will feature a Black History Month-themed “Weekend Party Mix” special show hosted by KPL’s resident DJ, DJ Willy Wow. The special Black History RAP-up features music of luminary Black artists and focuses on historical figures. It will air Friday, February 3 at 6:00pm ET.
- Canada Talks (ch. 167) will feature a variety of special programming highlighting Black Canadian entrepreneurs, athletes, politicians, artists and more. Special guests include Guinness World Record-setting rapper Duane “D.O.” Gibson on The Breakdown with Allison Dore, Shannon and Bryan Prince of The Buxton National Historic Site and Museum, and The Honourable Charmaine Williams on Canada Now with Jeff Sammut, along with weekly guests on The Bilal Vakani Hour.
- Celebrating Black History Month on Canada Talks will also air throughout the month, spotlighting influential figures in Canadian history with vignettes voiced by Terry Mercury.
For a full schedule of all Black History Month special programming on SiriusXM Canada please visit: www.SiriusXM.ca/BlackHistoryMonth.
About SiriusXM Canada
Sirius XM Canada Inc., operating as SiriusXM Canada, is the country’s leading audio entertainment company. SiriusXM creates and offers ad-free music; premier sports talk and live events; comedy; news; podcasts; and exclusive talk and entertainment. SiriusXM is available in vehicles from every major car company, as well as on smartphones and all connected devices on the SXM App. For more information, visit siriusxm.ca.
SiriusXM radios and accessories are available from retailers nationwide and online at SiriusXM. In addition, SiriusXM Music for Business provides ad-free music to a variety of businesses. SiriusXM is also a leading provider of connected vehicles services, giving customers access to a suite of safety, security, and convenience services including automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery assistance, enhanced roadside assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.
SiriusXM Canada has been designated one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies 13 years in a row and is currently a Platinum Club Member.
About the Apollo
The legendary Apollo—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, The Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world. In 2023, The Apollo will open The Apollo’s Victoria Theaters, which will include two new theater spaces, and begin the renovation of its Historic Theater, marking the first ever expansion and renovation of The Apollo in its nearly 90-year history. Read more about the project here: www.apollotheater.org/renovation-restoration-and-transformation/
With music at its core, The Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend The Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, The Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at The Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and The Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about The Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.
SOURCE Sirius XM Canada Inc.
Elton John’s Honky Château 50th Anniversary Reissue Announced
Available on 2CD, 2LP and Limited-Edition Gold Vinyl LP
Honky Château is available on four different formats:
- Contains the original album and a newly created selection of outtakes from the original session tapes. This 2CD format additionally contains 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. Includes a 40-page booklet containing rare photos, memorabilia and an essay featuring interviews from those who were there at the time.
- Contains the original album and a newly created selection of outtakes from the original session tapes. Includes an eight-page booklet containing rare photos, memorabilia and an essay featuring interviews from those who were there at the time
Limited Edition Gold Vinyl LP
- Contains the original album pressed for the first time on limited edition gold vinyl
UMe today announces the 50th-anniversary reissue of Elton John’s Honky Château. Available to pre-order now on 2CD, 2LP and limited-edition gold vinyl LP, the album is released on March 24th. Pre-order here. “Rocket Man (Live at The Festival Hall, London 1972)” and “Mellow” (Session Demo) are also unveiled today as the first instant grats available from Honky Château 50th Anniversary Edition. This live debut of “Rocket Man at the Royal Festival Hall” – recorded two months before its release as the album’s first single – is striking in its freshness and its ability to nearly replicate the studio arrangement on stage. The line-up of Davey Johnstone (guitar), Dee Murray (bass) and Nigel Olsson (drums) immediately established itself as the core of the “classic” Elton band, solidifying Elton’s studio and stage presence through his most prolific period.
Honky Château was Elton’s step into global superstardom, spawning classics such as the aforementioned “Rocket Man,” “Honky Cat” and “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.” Originally released in May 1972, his 5th studio album ushered in a to-this-day unparalleled hot streak of classic albums and was the first time he recorded at the now legendary Château d’Hérouville, a residential recording studio situated 25 miles north-west of Paris. It was here where he and Bernie Taupin were to write – and the band subsequently record – some of the biggest global hits of his career. Elton, Bernie and the band – performing together on record for the first time – decamped to the Château for week’s pre-production on Honky Château in January 1972. Bernie brought his typewriter; the band set up in the dining room. Bernie would write lyrics at night and leave them on Elton’s piano for him to work on in the morning.
As Elton recalls of their notoriously prolific output at the time, “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.’”
A pivotal album in Elton’s ascent to superstardom, the album’s sepia-tinged cover belies the effortless grooves within of a band who had truly found their feet as a unit. By mid-1972 their live recordings now matched their hallowed live shows, and they effortlessly channelled a soulful sound that effortlessly drew together the deep south of America via Pinner and the Parisian suburbs.
Following the release of Honky Château, by June 1972 “Rocket Man” was in the UK pop charts at No 2. In the US, the single reached No 6. Honky Château became the first of six consecutive Billboard Hot 100 No 1 albums. It remains a firm fixture in the setlist of this record-breaking Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. “Honky Cat” showcased the extraordinary swagger that was to define all of Elton’s work for the following half-decade. His first up-tempo number to make the US Top 10, the track helped cement Elton’s reputation in America.
Still a shining jewel in Elton’s back catalogue, Honky Château was the album that announced his arrival on the world stage. Its impact and legacy endures to this day, and it will forever be remembered as the album where the Rocket Man truly took flight.
Rocket Man (Live at The Royal Festival Hall, London 1972) & Mellow (Session Demo) Unveiled Recently…
Pre-Order Here for March 24 release…
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