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50 years ago today, Elton John played his first star-making gig at WeHo’s Troubadour

Elton John and Bernie Taupin at the Troubadour in 1975
Elton John got his big U.S. break at the Troubadour in 1970. Here, he and music partner Bernie Taupin draw audience members for a benefit at the Santa Monica Boulevard club in August 1975.
(Los Angeles Times)

Elton John is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his career-making performances at the Troubadour in West Hollywood by rereleasing a limited edition of his self-titled album from 1970, which is also celebrating its golden anniversary.

On Saturday, which is Record Store Day, the pop icon will release a limited-edition deluxe version of the record, according to a statement from Universal Music Group.

The exclusive two-disc album is pressed on transparent purple vinyl. The first disc features the 2016 remaster of the original album. The second contains a selection of bonus tracks off the 2008 CD deluxe edition, which have never been released on vinyl, and two previously unreleased demos of “Border Song” and “Bad Side of the Moon.” (See the full track list below.)

The original, Grammy-nominated “Elton John” album will be rereleased on Oct. 30 as a limited-edition gold vinyl version with a download code.

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When Elton John flew to Los Angeles to make his U.S. debut at the Troubadour on Aug. 25, 1970, the prospect of a visit to America was so tantalizing to his British pals that many accompanied him.

In August 1970, a 23-year-old Elton John played eight shows in six nights at the Troubadour, starting on Aug. 25. After that, the lesser-known Reg Dwight transformed into a bona fide supernova — an arc that was chronicled in his Oscar-winning 2019 biopic, “Rocketman.” His “magnificent” set received a glowing review from The Times’ then-music critic, Robert Hilburn.

Alas, the vaunted West Hollywood venue to which John arguably owes his career is among the many smaller venues struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The 500-capacity club is part of the National Independent Venue Assn., which is lobbying for government aid as extended closures threaten the live-music business.

Like many businesses, the Troubadour set up a GoFundMe page to help its hourly employees.

An oral history of the coronavirus pandemic, as told by the staffs of four iconic L.A. nightclubs: the Troubadour, McCabe’s Guitar Shop, Sound and the Satellite

On Tuesday, the Grammy winner tweeted that he would include a new chapter in the paperback edition of his recent autobiography, “Me,” that is “full of backstage tantrums and celebrity drama.”

These are the formats and track lists that the “Elton John” rerelease will be available in:

Record Store Day 2-LP purple vinyl set

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LP1 / SIDE A
1. “Your Song”
2. “I Need You to Turn to”
3. “Take Me to the Pilot”
4. “No Shoe Strings on Louise”
5. “First Episode at Hienton”

LP1 / SIDE B
1. “Sixty Years on”
2. “Border Song”
3. “The Greatest Discovery”
4. “The Cage”
5. “The King Must Die”

LP2 / SIDE A
1. “Your Song” (piano demo)
2. “I Need You to Turn to” (piano demo)
3. “Take Me to the Pilot” (piano demo)
4. “Sixty Years on” (piano demo)
5. “Border Song” (piano demo)
6. “Bad Side of the Moon” (piano demo)

LP2 / SIDE B
1. “Thank You Mama” (piano demo)
2. “All the Way Down to El Paso” (piano demo)
3. “I’m Going Home” (piano demo)
4. “Bad Side of the Moon”
5. “Grey Seal”
6. “Rock and Roll Madonna”

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Limited-edition 1-LP gold vinyl set

LP1 / SIDE A
1. “Your Song”
2. “I Need You to Turn to”
3. “Take Me to the Pilot”
4. “No Shoe Strings on Louise”
5. “First Episode at Hienton”

LP1 / SIDE B
1. “Sixty Years on”
2. “Border Song”
3. “The Greatest Discovery""
4. “The Cage”
5. “The King Must Die”


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