Elton John Vinyl Club 2017 10 LP box set review

A rather large number of Elton albums were released or re-released on vinyl in 2016/17. I’m including 2016 because There was the Burberry box set in November 2016, which I did not buy because of the price tag. The same albums that were in the Burberry box set were released individually in April 2017, so it was possible to get all of them for a lot cheaper without buying the limited box set. These releases included Songs from the West Coast, which was previously unreleased on vinyl. 17-11-70 was confusingly released with that box set, and then individually released in April in the regular edition in addition to the Record Store Day 2-lp rerelease, which had more songs.

Last May or June, yet another box set was announced, which included a total of ten albums, 2 of which were previously unreleased. The price for the box set, promoted as the “Elton John Vinyl Club 2017,” was also pretty steep, at $340 US, but I went for it anyway. These were mailed 2 at a time on a release schedule that stretched from the end of June through October 2017. As with many things from the official website, it would take 2-3 weeks from the release date to get to me, though they were apparently mailed out on or near the release dates. Since I already had these albums on one format or another, I didn’t really care, though.

I think the box got here, separately from any records, some time in September. It’s good quality, nice and sturdy, but in October I noticed a big problem with it: it won’t hold all the records! The set has 10 of them, and it only comfortably holds 8. I suppose you could force them in there, but I don’t want to split the seams so I keep 2 in a separate record crate.

Unlike the ones originally included in the Burberry set, these were not advertised as “exact replicas,” so there were a few minor differences with textures and covers. What stands out the most to me is Honky Chateau: the original release has a sort of flap with a tab to close it. The songs are listed on the flap. When you open it, you see six photos: Bernie, Nigel, Elton, Jean-Luc Ponty, Dee, and Davey. The way the rerelease is done, Bernie and Jean-Luc’s photos are eliminated altogether!

These were all remastered by Bob Ludwig. I have heard mixed reviews on how they compare to the originals, but I have to admit I haven’t opened most of them so I don’t know. I probably just bought this because I wanted the ones that weren’t on vinyl before, and now every one of his albums has been released on this format. The box is cool, but you can buy them all for significantly less without it.

The official site mentions that all albums here were platinum or multiplatinum, and I thought maybe that’s why it leaves out A Single Man, but Wikipedia seems to say it was certified platinum in the US. A single man is the only full-length 70s studio album that hasn’t been released (though I’m not counting Victim of Love) and this upsets me greatly, and I do hope it’ll one day see a rerelease. I thought it was odd to include Empty Sky, which I like but it’s certainly less well-known than a lot of his 70s albums, but not A Single Man.

The only two of these previously unreleased (officially) on vinyl were The Big Picture and One Night Only. I haven’t opened One Night Only yet. The Big Picture is 2 LPs in a gatefold sleeve. The insert is one folded sheet. Unlike the others that I opened, it’s a real hassle trying to get them back into the sleeves. The corner of mine was also dinged up when I got it, and I heard from a lot of other people that this happened to them on one or more discs. I didn’t bother with trying to get it replaced, though, since the records were fine.

Overall, the box set is nice but costs way too much, especially since the records don’t even all fit into it. I appreciate the fact that a lot of albums have been rereleased in recent years, though it would be great if they’d also re-release A Single Man, and maybe re-release some of the ones from the 90s and later that are getting very hard to find on vinyl these days, like Made in England and Peachtree Road. I would recommend buying them individually instead of in the box, though the site says the box is still available.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.