Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Brazilian rarity

In late 1976, this Elton John album was released in the Brazilian market. For all intents and purposes, this was "Elton's latest album". Only the better informed Brazilian collectors could spot that it was actually a compilation of tracks previously unreleased in this country. Elton had signed with his own label Rocket Records, so from then on his new records would be released by a different label here. But RGE still held the rights over the previous recordings. Elton was hot at the time, so no one can blame the company for resorting to this smart move. Even a major Brazilian music critic was fooled and reviewed the album as a new release.

The single tracks will be easily recognizable to any serious Elton John fan: "One Day at a Time", "Step Into Christmas", "It's Me That You Need", "Lady Samantha", "Jack Rabbit", "Into The Old Man's Shoes", "Sick City" and "Sugar on The Floor". But then, there are also "I've Seen That Movie Too", "Jamaica Jerk-Off" and "All The Girls Love Alice", originally from the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" double album. It so happens that this particular release had been reduced to a single record in Brazil. Again, the Brazilian company can't be blamed: Elton was just beginning to get popular over here in late 1973. A double album might be a bit much for the newly converted Brazilian fans. As it stood, the reduced album sold well, making Elton as popular here as he already was in other countries. Two of the tracks that were left off were released on the "4 Top Hits From England" EP series, namely, "Ballad of Danny Bailey" and "Sweet Painted Lady". Incidentally, the first release from this series featured the 1973 remake of "Skyline Pigeon", which is still remembered by long-time Brazilian fans as an Elton John greatest hit - so much in fact that it was recently included in the Brazilian edition of the "Rocket Man: Number Ones" compilation.
The "One Day at a Time" album had a beautiful gatefold sleeve and it is certainly a very nice item for any serious collector. But knowledgeable fans can only wonder how anyone could be fooled into thinking Elton could have recorded such dissimilar songs as "Lady Samantha" and "Step Into Christmas" in the same sessions!