Friday, August 23, 2013

'Play That Piano, Reg'

I've never been a big fan of remixes, the Pnau thing was the ultimate nadir of the genre. However there's been some crackers over the years. I'm Still Standing with the longer intro, Who Wears These Shoes with the guitars and drums emphasised to even better effect. Heartache All Over The World isn't long enough and the Hard Kiss remix of Believe which is a spellbinding until the techno bit kicks in. More about those tracks over the next while. Today's example, which isn't on Youtube for those who use it as a resource (even Elton does!) is the Just Elton and His Piano remix. The song with just his vocals and the Roland piano (sounding better in the studio than onstage) doesn't suffer from the lack of backing. The live solo version around the turn of the century is the glowing embodiment of the songs strength. The killer kick is the middle eight, the backing vocals of Nigel, Dee and Davey sound crystal like, clear with strength. The workout by Elton at the end is terrific, his left hand is percussive power and precision. A great version that compliments the original (a classic, of course) perfectly. It's a pity Elton doesn't add it to the setlist again, the live versions on the 97/98 tour (with Charlie Morgan) were the ultimate performances. Though the One Night Only example nearly beats the lot of them, John Jorgenson throwing some neat little electric guitar licks in. God knows how that version would have evolved...out of this world I'd expect!


  1. Right on Paul! This mix was such a pleasant surprise right? Just goes to show how much Elton can do without the band! Too bad it wasn't brought up in the mix on the original single version but for intents and purposes, this was and still is a killer song.

    1. I'm sure you'll agree David that the piano is a far better solo instrument than the guitar as it gives more impact and has a better range. We both know how good a solo show is and how it works in some cases better than the band show. Elton is the only artist I can think of who has ever done proper solo tours playing to huge venues.