Elton John - Live From Moscow

Double 2LP 180 Gram Black Vinyl LP Records + Download

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Live From Moscow is a live album by English singer songwriter Elton John with percussionist Ray Cooper, released in April 2019 via Rocket and Virgin EMI Records.

In 1979 Elton John embarked on a solo tour without his usual touring backing band, and with only his long-time percussionist Ray Cooper, providing accompaniment during the second half of the show.

This would have been quite a risky musical adventure for Elton at that time, to be able to hold an audience as a solo performer throughout an extensive 29 song setlist. He took the tour to Europe, North America, Australia and the Middle East, visiting countries and venues where he had never performed before.

Included on this tour was a visit to the Soviet Union, a first for a popular Western rock musician. He played eight shows in two cities (Leningrad & Moscow) between 21 and 28 May 1979, and was a significant undertaking given the cold war tensions between the West and USSR.

The shows were over two hours in length and followed the solo tour setlist where the primary focus was on John’s piano playing and vocals. On this tour there was no sequenced music played to accompany the songs (which were later added to solo tours in the 1990s and 2000s); effectively a totally stripped back affair.

The final concert of the tour on 28 May 1979 was broadcast live throughout Europe via the BBC, marking the first stereo satellite link between the Soviet Union and the West. In the UK, the broadcast was aired on BBC Radio 1, hosted by Andy Peebles and the recording of the show became available on several bootlegs. The tour was also filmed and edited for a TV documentary titled To Russia With Elton.

John and Cooper actively encouraged the audiences to “bite their lips and get up and dance”, as many of the attendees were political officials and well-connected individuals, who were not sure how to react or behave at a Western rock concert. They clapped in a respectful way, and were very quiet compared to Western audiences. Officials had attempted to stop John performing the Beatles “Back In The USSR” in his encore, however he defied the request and still incorporated it into the final medley of the show.

One of the songs which has become a staple of the Elton John and Ray Cooper solo shows is “Crazy Water” from Blue Moves, which helped bring the crowd to their feet towards the end of the show.

This tour is now regarded as a watershed in helping to build cultural bridges between the West and the Soviet Union, and John was very moved at how many people came to see him on the tour and gave him little gifts, such as soft toys that must have stretched their budgets, living in such a planned economy at that time.

As an outcome of this tour, the Soviet authorities in June 1979 permitted the state owned record label Melodiya to release Elton John’s 1978 album A Single Man, making this the first Western pop album to be released in the USSR.

A live album of the final concert in Moscow was officially released on vinyl for Record Store Day in 2019, with several highlights from the show included in the album release, including a smoking cover of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”. (We have listed the full setlist in the Tracklisting Tab).

This album shows how strong Elton is as a solo performer and songwriter, performing them with only piano and percussion, stripped of all the guitars and keyboards and backing vocals, you can hear the songs in their purest form.

This is an essential album to add to any Elton John albums collection.

This double album is a 2020 reissue on 180 gram black vinyl housed in a gatefold sleeve with a download code, pressed in Europe via Virgin EMI Records.











Skyline Pigeon



Take Me To The Pilot



Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time)



Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me



Goodbye Yellow Brick Road



Candle In The Wind



I Heard It Through The Grapevine



Funeral For A Friend






Better Off Dead



Bennie And The Jets



Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word



Crazy Water



Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) / Pinball Wizard



Crocodile Rock



Get Back / Back In The U.S.S.R.



Full Set List of Soviet Tour 1979:

  1. Your Song
  2. Sixty Years On
  3. Daniel
  4. Skyline Pigeon
  5. Take Me to the Pilot
  6. Rocket Man
  7. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
  8. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  9. Roy Rogers
  10. Candle in the Wind
  11. Ego
  12. Where to Now St. Peter?
  13. He'll Have to Go
  14. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  15. Funeral for a Friend
  16. Tonight
  17. Better Off Dead
  18. Idol
  19. I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself
  20. I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)
  21. Bennie and the Jets
  22. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
  23. Part-Time Love
  24. Crazy Water
  25. Song for Guy
  26. Medley: Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting / Pinball Wizard
  27. Medley: Crocodile Rock / Get Back / Back in the U.S.S.R.
SKU 10833
Record Label Virgin EMI Records
Label / Model # Universal
Catalogue Number 7714295
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 24 January 2020
Original Release Date (Year) 13 April 2019
Barcode # 602577142954
Shipping Weight 0.5800kg
Shipping Width 0.010m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000986000m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition Double Album 2LP Records, 180 Black Vinyl, Gatefold Sleeve, Remastered Audio, Digital Download, Reissue
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Rock & Popular

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