Elton John - The Thom Bell Sessions '77

Record Store Day 2016 Limited 12" Vinyl Single Reissue

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The Thom Bell Sessions '77 is a three track EP by British singer-songwriter Elton John, originally released in May 1979 via Rocket Records and MCA Records in the U.S.

In November 1977 whilst performing a concert at Wembley Stadium following the promotional tour for the album Blue Moves, Elton announced that he was retiring from the music business and touring.  After a string of massive hits and chart-topping albums and tours from 1970 to 1976, Elton John and Bernie Taupin were burnt out.

Taupin began collaborating with other artists, most notably Alice Cooper.  Elton John began to look for other alternatives to the method they had employed to date for his music to gain inspiration.

Elton John and Taupin had always been great fans of the Philadelphia "Philly" soul sound and soul music and Elton sought out producer Thom Bell to produce his next album, which was to showcase the Philly sound.

Thom Bell was already a name producer for his work with some of the decade’s biggest R&B acts such as the Spinners, the Stylistics and the Detroit Spinners. Apparently, relations between the producer and the artist became difficult rather quickly. Although John was eager to work with one of the creators of the Philadelphia soul sound, recording sessions did not go smoothly and they ended before an entire album could be finished.

As Bell had recently relocated from Philadelphia to Seattle, the initial sessions were recorded in autumn 1977 at Kaye-Smith Studios - the top Seattle studio at that time. Additional overdubs were done back at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia. Bell produced all the tracks and co-wrote one of the songs with his nephew, LeRoy Bell, and Casey James, who together comprised the popular singing duo Bell & James. Bell and James co-wrote the other songs in this set. The Spinners sang backing vocals on the project.

Although at least six songs were recorded during the 1977 sessions only 3 completed tracks were made available on a 12" Vinyl EP released in 1979 having been remixed in January 1979 by Elton John and Clive Franks.

The project ended up producing one top 10 single: Mama Can't Buy You Love, which peaked at #9 (#1 Adult Contemporary) on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in August 1979.

This EP was not, however, destined to languish in obscurity and by the late 1990s copies of the original 12” of the sessions were changing hands for silly money among house heads.

In 2003 Ashley Beedle’s spirited remix of the lead track Are You Ready For Love gave Elton a much-deserved Number 1 single in the UK.

For Record Store Day 2016 they’re once again available in all their full-length glory on this 3 track black vinyl release.

This is a Limited Edition 2016 Record Store Day Release, a 12" EP at 45 RPM pressed on 140 Gram Vinyl housed in a Picture Sleeve replicating the original artwork, pressed in Europe.






Are You Ready For Love



Three Way Love Affair



Mama Can't Buy You Love             


SKU 602547614513
Record Label Rocket Records
Label / Model # Universal
Catalogue Number 4761451
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 16 April 2016
Original Release Date (Year) 31 May 1979
Barcode # 602547614513
Shipping Weight 0.1850kg
Shipping Width 0.004m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000394000m3
Type New
Format Record Store Day 2016 Limited Edition Reissue, 12" Vinyl Single, 140 Gram Vinyl, 45 RPM Maxi-Single 3 Tracks
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Rock & Popular
Format 12" SINGLE

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