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Elton John: Diamonds and Pearls

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On November 10th, Universal Music will release a new Elton John Best-Of called Diamonds. It’s available as a 2CD or 3CD set. The 2CD is a straight-up greatest hits package, but the 3CD has a disc of “personal favourites curated by Elton” which includes rarities, live tracks, album tracks and other singles.

Elton Diamonds Rockyoulike.com

There are literally no surprises on the first two CDs. The third is interesting, but most casual fans of the Rocket Man will plump for the regular set. It got me thinking about how many great singles and album tracks don’t appear on Diamonds, and what a shame it is. So because I’m a geek, I decided to put together a companion to this set, which I’m calling Pearls. I set myself the task of replacing each song on Diamonds with a single or album track from the same era. For CD3, I took the liberty of highlighting a song or two from albums that didn’t get a look-in on the Diamonds set. Here’s my tracklist, with details of what track it replaced on the official set.

CD1

  1. Take Me To The Pilot (replaces ‘Your Song’. Both from Elton John, 1970)
  2. Levon (replaces ‘Tiny Dancer’, both from Madman Across The Water, 1971)
  3. Mona Lisa And Mad Hatters (replaces ‘Rocket Man’, both from Honky Chateau, 1972)
  4. Burn Down The Mission (from Tumbleweed Connection, 1970. Replaces ‘Honky Cat’ from Honky Chateau, 1972)
  5. It’s Me That You Need (non-album single, 1969. Replaces ‘Crocodile Rock’ from Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player, 1973)
  6. Razor Face (from Madman Across The Water, 1971. Replaces ‘Daniel’ from Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player, 1973)
  7. Harmony (replaces ‘Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)’. Both from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
  8. Grey Seal (replaces ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’. Both from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
  9. Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (replaces ‘Candle In The Wind’. Both from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
  10. Sweet Painted Lady (replaces ‘Bennie And The Jets’. Both from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
  11. Better Off Dead (from Captain Fantastic and The Brown-Dirt Cowboy, 1975. Replaces ‘The Bitch Is Back’ from Caribou, 1974)
  12. Idol (from Blue Moves, 1976. Replaces ‘Philadelphia Freedom’, non-album single, 1975)
  13. I Feel Like A Bullet (In The Gun Of Robert Ford) (replaces ‘Island Girl’. Both from Rock Of The Westies, 1975)
  14. We All Fall In Love Sometimes (replaces ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’, both from Captain Fantastic and The Brown-Dirt Cowboy, 1975)
  15. Curtains (from Captain Fantastic and The Brown-Dirt Cowboy, 1975. Replaces ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’, non-album single, 1976)
  16. Ego (non-album single, 1978. Replaces ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ from A Single Man, 1978)
  17. Sartorial Eloquence (replaces ‘Little Jeannie’. Both from 21 At 33, 1980)

CD 2

  1. Chasing The Crown (from 21 At 33, 1980. Replaces ‘Song For Guy’ from A Single Man, 1978)
  2. The Fox (from The Fox, 1981. Replaces ‘Blue Eyes’ from Jump Up!, 1982)
  3. Crystal (replaces ‘I’m Still Standing’. Both from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
  4. Too Low For Zero (replaces ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’. Both from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
  5. Passengers (replaces ‘Sad Songs (Say So Much)’. Both from Breaking Hearts, 1984)
  6. Wrap Her Up (feat. George Michael) (replaces ‘Nikita’. Both from Ice On Fire, 1985)
  7. Club At The End Of The Street (from Sleeping With The Past, 1989. Replaces ‘I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That’ from Reg Strikes Back, 1988)
  8. Healing Hands (replaces ‘Sacrifice’, both from Sleeping With The Past, 1989)
  9. You Gotta Love Someone (from The Very Best Of Elton John, 1990. Replaces ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (Live with George Michael), non-album single, 1991)
  10. Please (from Made In England, 1995. Replaces ‘Something About The Way You Look Tonight’ from The Big Picture, 1997)
  11. Original Sin (replaces ‘I Want Love’. Both from Songs From The West Coast, 2001)
  12. Suit Of Wolves (B-Side to ‘The One’, 1992. Replaces ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight?’ from The Lion King, 1994)
  13. American Triangle (from Songs From The West Coast, 2001. Replaces ‘Are You Ready For Love’, non-album single, 2003. Originally recorded in 1977)
  14. Alone Again (Naturally) (feat. Pet Shop Boys), promo single 2005. Replaces ‘Electricity’, non-album single, 2005)
  15. Can’t Stay Alone Tonight (replaces ‘Home Again’. Both from The Diving Board, 2013)
  16. Blue Wonderful (replaces ‘Looking Up’. Both from Wonderful Crazy Night, 2016)
  17. Duets For One (from Duets, 1993. Replaces ‘Circle Of Life’ from The Lion King, 1994)

CD3

  1. The Greatest Discovery (from Elton John, 1970. Replaces ‘Skyline Pigeon (Piano Version)’, B-side of ‘Daniel’, 1972)
  2. I Saw Her Standing There (live feat. John Lennon) (from Here And There, 1974. Replaces ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’, non-album single, 1974)
  3. Cage The Songbird (from Blue Moves, 1976. Replaces ‘Pinball Wizard’, non-album single, 1976)
  4. Elton’s Song (from The Fox, 1981. Replaces ‘Mama Can’t Buy You Love’ from The Thom Bell Sessions, 1979)
  5. Flinstone Boy (B-Side to ‘Ego’, 1978. Replaces ‘Part-Time Love, from A Single Man, 1978)
  6. Soul Glove (from Ice On Fire, 1985. Replaces ‘Victim Of Love’, from Victim Of Love, 1979)
  7. Breaking Down Barriers (from The Fox, 1981. Replaces ‘Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny’, from Jump Up!, 1982)
  8. Lonely Boy (B-side of ‘Passengers’, 1984. Replaces ‘Kiss The Bride’ from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
  9. Angeline (from Leather Jackets, 1986. Replaces ‘That’s What Friends Are For’, non-album single, 1985)
  10. Runaway Train (with Eric Clapton) (Replaces ‘The One’. Both from The One, 1992)
  11. Born To Lose (with Leonard Cohen) (Replaces True Love (with Kiki Dee). Both from Duets, 1993)
  12. Blessed (Replaces ‘Believe’. Both from Made In England, 1995)
  13. Turn The Lights Out When You Leave (from Peachtree Road, 2004. Replaces ‘Live Like Horses (with Pavarotti)’ from Elton John Greatest Hits 1970 – 2002, 2002)
  14. The Simple Life (from The One, 1992. Replaces ‘Written In The Stars (with LeAnn Rimes’ from Aida, 1999)
  15. The Emperor’s New Clothes (Replaces ‘This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore’. Both from Songs From The West Coast, 2001)
  16. Sad (Elton v Pnau). (Replaces ‘Good Morning To The Night (Elton v Pnau)’. Both from Good Morning To The Night, 2012)
  17. Cold As Christmas (from Too Low For Zero, 1983. Replaces ‘Step Into Christmas’, non-album single, 1973)

And here’s Pearls in a handy Spotify playlist. Enjoy it!

The only song Spotify didn’t have was ‘Lonely Boy’, the B-side to ‘Passengers’ from 1984. It’s worth hearing, so here it is:

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