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Elton John named Record Store Day's first Legend

The rocker will mark the 10th Record Store Day by re-releasing his 1971 live album with added tracks.

Elton John has been named Record Store Day's first Legend.

The rocker, who will re-release his live album, 17.11.70, on the day of the 10th annual festival later this month (22Apr17), has always been a big fan of independent record stores and admits he can happily spend hours browsing for albums.

"Happy 10th birthday to Record Store Day," he says in a statement. "I love record stores; I can go to the record store in Vegas and spend three hours in there. Just the smell of it, the looking at it, the wonder of it, the memories.

"I love vinyl so much; the tactile nature, the ritual of it, looking at the sleeve... especially with the old albums and the liner notes - who played on them, the process of putting it on, the needle going on and the sound coming out."

Elton also admits his new album was never intended to be a live one, adding, "We did one of the first-ever stereo radio broadcasts live at A&R Recording Studios in New York City in 1970 on the 17th of November. It was Phil Ramone’s studio, one of the greatest producers of all time, and we just went in the booth and played it as a three-piece: Nigel Olsson on drums and vocals, Dee Murray on bass and vocals, and myself.

"There was a studio audience of about 100 sitting outside the booth, hearing it coming through the loud speakers, and we just played. I’m astonished by how good we were, listening to this record. A lot of it was improvised, and you can do that when you’re a three-piece band because I’m really the lead instrument, and Dee and Nigel were so brilliant at following what I did.

"I’m very proud of it. I think it’s one of the greatest live albums ever made. It wasn’t initially coming out as a live album, but there were so many bootlegs in those days that the record company put it out. I’m glad they did because it really is something I’m very, very proud of."

The 17.11.70 bootleg sold so fast, the album was rush-released in May, 1971, when it peaked at number 11 on the Billboard countdown in America.

The exclusive Record Store Day edition of 17.11.70+ includes six new songs from the concert, including a version of Amoreena, which has never been released on vinyl.

The album also features live versions of Take Me to the Pilot, Your Song, I Need You To Turn To, and My Father's Gun.

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