The Complete Thom Bell Sessions

The Complete Thom Bell Sessions

by Elton JohnElton John


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After dismissing his recently re-formed backing band and breaking off professional ties with longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, Elton John sought Philly soul maestro Thom Bell in search of a fresh direction. However, John's brief foray into soul isn't as surprising or unusual as it might initially sound. In fact, two of John's biggest hits -- "Bennie and the Jets" as well the breezy four-on-the floor backbeat on "Philadelphia Freedom" -- also became crossover R&B smashes. Initially, John was not entirely pleased with the results and sat on the tapes for over a year before remixing the six completed songs in early 1979 for a summertime release. Ultimately, John chose half of the material that he and Bell had cut to be included on a three-song EP, which was led by the midtempo and ultimately danceable "Mama Can't Buy You Love." The two other sides -- "Are You Ready for Love" and "Three Way Love Affair" (which were issued on that June 1979 extended-play single) -- were likewise Bell creations and were augmented significantly by some of Philly's finest. Among them were Casey James (guitar), Leroy M. Bell (guitar), and Charles Collins (drums), strings and horns courtesy of none other than MFSB, and backing vocals from the one and only Spinners. When the CD version of that EP was issued, the other three previously unissued tunes documented during those sessions were released. Notable among them are a Taupin/John leftover titled "Nice and Slow" -- which Thom Bell also rearranged -- as well as a John ballad co-written with Gary Osborne titled "Shine On Through." This track would resurface as the leadoff track on John's A Single Man in a much more stark and moody musical setting.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Mca Import
UPC: 0076741911523
catalogNumber: 419115
Rank: 32839

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elton John   Primary Artist,Vocals
Spinners   Background Vocals
MFSB   Strings,Horn
Bob Babbitt   Bass
Thom Bell   Guitar,Conductor,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Tony Bell   Guitar,Background Vocals
Carla Benson   Background Vocals
Evette Benton   Background Vocals
Charles Collins   Drums
Bobby Eli   Guitar
Barbara Ingram   Background Vocals
Casey James   Background Vocals,Synthesizer Overdubs
Bill Lamb   Background Vocals
Larry Washington   Percussion

Technical Credits

Elton John   Remixing
Leroy Bell   Contributor
Thom Bell   Arranger,Producer
Clive Franks   Remixing
Casey James   Contributor
Don Murray   Engineer
Vartan   Art Direction
Joseph Jefferson   Composer

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