Today we mark the new 180gm vinyl reissues of Rock Of The Westies (1975) and The Big Picture* (1997), re-mastered by Grammy Award winning mastering engineer Bob Ludwig, by offering ten fun facts about Elton’s 10th and 27th studio albums:
- Rock Of The Westies was the second consecutive Elton John album to enter the Billboard Top 200 chart at #1, a feat unheard of at that time. The album wound up spending 26 weeks on the chart, three of them at the top position. It peaked at #5 in the UK.
- The title is an Elton pun on the phrase “West of the Rockies”, owing to the fact that the album was recorded at Caribou Ranch in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado – Elton’s third and final album to be tracked there.
- The album was originally to be titled “Bottled And Brained”, a phrase taken from the lyric to Street Kids.
- The group Labelle (Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash) sang background vocals on Medley (Yell Help, Wednesday Night, Ugly). Before launching his own career, Elton (Reg Dwight at the time) played in the band Bluesology, which was Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles’ backing band on their 1966 tour of England.
- Sounds magazine’s Phil Sutcliffe was moved to write that Rock Of The Westies was “…exciting as in EXCITING!” in his October 1975 review.
(* Please note: The Big Picture will be released in the US on September 22.)
The new vinyl reissues of Rock Of The Westies and The Big Picture are now available as part of The Elton John Vinyl Club 2017.
UK TV: Friday, November 10 – Elton on 'Lorraine'
Tune in to Lorraine on ITV between 8:30 and 9:25 AM to hear Elton answer some of Lorraine’s questions.