Sir Elton John releases ‘lost’ first album recorded when he was 19

·2-min read
Sir Elton John (PA Archive)
Sir Elton John (PA Archive)

Sir Elton John has released his first “lost” album of songs that he recorded when he was ust 19 years old.

His first record, Regimental Sgt Zippo, was described on Friday by Sir Elton as “the album that never was”.

In 1968, the then unknown teenager had just begun writing songs with now Bernie Taupin, who became a long-time collaborator. He had also just signed to Dick James Music publishing.

Regimental Sgt Zippo was the first recording of his record deal and includes tracks including Tartan Coloured Lady and A Dandelion Dies In The Wind.

The song was recorded at Dick James Studios in central London in late 1967, early 1968.

But it was shelved after executives thought it wasn’t strong enough.

The limited edition record will be sold on vinyl to mark Record Store Day - an annual event to highlight the importance of the UK’s independent record shops.

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It comes after Sir Elton said musicians are facing a “looming catastrophe” because of post-Brexit travel restrictions on touring in the European Union.

New travel rules came into force at the beginning of the year that do not guarantee visa-free travel for musicians in the EU.

Sir Elton revealed that last month he met with Brexit minister Lord Frost, his husband David Furnish and Craig Stanley, an agent at the Marshall Arts touring agency, to discuss the issue.

His statement was read out by Mr Stanley in a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing on EU visa arrangements for those in the creative industries.

Sir Elton’s statement said: “Put bluntly, we are currently in grave danger of losing a generation of talent due to the gaping holes in the Government’s trade deal.

“New and emerging artists will be unable to tour Europe freely – an essential part of their education and development – due to the prohibitive costs of visas, carnets and permits.

“However, despite this looming catastrophe, the Government seems unable or unwilling to fix this gaping hole in their trade deal and defaults to blaming the EU rather than finding ways out of this mess.”

He added his objections “aren’t about the impact on me and artists who tour arenas and stadiums”.

“We are lucky enough to have the support staff, finance and infrastructure to cut through the red tape that Lord Frost’s no-deal has created,” he said.

“The gravest of situations is about the damage to the next generation of musicians and emerging artists, whose careers will stall before they’ve even started due to this infuriating blame game.

“If I had faced the financial and logistical obstacles facing young musicians now when I started out, I’d never have had the opportunity to build the foundations of my career and I very much doubt I would be where I am today.”

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