Vintage Video: Elton John Records a Live Album With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

On this day in 1986, Elton John appeared at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in a concert that would be immortalized on the album Live in Australia With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

The evening was divided into two halves. In the first, Elton played with his 14-piece band, covering a number of his hits including Rocket Man, Daniel and Blue Eyes.

After a break, Elton came back with his band and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra which was being conducted by a young James Newton Howard. Howard not only led the orchestra but enhanced older charts originally written by Paul Buckmaster for Elton's early albums such as Elton John and Madman Across the Water.

It was the second half of the show that was mainly used for the album which was released on July 6, 1987. The majority of the tracks came from those early albums with arrangements that were even richer than the originals.

The set list from that night (songs on the album are marked with an asterisk (*):

Elton & Band
  • Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
  • One Horse Town (from Blue Moves, 1976)
  • Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time) (from Honky Chateau, 1972)
  • The Bitch Is Back (from Caribou, 1974)
  • Daniel (from Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player, 1973)
  • A Song for You (Leon Russell cover)
  • Blue Eyes (from Jump Up!, 1982)
  • I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues (from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
  • Bennie and the Jets (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
  • Heartache All Over the World (from Leather Jackets, 1986)
  • Sad Songs (Say So Much) (from Breaking Hearts, 1984)
  • This Town (from Ice on Fire, 1985)
  • I'm Still Standing (from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
  • Sixty Years On (from Elton John, 1970) *
  • I Need You to Turn To (from Elton John, 1970) *
  • The Greatest Discovery (from Elton John, 1970) *
  • Tonight (from Blue Moves, 1976) *
  • Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (from Blue Moves, 1976) *
  • The King Must Die (from Elton John, 1970) *
  • Cold as Christmas (In the Middle of the Year) (from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
  • Take Me to the Pilot (from Elton John, 1970) *
  • Carla/Etude (from The Fox, 1981)
  • Tiny Dancer (from Madman Across the Water, 1971) *
  • Have Mercy on the Criminal (from Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player, 1973) *
  • Slow Rivers (from Leather Jackets, 1986)
  • Madman Across the Water (from Madman Across the Water, 1971) *
  • Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me (from Caribou, 1974) *
  • Candle in the Wind (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973) *
  • Burn Down the Mission (from Tumbleweed Connection, 1970) *
  • Your Song (from Elton John, 1970) *
  • Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)

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