Happy, Old School, Psychedelic
"While it should have been Elton John's first real album, "Regimental Sgt. Zippo" finally comes out of the artist's boxes to propose a refreshingly light rock but still lacking personality."
LOLOCELTIC (02.11.2021)  
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Deprived of tours and bored when he is confined, Elton John gives the impression that he is not really ready to retire. So he offers two albums in 2021: "Regimental Sgt. Zippo" and "The Lockdown Sessions". If this last one is composed of duets often surprising, it is the first one we are going to talk about. Indeed, this one was only released in vinyl format and has an important historical interest since it is what should have been the real first opus of the now planetary legend. Finally supplanted by "Empty Sky", it will remain more than 50 years in the boxes until Sir Reginald decides to present it to our ears which were unaware of its existence, even if some titles already appeared in the "Jewel Box" box set released last year.

So what can we expect from this opus with its colorful cover showing Elton John wearing amazing bacchantes? To tell the truth, it is essentially the historical interest that prevails when listening to these twelve tracks, most of which are very inspired by the undisputed stars of the time: the Beatles. Recorded between November 1967 and May 1968 by an artist with an undeniable talent but still searching for his true identity, it could hardly be otherwise, even if the shadow of other formations of the time also hovers on some pieces. It is difficult not to think of the Moody Blues or Barclay James Harvest on the bucolic and orchestral 'Tartan Coloured Lady' and 'Hourglass'.

However, it would be unfair to reduce this "Regimental Sgt. Zippo" to a simple album of the fabulous four interpreted on the piano by Elton John. With tracks of a psychedelic pop often lively and optimistic, translating the freshness and the carefree of an era, the duet that the artist already forms with Bernie Taupin proposes endearing compositions playing sometimes on a bewitching softness ('Sitting Doing Nothing'). He already knows how to be ambitious on a more elaborated eponymous title or a baroque and wild 'Nina', swept by the wind of the passion. Finally, 'Watching The Planes Go By' comes to close the set by letting clearly guess what will become the trademark of Elton John in the next decades.

Beyond the historical testimony and the discovery that it represents, "Regimental Sgt. Zippo" is nevertheless a refreshingly light opus, a testimony of a carefree era and of unbridled creativity.

More informations on

01. When I Was Tealby Abbey - 2:38
02. And The Clock Goes Around - 3:09
03. Sitting Doing Nothing - 2:33
04. Turn To Me - 3:20
05. Angel Tree - 2:05
06. Regimental Sgt. Zippo - 4:47
07. A Dandelion Dies In The Wind - 3:17
08. You’ll Be Sorry To See Me Go - 2:36
09. Nina - 3:52
10. Tartan Coloured Lady - 4:12
11. Hourglass - 2:47
12. Watching The Planes Go By - 4:11

Caleb Quaye: Guitares / Choeurs, Flûte, Percussions
Dave Hynes: Batterie / Choeurs
Dee Murray: Basse / Choeurs
Elton John: Chant / Claviers / Piano
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