Friday, May 27, 2011

Elton John: Elderberry Wine

Our Friday flipside has the distinction of being the first single release on the newly consolidated MCA Records label. In late 1972, Music Corporation of America decided to consolidate all of their various labels that included the following: (American) Decca, Coral, Vocalion, Uni, MCA Special Products, and I am sure there are a few other labels I may be forgetting at the present. Elton John had been signed to the Uni (short for Universal – one of their other companies).

I remember buying the single in December 1972 at H.L. Greens in McKeesport, PA. They had the cheapest records in the area and I paid my fare on the 64-E bus to go into town to music shop. If I am not mistaken (and I am too lazy to go downstairs to pull my copy and check the matrix numbers), I believe “Elderberry Wine” was intended to be the “A” side, but was abandoned as radio picked “Crocodile Rock” as having more potential.

Both tunes were on Elton’s “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player.” “Crocodile Rock” hit the top of the charts in the US and the follow-up single, “Daniel,” peaked at #2. The album was certified gold shortly after its release. It currently is triple platinum for 3 million sales.

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