Six classic albums remastered for limited edition release...
Elton John x Burberry box set

Legendary music icon, knight of the realm, and two-time Clash cover star, Sir Elton John, has partnered with luxury fashion brand Burberry to create a limited edition box of remastered and reissued records consisting of six classic albums handpicked by the Rocket Man himself.

Just 800 individually numbered copies of the elaborate set - garnished with gold glitter and embossed with Elton’s glowing signature - will be made available from Burberry stores internationally, and marks the first outing on vinyl for one of the albums.

‘Songs From The West Coast’ was originally released in 2001, and was especially notable for the celeb-filled videos released to accompany its fine singles - Robert Downey Jr. in ‘I Want Love’, Justin Timberlake in ‘This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore’, and Mandy Moore and the late Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Original Sin’. Fifteen years later, its vinyl debut sits alongside 1970’s ‘Elton John’, live favourite ’17-11-70’, the masterful ‘Madman Across The Water’ (one of Elton’s “favourite albums of all time”), ‘Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy’ from 1975, and 1983’s ‘Too Low For Zero’ in this luxurious collection of 180gsm 12-inch records, each replete with their original artwork and sleeve notes.

Following his appearance in their Billy Elliot-inspired Christmas TV commercial last year, Elton revealed exclusively to Clash why he continues to collaborate with Burberry.

“I think it’s because I have a long history with [CEO] Christopher Bailey,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed doing things for Burberry in the past. They make a lot of my clothes and I like them because they’re a very music-orientated company; they do a lot of things to help promote young acts, which I try to do with my Apple Beats 1 radio show Rocket Hour. Burberry always seems to be supporting new acts. They always try to give young, new artists a helping hand and I love that.”

With his most recent episode featuring tracks from emergent talents such as Italian duo Alaia & Gallo alongside more established names like Kings Of Leon, Elton’s side-job as a disc jockey is just one more outlet for his unabating encouragement and support for fledgling musicians.

“I’ve always tried to help support new musicians,” he admits. “I think it’s very important, especially in this day and age where they don’t sometimes get played on Radio 1 and mainstream radio because they’re not making that kind of record. That’s why I formed my management company, Rocket Music, which originally started out with James Blunt, then we added Ed Sheeran, we have the 2CELLOS, we have Jake Isaac, we have The Strypes, we have Whilk & Misky, Rosie Lowe, and we have Anne-Marie and Liv Dawson. They’re names you might not have heard of - you’ve probably heard of The Strypes, and the 2CELLOS, but these are artists we are grooming to make into substantial artists.

To do that, there’s no rush, you mustn’t rush the process; when they’re ready to release a record they’re ready. That’s what happened with Ed Sheeran and James Blunt, and we try to guide them. I try to give them all the advice I can because I’ve been in the business for 50-something years. For other artists, I do my Apple Music show Rocket Hour, where I get access to all new stuff by people who are just coming up.

Last September, in 2015, I heard Christine And The Queens and I kept playing her and playing her and, due to the fact she’s incredibly talented, she’s now broken. Shura was another artist who I was playing from the word go, and there are people like a girl called Grace from Australia, and a country girl called Maren Morris who’s already broken the US, but you kind of have to give these artists exposure.

Anderson .Paak and Parker Millsap are names you probably won’t have heard of, but I’ve been playing them for a long, long time because they’re genuinely talented people. A twosome called Broods from New Zealand; great music from all over the world. Seinabo Sey and a girl called Snoh Aalegra, both from Sweden, are brilliant. These kinds of artists don’t get played on format radio, but there is so much good, promising music out there from artists who need to be heard. That’s why I try and do it because if I didn’t think they were good I wouldn’t be playing them, and they are good, and they are the future of music. I’ve had my day in the sun, and I’m going to try and help those people have their day in the sun.”

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Elton John’s limited edition Burberry vinyl box set is available to purchase exclusively at Burberry stores across Asia, Europe, Canada, the U.S., and at Burberry.com, for $375.

Elton John’s Rocket Hour can be found on iTunes Radio and through Apple Music.

Words: Simon Harper

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