Elton John unveils “Regimental Sgt. Zippo,” a previously unreleased track recorded in 1968.
Co-written with Bernie Taupin, “Regimental Sgt. Zippo” sees John in “complete ’60s psychedelic form.” The song’s arrangement, vocal melodies, and pattern feel profoundly inspired by the Beatles, a relationship validated by the song’s following press statement.
“Recorded and produced at the DJM studios, the same building that housed the Beatles’ publishing company, Northern Songs, [“Regimental Sgt. Zippo”] is an affectionate nod to Sgt. Pepper and the era.”
The song was first designated as the title track for John’s debut record, but the LP was abandoned. Alternatively, the musician appeared a year later with his 1969 lP Empty Sky.
The newly released single offers followers their initial taste from Jewel Box, the forthcoming box set highlighting album tracks, demos, B-sides, and other gems scattered across John’s legendary career.
“To delve back through every period of my career in such detail for Jewel Box has been an absolute pleasure,” John noted in a press release announcing the set. “Hearing these long-lost tracks again, I find it hard to comprehend just how prolific Bernie and I were during the early days. The songs just poured out of us, and the band were just unbelievable in the studio.”
The singer had initially intended to spend 2020 exploring the globe with his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed those plans, he shifted his attention to Jewel Box.
“Having time during lockdown to take stock and pull these moments from my memory from each era has been a joy,” he declared. “As a devout record collector myself, this project has really excited me, and I couldn’t be happier with the level of craft involved in such a carefully curated, lovingly constructed box set. I’m sure my fans will enjoy it as much as I have.”
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