The past couple of weeks have found me spinning a disc comprised of the following Elton John session (from July 1970) in which the artist lays out, among other tracks, a selection of Nick Drake covers.  Yes, you read that correctly. Let’s first address the 800 lb gorilla in the room: on paper the often gregarious bombast of Elton John coupled with the work of the introspective Drake looks rough.  But it actually works.  As a fan of both artists, the session provides a not only interesting but equally entertaining look at the Drake material.  This was just prior to John’s mega-stardom, and prior to his parading around on stage dressed as Donald Duck.  Below are some notes a friend gave me along with the tracks (note: they may have been culled from elsewhere).

“Apparently Joe Boyd arranged a recording date to showcase some new songs, including some other material from Mike Heron and John Martyn (among others). The future Linda Thompson,then known as Linda Peters, handled backing vox and then sang lead on a few more songs. Possibly some people from Fairport Convention and/or Traffic were in the band.”

Personnel: Elton John– Piano/vocals, Linda Peters– vocals, Jim Capaldi or Gerry Conway – Drums, Pat Donaldson- Bass, Simon Nicol or Caleb Quaye – Guitar

MP3: Elton John :: Saturday Sun (Nick Drake)
MP3: Elton John :: Sweet Honesty (Beverley Martin)
MP3: Elton John :: Stormbringer (John Martyn)
MP3: Elton John :: Way to Blue (Nick Drake)
MP3: Elton John :: Go Out and Get It (Mike Heron)
MP3: Elton John :: The Day is Done (Nick Drake)
MP3: Elton John :: Time Has Told Me (Nick Drake)
MP3: Elton John :: You Get Brighter (Mike Heron) Linda Peters-vocals
MP3: Elton John :: This Moment (Mike Heron) Linda Peters-vocals
MP3: Elton John :: I Don’t Mind (Ed Carter)  Linda Peters-vocals
MP3: Elton John :: Pied Piper (Ed Carter)  Linda Peters-vocals

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20 Responses to “Elton John Does Nick Drake :: July 1970 Session”

  1. Bravo! Magnificent find

  2. Equally worth tracking down are the Elton John Dick James demos from the same era. There are three volumes of early material out there floating around…

  3. Indeed, this is killer. Though Elton is far from sounding county, these songs suddenly sound vaguely country, or at least prime for a proper country voice covering them. Go find Merle Haggard covering Time Has Told Me. And whileyou’re at it, find Elton John covering Silver Wings.

  4. time has told me is incredible.

  5. Awesome…Thanks for sharing!

  6. i’ve got that limited edition 7″ of the drake covers – good buy if you see it anywhere….

  7. Linda is a favorite vocalist of mine, and Joe Boyd a favorite producer: I am thrilled to get to hear these recordings – thank you!

  8. When posting multiple tracks, or ‘albums’ can you post a link so can dl the whole thing? takes while to do one at a time. Could rock through mediafire, sendspace, rapidshare or many others.
    groovin’ now

  9. Get to know:

  10. I found this site through…I’m trying to play these songs and they won’t play.

  11. wow! so good! thanks for posting.

  12. I love Nick Drake’s music. Thanks so much for this — there’s always something great when I visit!

  13. […] To download tracks from this session visit the great Aquarium Drunkard […]

  14. […] Cover Alert: Elton John tackles Nick Drake […]

  15. The topic is quite hot in the net at the moment. What do you pay attention to when choosing what to write about?
    p.s. Year One is already on the Internet and you can watch it for free.

  16. wasn’t aware of this collection.. so cool to hear new old stuff.. thx for the heads-up

  17. Thank you for this. Found this posting via Hype Machine.

  18. […] site…and 4 Nick Drake covers done by a young Elton John which I picked up this morning from Aquarium Drunkard.  I’m just sitting here….waiting for 12pm to roll around, so I can head to Cheapo and […]

  19. Can we get a repost of thiis? or a link to a site where its still up?

  20. I can’t get the media player to work-says unable to play the media on this page at this time.

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