Give Peace A Chance (Vintage Masters Premium VM001)
Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA – November 12th, 1970
(54:54) Country Comfort, Sixty Years On, Border Song, Amoreena, Honky Tonk Women, Burn Down The Mission / My Baby Left Me, Shotgun, Give Peace A Chance, I Want To Take You Higher, Can I Put You On, outroduction
Give Peace A Chance contains an excellent soundboard recording from Wolfgang’s Vault. This tape is important for being Elton John’s first show in a four night stand at the Fillmore West in San Francisco right when he achieved his breakthrough to popularity with Elton John and the newly released Tumbleweed Connection.
Recorded less than a week before the 17.11.70 live album, the arrangements and performances carry the same confidence of a man just hitting his peak and finding his niche.
Elton John shared the bill with The Kinks these nights at the Fillmore West and the band also included the jazz-rock band Ballin’ Jack and Juicy Lucy. Unfortunately the fifty minute tape doesn’t seem to be complete since the normal setlist began with “I Need You To Turn To,” “Your Song” and “Bad Side Of The Moon” and this tape cuts in with the fourth song, “Country Comfort” already in progress.
Coming from new album, it wouldn’t be officially released in the US for a couple more months and the lyrics are rather silly, especially before they play the melodramatic “Sixty Years On.”
John speaks with pride before “Border Song” about Aretha Franklin covering his tune. His vocals are extremely powerful and expressive on this gospel number, especially his articulation of “Holy Moses!!” “Amoreena” is introduced as a song from the upcoming album, “available now as import.”
It is after this song where the set takes a turn for mundane with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women,” which is “written by two young guys in England, we liked the number so much we thought we’d give it a brake and bring it into the act.”
“Burn Down The Mission” is the centerpiece of the set and is a complete drama in seven minutes, especially when the band heats up with the gospel section in the middle. A long rock and roll medley with “Shotgun,” “My Baby Left Me” and John Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” follows but the final song, “Can I Put You On” is a great way to end the evening.
John thanks Bill Graham for having the Fillmore and points out there is nothing like it in England.
Give Peace A Chance is the first release on the silver pressed Vintage Masters Premium manufactured by the same ones responsible for the Vintage Masters CDR label. They did an admirable job in making available shows posted online in attractive editions.