Let's Go Crazy

prince

For Prince fans, it's a stream come true: 23 albums recorded by the late legend are now available digitally for the first time, from 1995's "The Gold Experience" to 2010's "20Ten."

A new, 37-track retrospective of that era, "Prince Anthology 1995-2010," has also been released.

In all, more than 300 Prince tracks that were previously unavailable online started streaming today on Apple Music and Spotify.

The trove of albums, including "Emancipation," "Rave Un2 the Joy Fantastic" and "Musicology," can also be purchased and downloaded on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.

The digital releases are part of a 35-album deal inked in June between Prince's estate and Sony Music and Legacy Recordings. Prince died of a prescription drug overdose in 2016 at 57.

The remaining 12 albums, dating from 1978-1996, will be released online in 2021. They range from Prince's 1978 debut "For You" and 1980's "Dirty Mind" to his 1982 breakthrough double album "1999" and subsequent bestsellers like "Around the World in a Day" (1985), "Sign o' the Times" (1987) and "Lovesexy" (1988).

Photo: Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Aretha's Sales Soar

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Aretha Franklin's death has inspired a stunning resurrection of interest in her music.

Billboard reports that sales of the Queen of Soul's extensive catalog soared 1,568 percent on Thursday, the day she died of pancreatic cancer at 76.

A total of 134,000 Franklin albums and songs were downloaded in one day, up from 8,000 on Wednesday.

The top-selling song, downloaded 16,000 times, was her signature No. 1 hit, 1967's "Respect." Right behind the feminist anthem were Franklin's lauded covers of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (13,000) and "I Say a Little Prayer."

Rounding out the Top 10 singles: "Chain of Fools," "Think," "Freeway of Love," "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)," "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," the 1986 duet with George Michael that was Franklin's only other No. 1 single, and "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

Franklin's most downloaded albums on Thursday were "30 Greatest Hits" (10,000), followed by her Grammy Award-winning gospel album, 1972's "Amazing Grace," and three other compilations of her best-known songs.

Billboard expects the surging sales to impact next week's charts.

In the meantime, Franklin's funeral arrangements are "still evolving," reports the Detroit Free Press. Word is the longtime Detroit resident will lie in state at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, giving the public an opportunity to pay its respect. The funeral is expected to be held next week at Greater Grace Temple on the city's west side.

Photo: Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Remembering Aretha

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The Queen of Soul is dead. Long live the Queen.

The music world is paying all kinds of respect to Aretha Franklin, who died of pancreatic cancer this morning at her home in Detroit. She was 76.

"The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church," said Elton John, who duetted with Franklin on "Through the Storm," the Top 20 title track from her 1989 album. "Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated—she was one of my favorite pianists."

"What a life. What a legacy!" said Carole King, whose ballad "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" was transformed into a soul sensation by Franklin in 1967. "So much love, respect and gratitude. R.I.P."

"I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin," said fellow legend Diana Ross, Franklin's constant peer on the charts in the 1960s and '70s.

"This morning my longest friend in this world went home to be with our father," Smokey Robinson said in a statement. "I will miss her so much but I know she's at peace."

"Aretha Franklin was simply peerless," tweeted Annie Lennox, whose wrote the Eurythmics' duet with Franklin, "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves," a feminist anthem and Top 20 hit in 1985. "She has reigned supreme, and will always be held in the highest firmament of stars as the most exceptional vocalist, performer and recording artists the world has ever been privileged to witness.

"Let's all take a moment," Paul McCartney said on Twitter, "to give thanks for the beautiful life of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many, many years. She will be missed but the memory of her greatness as a musician and a fine human being will live with us forever."

Say a little prayer.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Buckingham Goes Own Way

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Four months after getting nudged out of Fleetwood Mac because he didn't want to tour, Lindsey Buckingham is preparing to go his own way this fall.

The 68-year-old singer will kick off a two-month nationwide trek October 7 at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon. Buckingham will visit theatres, auditoriums and music halls in 34 cities before taking his final bow December 9 at the Paramount Theatre in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Ticket sales begin Saturday.

The tour coincides with the release of "Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham," a three-CD set coming October 5.

The career retrospective—featuring live cuts, alternate takes and remastered studio recordings—will also be available as a digital download and an abridged single disc.

A 6-LP vinyl version will be released November 30.

Ironically (or not), Buckingham's road trip will get underway four days after Fleetwood Mac embarks on a lengthy arena tour that starts October 3 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and ends April 5 in Philadelphia.

Buckingham's latest departure from the band that made him famous in the 1970s was announced in April. He's being replaced on the Mac tour by guitarists Neil Finn of Crowded House and Mike Campbell, a lifelong member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Don't Stop Believin'

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Oh, Sherrie, Steve Perry's back with his first new song in 20 years, "No Erasin'."

Fittingly, the former Journey front man launches the "emotional homecoming" with a lyric that hints at his lengthy hiatus. "I know it's been a long time coming since I saw your face," sings Perry, 69, in a performance video that debuted today on his website.

"No Erasin'" is the lead track from Perry's upcoming solo album, "Traces," available October 5. In addition to nine original songs, Perry covers the Beatles' "I Need You."

It's his first album since 1998's "Greatest Hits + Five Unreleased" and the first collection of new material since 1994's "For the Love of Strange Medicine."

The singer famous for pleading "Don't Stop Believin'" now admits in a statement that he walked away from recording and touring because he stopped believing in his music.

"Years ago, I disappeared," says Perry, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year with Journey. "There were many reasons, but mainly…My Love for Music had suddenly left me. I knew that simply stopping was what I had to do."

Perry says he began recording the songs that led to "Traces" in May 2015, three years after the death of his wife, Kellie.

"These songs are special to me," he says. "I respectfully ask that you please listen to them. And whatever they make you feel, I thank you for listening."

By Kevin Haynes |

Viva Aerosmith

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Aerosmith is moving to the Las Vegas strip in 2019.

The Boston natives and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers announced today that they're establishing a residency dubbed "Deuces Are Wild" at the Park MGM's Park Theater, from April 6 until July 9.

"We are going to bring hot, sexy rock and roll to Vegas," the band proclaimed in a statement. "The residency allows us to take 50 years of performing experience and create a one-of-a-kind show with the best music, best production design, best sound, in a world-class state of the art venue. These shows will be epic!

There are a total of 18 performances on the schedule in April, June and July.

Tickets, priced at from $75 to $750, will be available to Citi cardholders in a presale that begins August 20. VIP packages include a meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with front man Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry.

The general public can get in on the act August 24.

The "Deuces Are Wild" announcement coincides with Aerosmith's appearance tonight on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

Photo by Victor Chavez/WireImage

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: Sonny & Cher

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Grammar teachers cringed, but pop music lovers swooned 53 years ago today when Sonny & Cher scored their first No. 1 hit with "I Got You Babe." The love-conquers-all duet topped the charts for three weeks in August 1965 and later became the signature song of "The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour" on CBS. But did you know…

· Sonny Bono wrote the song as a sentimental antidote to Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe."

· Cher was unimpressed when Sonny woke her up to play it for her for the first time on their living room piano. "I didn't like it," she tells Billboard. "I just said, 'Okay, I'll sing it and then I'm going back to bed.' So I was never a very good barometer" of a song's potential to be a hit.

· Like Cher, Atlantic Records' legendary founder Ahmet Ertegun wasn't a big fan of the song either. He relegated it to the B-side of Sonny & Cher's first single on the Atco label, "It's Gonna Rain." The tide turned when a Los Angeles radio station started playing the other side instead.

· The success of "I Got You Babe" put an end to the couple's days as backup singers. The hit singles they had contributed to include "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by the Righteous Brothers and "Be My Baby" by the Ronettes.

· The song's staying power has transcended genres and generations. UB40's reggae cover cracked the Top 40 in 1985, with vocal help from Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders. In 1994, Cher recorded a new version—with Beavis and Butthead.

· In 1993's "Groundhog Day," Bill Murray's character was awakened every morning at 6 o'clock sharp by an alarm clock radio playing "I Got You Babe." He got to live the same day over and over again, babe.

Photo: Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Marilyn Uncovered

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Marilyn Monroe's long lost nude scene from her final movie has been uncovered—but no one seems to know if it will ever be screened in public.

The clip from 1961's "The Misfits" shows the 35-year-old actress dropping the bedsheet she had been wrapped in during a love scene with co-star Clark Gable.

What would have been one of Hollywood's first displays of a topless star was cut from the film by director John Huston. But producer Frank Taylor kept the footage in a vault, where his son found it after Taylor's death in 1999.

The clip's existence is revealed in a new biography that hits stores Tuesday, "Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon" by Charles Casillo.

The flash of nudity was apparently improvised by Monroe. "When she did the scene," says Casillo, "everyone was shocked on the set"—except the legendary director. "Huston sighed and said, 'Honey, I've seen them before."

"The Misfits" opened to positive reviews, but failed to generate much interest at the box office. The black-and-white drama, written by Monroe's then husband, playwright Arthur Miller ("Death of a Salesman), is best remembered now as the final movie of its two iconic stars.

Gable, 59, died of a heart attack 12 days after filming was completed in November 1960. Nine months later, Monroe, 36, was found dead of a barbiturate overdose in her bedroom.

Source: Bettman

By Kevin Haynes |

Aretha Gravely Ill

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Friends and family are paying final respect to Aretha Franklin, who is dying of cancer at a hospital in Detroit.

"I am so saddened to report that the Queen of Soul and my good friend, Aretha Franklin, is gravely ill," anchorman Evord Cassimy of Local 4 News Today said on Twitter. "I spoke with her family members this morning. She is asking for your prayers at this time."

Franklin, 76, had surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2010. Last fall, she announced her retirement from touring shortly after the release of her 42nd studio album, "Brand New Me."

The Memphis-born gospel singer and soul legend is the most lauded female singer of all time, winning 18 Grammy Awards over a 40-year span, starting with her signature No. 1 hit "Respect" in 1968.

Franklin's other Grammy-winning singles include 1969's "Chain of Fools," 1986's "Freeway of Love" and her 1988 duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting."

The Queen of Sould was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and the youngest woman at the time to receive the Kennedy Center Honors in 1994. Franklin was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

Photo by Invision/AP/Shutterstock

By Kevin Haynes |

'What Is Hulu? Alex'

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"Jeopardy!" premiered on Hulu today, marking the syndicated game show's debut venture with a streaming service.

Sixty episodes that originally aired from 2012 to 2015 are now available. The selections include annual events like the "Tournament of Champions," "College Championship" and "Kids Week" as well as "Battle of the Decades," a special tournament that marked the show's 30th anniversary in 2014.

Hulu plans to refresh its episode lineup "continually."

Alex Trebek, who has hosted "Jeopardy!" since its 1984 revival, is promoting the Hulu alliance in a 15-second video.

"It's the streaming service that's now home to one of the most beloved quiz shows of all time," says Trebek, 78, who recently said he may retire when his contract expires in 2020.

The answer, in the form of a question, of course: "What is Hulu?"

Source: Sony Pictures Television

By Kevin Haynes |

Lost in Translation

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Carly Simon's brother says Bill Murray is so vain he probably thought the photos were about him. Photographer Peter Simon claims he was shooting pictures of a band performing at a Martha's Vineyard restaurant when the actor grabbed him from behind, spun him around and slammed him against a door.

"He looked like he was ready to strangle me," Simon, 71, told the Boston Globe. "He treated me like the scum of the earth."

The photographer also said he was later seated at a table when Murray, 67, walked up and poured a glass of water on him and his camera.

Police responding to the Wednesday night incident at Lola's in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, said Murray was "visibly upset." The police report noted that Murray claimed Simon was photographing him and "harassing him while he was quietly minding his business."

No charges were filed.

The highlight of the confrontation may well be what the two men said to each other after Murray allegedly pushed Simon up against the door.

"Do you know who I am?" said Simon, referring to his status as a prominent local photographer.

Murray was apparently unimpressed. "Do you know who I am?" he responded.

Simon's blunt answer: No.

"He doesn't look anything like he used to look," the photographer reported.

Source: Focus Features

By Kevin Haynes |

'Tootsie' Rolls to Broadway

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A musical based on the hit 1982 movie "Tootsie" will open on Broadway next spring.

Previews begin March 29, 2019 at the Marquis Theatre in New York. Opening night is April 23.

Tickets go on sale October 1.

Santonio Fontana will star as Michael Dorsey, the actor who pretends to be an actress named Dorothy Michaels so he can join the cast of a TV soap opera.

Dustin Hoffman earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for the dual role in "Tootsie," a romantic comedy that co-starred Jessica Lange, Bill Murray and Teri Garr.

Fontana, 36, was the voice of Prince Hans in Disney's animated 2013 blockbuster "Frozen" and two years later co-starred in the first season of the CW series "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."

The original "Tootsie," directed by Sydney Pollack, was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Song ("It Might Be You," sung by Stephen Bishop). Lange was the only winner, for Best Supporting Actress.

"Tootsie's" march to Broadway will begin this fall with a one-month run at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago, from September 11 through October 14.

Source: Columbia Pictures

By Kevin Haynes |

More Marilyn Up for Auction

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A candid autographed picture of Marilyn Monroe is headed to the auction block this fall, billed as "the most important signed photograph in Hollywood history."

The oversize photo was taken during the filming of the 1955 romantic comedy "The Seven Year Itch" and presented to 20th Century Fox executive Ben Lyon, who launched the career of the former Norma Jean Mortenson with a 1946 screen test and gave her the stage name of Marilyn Monroe.

"Dear Ben," Monroe wrote on the never-before-seen photo, "You found me, named me and believed in me when no one else did. My thanks and love forever. Marilyn."

The picture and other Monroe memorabilia will star in "Essentially Marilyn: The Auction/The Exhibit," which opens to the public August 18 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California. The free display closes September 30.

The California-based auction house Profiles in History says the sale will be staged "at the end of October."

Among the other exhibition highlights: 15 costumes worn by Monroe, including a showgirl outfit from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," a sequined dress from "How to Marry a Millionaire" and a replica of the famous dress lofted skyward while she was standing on a subway grate in "The Seven Year Itch."

Photo by Baron/Stringer

By Kevin Haynes |

Mama Mia! Cher Does Abba

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Cher didn't need to turn back time to find a way to record an entire album of Abba songs, "Dancing Queen," available September 28.

The 72-year-old icon announced the news last night on Twitter with a 40-second clip of the first single, "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!"

Cher says the 10-track homage to the Swedish quartet was inspired by her appearance in this summer's hit movie musical "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again."

"I've always liked Abba and saw the original 'Mamma Mia' musical on Broadway three times," Cher said in a statement. "After filming 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' I was reminded again of what great and timeless songs they wrote and started thinking, 'Why not do an album of their music?'"

"The songs were harder to sing than I imagined," she added, "but I'm so happy with how the music came out. I'm really excited for people to hear it."

"Dancing Queen" features Cher's take on some of Abba's greatest hits from the 1970s, including "Waterloo," "Fernando" and "The Winner Takes It All."

It is her 26th studio album and the first since 2013's "Closer to the Truth," which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart.

Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for dcp

By Kevin Haynes |

'Yellow Submarine' at 50

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We all live in a yellow submarine, but only 1,968 Beatles fans will be able to sail away with the new, humongous box set commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' animated movie and the upcoming publication of a graphic novel adaptation.

"The Beatles Yellow Submarine Limited Edition Box Set," available October 10, is packed to the gills with all kinds of goodies showcasing the hardcover book by Bill Morrison, a former illustrator of "The Simpsons" and the new editor of MAD magazine. The graphic novel goes on sale August 28.

In addition to the book, the lavishly illustrated box includes a 6.5-inch vinyl figurine of a yellow submarine, five Beatles badges, 16 movie lobby cards, four posters, a replica ticket from the movie's premiere, and an exclusive art card autographed by Morrison.

The Beatles' official online store is accepting pre-orders now. The pricetag: $196.80, a nod to the year that "Yellow Submarine" premiered in theaters and the box set's limited production of 1,968 copies.

By Kevin Haynes |

Country Rocks

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Two years after Glenn Frey's death, fans can revisit his earliest album,"Longbranch Pennywhistle," available September 28 for the first time as a standalone CD.

The 1969 album, often cited as an early example of country rock, was named after the duo Frey started with singer-songwriter J.D. Souther. The two friends went their separate ways a year later, when Frey started the Eagles with Don Henley and Souther pursued a solo career whose highlights include the Top 10 single "You're Only Lonely" in 1979 and 1981's "Her Town Too," a hit duet with James Taylor.

Frey was 67 when he died from complications of rheumatoid arthritis on January 18, 2016.

"He was my roommate, best friend and songwriting partner in Los Angeles," said Souther, who collaborated on the Eagles hits "Best of My Love," "New Kid in Town" and "Heartache Tonight."

The 10-track "Longbranch Pennywhistle" album, which will also be reissued on vinyl, has been out of print since its record company folded in 1971. However, it was recently included in a three-CD/DVD box set commemorating Frey's career before and after the Eagles, "Above the Clouds."

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

Rebel, Rebel

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Rise up, James Dean fans. "Rebel Without a Cause" is returning to the big screen this fall.

The classic 1955 drama about teenage angst in suburbia will be shown in select theaters nationwide on September 23 and 26 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time.

Click here to find the nearest multiplex and buy tickets.

Released less than a month after Dean, 24, was killed in a car crash, "Rebel Without a Cause" earned the fallen star the first posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

But his performance wasn't the only one to be honored: Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood were nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Actress. The cast also included Jim Backus, Dennis Hopper and Ed Platt, who would later co-star as The Chief in the 1960s sitcom "Get Smart."

The special screenings are part of an ongoing series presented by Turner Classic Movies in conjunction with Fathom Events.

By Kevin Haynes |

Dear Ol' Dad

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Richard Gere is preparing to tackle a surprising role at 68: father.

The "Pretty Woman" actor and his new wife, Spanish activist Alejandra Silva, 35, are expecting a baby.

It will be the second child for both parents. Gere has an 18-year-old son with his second wife, actress Carey Lowell; Silva has a 5-year-boy from her first marriage, which ended in divorce in 2015.

The couple, who met four years ago in Italy at a boutique hotel owned by Silva's family, got married this spring—twice. They said "I do" at a civil ceremony in her native Spain in April and then did it all over again for family and friends at Gere's estate in Pound Ridge, New York, just outside New York City.

Photo by Gabriel Maseda/NurPhoto via Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |

My Sweet Lord!

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The electric guitar that George Harrison played during a series of Beatles shows in the summer of 1963 will be sold at auction in September—and it's expected to sell to the tune of $500,000.

The 1963 Maton Mastersound MS-500 was loaned to Harrison, then 20, while his cherished Gretsch Country Gentleman was being repaired in May 1963. But he liked the Australian-made guitar so much that he hung onto it for a few months and played it at several performances throughout England, including the Beatles' final gig at the Cavern Club in their native Liverpool on August 3, 1963.

After Harrison returned the borrowed ax to the repair shop, a local guitarist picked it up in exchange for his Fender Stratocaster. His widow auctioned off the Maton in 2002; it later resurfaced at a 2015 auction in New York, where it sold for $485,000.

Harrison's first electric guitar, a Hoffner Club 40, sold for $430,000 in May at an auction in New York, well above the pre-auction estimate of $300,000.

The upcoming auction on September 12-13 will be staged by Gardiner Houlgate, a British firm that specializes in guitar auctions.

Other items up for grabs include the Gibson acoustic guitar that Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees used while writing the 1975 hit "Jive Talkin'," a Martin electric owned by Steve Howe of Yes, and a Pink Floyd amplifier.

By Kevin Haynes |

Throwback: Elton & Kiki

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Elton John's first crack at "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a month beginning today in 1976, could've been dubbed "Don't Go Hogging the Mike."

At first, the Rocket Man didn't leave much wiggle room in the Motown-inspired duet for his singing partner, Kiki Dee, a last-minute substitute for the ailing Dusty Springfield.

"He actually sang about three quarters of the song and gave Kiki about four lines," producer Gus Dudgeon later recalled. "I said, 'Hang on a minute, is this supposed to be a duet or a guest appearance?'"

Realizing the error of his ways, John reworked his vocals in a Toronto studio and sang Dee's parts in a high-pitched voice so she would know which lines to claim when she went to work in London.

The playful duet—written by Ann Orson and Carte Blanche, aka John and longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin—was the first collaboration between the two 29-year-old British pop stars, born 19 days apart in March 1947. They were originally going to cover the Four Tops' 1966 song "Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever."

"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" was John's sixth No. 1 single in the U.S., but his first in his native England. Though recorded while working on his "Blue Moves" album, it wasn't included on the double LP released that fall. The hit duet did, however, end up on 1977's "Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II" and 1992's "Greatest Hits 1976–1986."

Woo-hoo!

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

By Kevin Haynes |