As announced earlier this month, Elton has shared a Step Into Christmas clip (of himself along with Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson, plus Bernie Taupin on percussion) from the Gilbert O’Sullivan Show in 1973. A new three-song EP is also out.
The EP includes the original studio version Step Into Christmas along with its B-side Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who’d Be A Turkey At Christmas) as well as the live version of Step Into Christmas from the Gilbert O’Sullivan Show.
Step Into Christmas was originally a sort of holiday gift for fans–thanking them for a successful year. It was also a tribute.
“We wanted to make an homage to Phil Spector. Part of what made Phil Spector records were the rooms, the musicians and the ambience,” explained Elton.
Both “Step Into Christmas” and “Ho, Ho, Ho (Who’d Be A Turkey At Christmas)” were written and recorded in one day – Sunday, November 11, 1973 – at Morgan Studios in London, which was owned by drummer Barry Morgan, who played drums on eleven of John’s songs in 1970 and 1971.
The track features a number of guest musicians, including Kiki Dee and members of her band, who happened to be in the studio at the same time, drummer Roger Pope on tambourine, and producer Gus Dudgeon and engineer David Hentschel performing the ‘reindeer’ sound. Hentschel played the ARP on that part.
The song was released just a couple of weeks later on November 23, 1973.
It peaked at number 24 in the UK charts on a seven week run and reached number one in the US Billboard Christmas Singles chart.