41 years ago Thursday (on the 21st of May in 1979), Elton and Ray Cooper embarked on an 8-date tour of Russia. No artist of the former's stature had previously managed to step behind the Iron Curtain. What's more, A Single Man became the first Western pop album to be officially released in the USSR.
The closing night of the tour, May 28th, was broadcast on BBC Radio 1 in the UK. Those tapes, remastered by Bob Ludwig, made their first commercial appearance as a limited-edition clear-vinyl release for Record Store 2019. Earlier this year, they received a full release.
Incidentally, Ray has given some interviews about their experiences in Russia. His comments--along with memories of working on an album at sea--appeared in the April issue of Uncut magazine (back issues are available at their Web site).
In addition, the editor of Goldmine tells EJW that the percussionist recently spoke with his publication. There are four pages, with images of Ray and Elton and a sidebar interview.
This is in the June issue, available at newsstands and record stores.
It can also be accessed here: