Elton's Tour de Force with the 88-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in late 1986 was the first of its kind for any rock act. While planning the setlist for the orchestral half of the concert, the headliner chose songs from his first few LPs, many of which he hadn't performed live in over a decade, as they featured string and horn arrangements.
Before the tour began, Elton was told by his doctor that he should avoid speaking and singing, due to nodules on his vocal cords. Yet they gave his voice a raspy quality, which added to the emotion of the tunes. The resulting Live in Australia album stayed on the Billboard Top 200 for 41 weeks, the second-longest of any EJ disc since '75. And in the early part of 1987, Elton had successful throat surgery. It altered his voice, making it lower, but the star was happy, claiming there was ''more resonance to it.''
1986's Sydney Entertainment Centre Live in Australia premieres on YouTube today. It's the second from Elton's Classic Concert Series, with the first one, Live at Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh (from 10 years earlier), kicking off last Saturday.
Over the next few weeks, the series will offfer a total of six events. All streams are free, but donations to the EJAF's COVID-19 Emergency Fund are encouraged.