Elton John’s beloved holiday song “Step into Christmas” is turning 50 this Thursday, November 23. To commemorate the occasion, the pop-rock icon has published a special digital compilation that includes the song along with many other holiday-themed pieces. The seven-track EP “Step into Christmas” includes the original 1973 single and its humorous B-side, “Ho Ho Ho (Who’d Be a Turkey at Christmas),” along with Elton’s 1982 song “All Quiet on the Western Front,” 1983 song “Cold as Christmas (in the Middle of the Year),” and 2004 duet “Calling It Christmas” with Joss Stone. Live renditions of “Step into Christmas,” which John sang on The Gilbert O’Sullivan Show in the United Kingdom in 1973, and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” from a concert held in 1973 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, complete the CD. In addition, John is releasing a 10-inch red vinyl EP with the first five tracks from the digital EP and a seven-inch green vinyl single with the songs “Step into Christmas” and “Ho Ho Ho (Who’d Be a Turkey at Christmas).
” Pre-orders for both discs are accepted at John’s official website, and delivery is expected on November 23. Recorded following the release of John’s popular 1973 double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, “Step into Christmas” first peaked at No. 24 on the UK singles chart and at the top of the Billboard Christmas Singles list in the same year. Later in 2019, it peaked at number eight on the UK chart. According to uDiscoverMusic.com, the song achieved double platinum certification in the United Kingdom in 2019 after selling 1.2 million copies, and gold certification in the United States after selling 500,000 copies. In other news, the RIAA certified John’s 2017 compilation Diamonds double-platinum for sales of more than 2 million units in the United States earlier this month. John was given a plaque in recognition of this achievement. One of the pieces in the large anthology is “Step into Christmas.” John, meantime, received recognition at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards on Sunday, November 19. His combined efforts to British musical theater were recognized with a special Editor’s Award.
According to the Evening Standard, John commented upon receiving the prize, “At the end of the day, sink or swim, you’ve been in it together, and if you do succeed it’s a wonderful achievement and you can celebrate together and I’ve always loved that.” John also included a letter on his Instagram page detailing his thoughts on being awarded the distinction. “Writing music for the stage, from Billy Elliot to The Lion King and now Tammy Faye, has been some of the most rewarding projects for me,” the author stated. “Therefore, I would like to express my gratitude to the editors for this award as well as to Jake Shears and Boy George for giving it to me.” With the arrival of @tammyfayebway next year, he continued, “I’m incredibly proud of this recognition.” I’m grateful. The Tammy Faye musical, which made its Broadway debut in London last year, is set to launch in 2024–2025, as was previously reported last week. Shears, the frontman of Scissor Sisters, created the words for the production, while John composed the music. Enter the Track List for the Christmas EP:
“Step into Christmas”
“Ho Ho Ho (Who’d Be a Turkey at Christmas)”
“All Quiet on the Western Front”
“Cold as Christmas
“Calling It Christmas” (with Joss Stone)
“Step into Christmas” (1973 Gilbert O’Sullivan Show Version)
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (Live at Hammersmith Odeon, 1973)