Regimental Sgt. Zippo is the legendary “album that never was” for Elton John. After the success of its limited release in mono for Record Store Day 2021, it is now available on CD and contains both stereo and mono mixes.
Signed to DJM as an artist in early 1968, Sir Elton John cut 12 tracks at DJM Studios in London’s New Oxford Street for a debut album that was never released. As part of the excavation of material for his Jewel Box collection, the original running order was located.
These sessons were recorded between November 1967 and May 1968 but were shelved in favor of what would become Elton's debut album, Empty Sky. For the sessions, he worked with musicians who were either his or his manager Steve Brown's associates. Among those were guitarist Caleb Quaye and drummer Roger Pope (both members of the band Hookfoot at the time), and bassist Tony Murray (from the Troggs).
According to Bernie Taupin, the album's trippy sound was "a tip of the hat to Sgt. Pepper. It certainly proved that we were hanging on the coattails of things that were currently popular – things like 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' were in vogue at that particular point in time. I think, in a way, I was literally trying to be part of a gang."