ELTON JOHN has been named the first Record Store Day legend in honour of his support of record shops. The new accolade has been announced to coincide with the event’s 10th anniversary.

Well-known for his love of record shops, he said: “”I love vinyl so much. The tactile nature, the ritual of it, looking at the sleeve … especially with the old albums and the liner notes – who played on them, the process of putting it on, the needle going on and the sound coming out. And it does sound better, I know it does. I’ve been around long enough to know, I’ve been in so many studios … It does sound better. So it’s just the wonder of having vinyl.”

Having sold his entire record collection back in 1990 and donated the proceedings to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the star started to rebuild his collection two years ago and now owns over 7,000 records. He said he was “honoured” to be named Record Store Day Legend.

To mark the accolade, John will reissue his favourite concert recording titled 17-11-90 on Record Store Day on 22nd April, with the gig’s entire performance set to be made available on vinyl for the first time.

He said: “The album 17-11-70 was not meant to be a live one at all; we did one of the first-ever stereo radio broadcasts live at A&R Recording Studios in New York City in 1970 on the 17th of November. It was Phil Ramone’s studio, one of the greatest producers of all time, and we just went in the booth and played it as a three-piece: Nigel Olsson on drums and vocals, Dee Murray on bass and vocals, and myself.”

John continued, “There was a studio audience of about 100 sitting outside the booth, hearing it coming through the loud speakers, and we just played. I’m astonished by how good we were, listening to this record a lot of it was improvised, and you can do that when you’re a three-piece band because I’m really the lead instrument, and Dee and Nigel were so brilliant at following what I did. There’s a 16-minute track on it that was completely improvised, more or less, and I’m very proud of it: I think it’s one of the greatest live albums ever made. It wasn’t initially coming out as a live album, but there were so many bootlegs in those days that the record company put it out. I’m glad they did because it really is something I’m very, very proud of.”