Elton John to make catalog available for digital download

LONDON _ Elton John says he will make his back catalog of more than 30 albums released over 40 years available for digital download.

The move coincides with John’s 60th birthday last Sunday and the release of a new compilation album, Rocket Man.’

“I’ve wanted my music to be available for digital download worldwide for some time, but I knew that the entire catalog _ not just the hits _ needed care and attention to be released in this way,” the singer said in a statement.

“Now that it’s happening, I’m pleased for the fans’ sake. The world has certainly changed since Philips Records issued my first single on seven-inch vinyl ? 39 years ago this month.”

The newly digitized albums include John’s 1969 debut, “Empty Sky” and perennial favorites such as “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.”

The tracks, more than 400 in all, will be available for download from March 26 ? though until April 30 only through Apple’s iTunes service.

John said he would also release some of his singles as mobile-phone ringtones, and would make several of his best-known video clips ? including the duet “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Kiki Dee ? available through digital music services.

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