Call him the pocket Rocket Man.
Elton John has signed a deal to make available his entire back catalogue of music, comprising more than 30 albums, for digital download later this month.
The four-decade-spanning collection will be available exclusively through Apple's iTunes Music Store for about a month starting next Monday, before going into a wider release on other digital download services on Apr. 30.
In announcing his digital debut—his legal one, that is—John said that his foray into the medium took longer than fans would have because he wanted to wait until he could release all of his tracks at the same time, not just the "Tiny Dancers" and "Your Songs" of the bunch.
"I knew that the entire catalog—not just the hits—needed care and attention to be released in this way," he said. "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."
To soften the blow of such a long wait, John is further ingratiating himself to fans by releasing a handful of his hits as master ringtones, as well as by releasing a slew of his music videos for commercial download, among them "I'm Still Standing," and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."
Not content to simply dive into the digital world, the musical legend, who has sold more than 200 million albums over the course of his career, is buffeting his online debut with yet another album release.
John will release Rocket Man—The Definitive Hits through Mercury Records in both physical and digital formats. The 18-track compilation, which will not feature any new tracks, is primed for release next week.
Should it sell as well as expected, it may simply be the icing on John's ever-expanding birthday cake.
This Sunday, the bespectacled music man will celebrate his 60th birthday. And he already knows one gift he'll be receiving.
On his birthday, John is set to perform at New York's Madison Square Garden. The gig will coincidentally mark his 60th time performing at the iconic site and will set a new record for the venue. As such, John will be honored with a banner marking "Most Performances by a Single Artist," which will remain in the rafters of the Garden and also placed within its Music Hall of Fame.
The concert will be recorded and broadcast on Apr. 5 on MyNetworkTV.