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Elton John on meeting lyricist Bernie Taupin: "Talk about kismet"

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS ©2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.Elton John visited The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night to celebrate the release of his new, three-CD, 51-track career spanning box set, Diamonds.

The collection celebrates Elton's 50-year collaboration with lyricist Bernie Taupin which began in 1967, and Elton told the tale of meeting his musical partner.

"I was in a terrible band," Elton recalled, "and I was getting fed up to playing to people who were eating fish and chips in a cabaret thing."

Desperate for something new, Elton looking in the newspaper. "I saw an advertisement  from a record company that said: 'Singers and songwriters wanted.'  And I'd written a couple of songs for the band and we recorded them and I answered the advert."

When he arrived at the London offices of Liberty Records, Elton said he saw piles and piles of submissions on desks in the office.

"The guy behind the desk said, 'What do you do?'" Elton remembered "I said, 'Well, I can sing and I can write songs, but I can't write lyrics, I'm hopeless.' So he said, 'Well, why don't you just take this envelope.' And he went through a pile of envelopes -- it could have been any envelope, talk about kismet. He gave me an envelope which was sealed.  I took it back on the tube train or the subway and I opened it and I read it and it was Bernie.  It could have been any envelope, I mean, it was just, that was the envelope that he gave me."

As for why the album is named Diamonds, Elton said, "I like diamonds."

Elton also took to the Late Show stage with his band to perform two of his and Taupin's diamonds -- "Crocodile Rock" and "I'm Still Standing."

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