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Elton John records album with 'musical hero' Leon Russell

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Elton John records album with 'musical hero' Leon Russell

Old 03-08-10, 06:33 PM
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Elton John records album with 'musical hero' Leon Russell

Elton John is putting the finishing touches to his new album, recorded with 70s country-rock star Leon Russell. Sir Elton and longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin have written 15 tracks, ranging from "Stones-like rockers" to a "Sinatra-like weepy".

According to Taupin's website, Russell "has always been one of Elton's musical heroes and influences when it comes to piano styling". The long-haired, big-bearded American toured with acts including BB King and the Stones, and as a member of Phil Spector's studio group, played on hits like River Deep, Mountain High and the Byrds' Mr Tambourine Man. In the 70s Russell had minor hits in the US and Canada, including 1979's One for the Road, with Willie Nelson.

For this new album, Russell "will be featured on a 50/50 basis", according to Taupin, writing and performing his own material for the project, as well as writing and performing on the pair's own songs. After a "marathon writing session" in November, the 76-year-old joined Sir Elton at a Los Angeles studio last month to record vocals. "Don't expect to hear the old [Elton and Bernie] sound," Taupin said. "This is organic recording unlike anything you've heard from our duo before."

Acclaimed roots producer T-Bone Burnett is helming the sessions, and guitarist Marc Ribot also appears. Songs include rockers, country-tinged ballads, gospel, and a track that's "something torn from the grooves of In the Wee Small Hours". Russell, 67, underwent brain surgery in January but "his playing is masterful as ever", Taupin said.

The album does not yet have a title or release date.
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Old 03-08-10, 10:00 PM
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Re: Elton John records album with 'musical hero' Leon Russell

Sounds good. I feel like Elton's last few albums have been a huge return to form for him after spending most of the 80's and all the 90's in AC hell.
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Old 03-09-10, 07:54 AM
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Re: Elton John records album with 'musical hero' Leon Russell

Russell was also a member of Gary Lewis and The Playboys.
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Old 03-10-10, 11:52 AM
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Re: Elton John records album with 'musical hero' Leon Russell

Elton had a lot of good stuff in the 80s and mid to late 90s.

I am not familiar with Leon Russell at all. I am an Elton fan, so I am not sure about this 50/50 thing.
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Old 03-10-10, 02:09 PM
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Re: Elton John records album with 'musical hero' Leon Russell

I really have no feeling one way or the other towards this, since I'm unfortunately not very familiar with Leon Russell. It does earn an auto-buy from me based on Elton & Bernie though.
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Old 03-10-10, 06:53 PM
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Re: Elton John records album with 'musical hero' Leon Russell

Leon Russell's biggest 70's hit:

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