Elton John’s new album “Wonderful Crazy Night” will be released February 5th. It’s Sir Elton’s 32nd studio album (or 33rd depending on what internet page you believe). Long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin is still writing lyrics, and uber-producer T Bone Burnett is back after helping out on John’s 2013 album, “The Diving Board”. Here’s “Looking Up”, one of a few live-studio performance videos made for the new release.
On February 18th Lake Street Dive will release “Side Pony”, their first release with new label, Nonesuch Records. Nonesuch is a great label, being home to acts as diverse as The Black Keys, Wilco, Ry Cooder, Pat Metheny, and Emmylou Harris. Hopefully it will mean a new level of exposure for LSD. Unlike Elton’s new album, no cool videos have yet dropped for “Side Pony”, but the band previewed the track “Close to Me” at last year’s Outside Lands Music Festival in San Francisco.
While I wasn’t planning a Glenn Frey tribute this week, I tripped across this Lake Street Dive cover of “Take It To The Limit”. Written by Frey, together with Don Henley and Randy Meisner, it was the only Eagles single on which Meisner sang lead. Here’s the song with Rachel Price singing lead.
On October 14th Paul McCartney released his aptly titled album “New”, just a few weeks after Elton John released “The Diving Board”. McCartney’s Beatles and Elton John are the two top selling British artists of all time, with an estimated one billion albums sold between them.
McCartney serves up quite a mix of styles on “New”. The title track has a classic McCartney sound and was co-produced by Giles Martin, son of George Martin who produced many records for the quartet. “Appreciate” is something completely different. With the help of British uber-producer Paul Epworth, it seems more a modern take on the complex orchestrations that pushed the Beatles off the stage and into the studio in their later years.
Elton John returns to the style of his earliest albums on “The Diving Board”, delivering mostly piano-driven ballads with the help of American uber-producer T Bone Burnett. “Home Again” was the first track released from the CD a few months back. In a recent interview in Rolling Stone magazine, John says “What can I say, it’s a perfect song” of his early hit “Your Song”. So, let’s also recall some perfection, Elton John style.
If you’d like a bit more of Paul and Elton, check out our earlier posts: Paul Rocks Out and Elton and Pnau.
March 25th is Elton John’s birthday – he turns 66. He’s expected to release a new studio album later in 2013, but his most recent efforts involve a collaboration with the Australian electronic dance duo Pnau. In the 2012 release “Good Morning to the Night – Elton John vs Pnau”, samples from John’s catalog are woven into new electronica tracks.
The first video below is an interview with John, Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes telling the story of how they got together and what they’re up to. The second clip is Pnau’s “Phoenix” that pulls heavily from “Grey Seal”. Click here (Pnau ) to get to the Pnau artist page with a link to the title track of the new album.
Elton John shares a birthday with Aretha Franklin (Happy 71st Queen of Soul!), and the two appeared together for a benefit concert / TV special 20 years ago. Half way through this clip you’ll see a chorus of superstars who sang at the event.
Couldn’t finish this post without including a favorite song from a favorite Elton John album. “Come Down in Time” is a gem from the flawless “Tumbleweed Connection”.