Some of the world’s biggest pop, rock and country artists are celebrating Elton John’s most beloved and legendary catalogue of hits with two albums: Revamp (Island Records) and Restoration (Universal Music Group Nashville) to be released on April 6th. The superstar lineup features artists both new and iconic reinterpreting the timeless songs of the over 50 year writing partnership that John and Bernie Taupin share. These renditions and artists show the depth of the catalogue these two icons have created, which can easily cross musical genres and their unparalleled influence across popular music of all styles.
Revamp features the hits reimagined by the best in pop, rock and urban with Mary J. Blige, Alessia Cara, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Florence And The Machine, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, P!nk and Logic, Q-Tip ft. Demi Lovato, Queens of the Stone Age, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith,
Restoration highlights countries biggest stars with thoughtful interpretations by Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris, Miley Cyrus, Vince Gill and Don Henley, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton and Lee Ann Womack.
“’It’s always a huge compliment when an artist loves your song enough to take the time and effort to rework it,” John says in a press release. “As songwriters, Bernie and myself are thrilled when singers we admire and respect as much as those on Revamp & Restoration choose to add their own unique twist in the process. It means that our music is still relevant and ultimately that our songs continue to reach new audiences. We’re humbled and thank them all for their generosity.”
“Because of our love of all kinds of music, we’re not stuck in one genre,” adds Taupin. “From day one we borrowed from everything that’s good about American music – whether it’s blues, country, gospel, pop, pure rock – everything got thrown in the mix. I think that’s why our music over the years has been so varied. It would be tiring if you just got stuck in one niche your entire career, especially when it’s one as long as ours.”
The album art for Restoration was created by Taupin. The rustic musical instruments and flags from both nations is an extension of his mixed-media art that’s another form of expression. It symbolizes the role that U.S. culture and its native music has played as a driver in the John/Taupin canon.
“For me, there’s an irony about the American flag,” Taupin says. “It’s been battered and beaten and burned, but it’s resilient. It’s always come back. I incorporate it with other things, and lately I’ve done a lot of pieces with deconstructed guitars and other found materials: barbed wire, broken bottles, things that people identify with on an everyday level. If it’s on the floor and it works, I’ll put it into the artwork. But it all goes hand in hand with my belief in America and my interest, I would say obsession, with Americana.”
Revamp has a pop art cover based on the Terry O’Neil photograph of John that was recreated in neon. The covers are very different from each other because they represent totally different albums.
“We have two completely different albums; Revamp being the pop one and Restoration being the country one and God we have so many great artists doing our songs, it’s quite incredible,” John continues. “Restoration was Bernie’s project and he’s a huge country fan. The Revamp was more my project. He came up with an astonishing list of country performers both new and legendary. On Revamp, I wrote out a wish list of people that I would love and asked them and to my surprise most of them said yes and we have quite an astonishing eclectic crew.”
The caliber of names contributing to both albums is another reminder of John’s enduring popularity at a busy and prolific time for the superstar. In January, John announced his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Comprising of over 300 dates across five continents over three years, the tour kicks off in the US in September and marks the finale of 50 years on the road. The first 60 dates sold out immediately after going on general sale, confirming that the farewell tour will be some of, if not the, hottest gig tickets of the coming three years.
Music stars honor Elton John’s illustrious career spanning five decades with a rockin’ tribute on Elton John: I’m Still Standing – A Grammy Salute airing Tuesday, April 10th on the CBS Television Network. The concert showcases musicians from multiple genres performing classic songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, including Alessia Cara, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Kesha, Little Big Town, Chris Martin, Shawn Mendes, Maren Morris, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and SZA.
- Bennie and The Jets – Elton John, P!nk, Logic
- We All Fall In Love Sometimes – Coldplay
- I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues – Alessia Cara
- Candle In The Wind – Ed Sheeran
- Tiny Dancer – Florence And The Machine
- Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Mumford and Sons
- Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Mary J. Blige
- Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Q Tip feat. Demi Lovato
- Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters – The Killers
- Daniel – Sam Smith
- Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Miley Cyrus
- Your Song – Lady Gaga
- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Queens of the Stone Age
- Rocket Man – Little Big Town
- Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters – Maren Morris
- Sacrifice – Don Henley and Vince Gill
- Take Me To The Pilot – Brothers Osborne
- My Father’s Gun – Miranda Lambert
- I Want Love – Chris Stapleton
- Honky Cat – Lee Ann Womack
- Roy Rogers – Kacey Musgraves
- Please – Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton
- The Bitch Is Back – Miley Cyrus
- Sad Songs (Say So Much) – Dierks Bentley
- This Train Don’t Stop – Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris
- Border Song – Willie Nelson
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.