Elton John is going the collaboration route, with his new album featuring 16 songs with a variety of artists.
On Thursday, the legendary performer announced his new album called The Lockdown Sessions. And the name isn’t hyperbolic. Elton John and other singers did these collaborations during the lockdown for Covid-19.
“The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album,” Elton John wrote on Instagram. “But, as the pandemic went on, one‐off projects kept cropping up, and I’ve ended with a selection of really interesting and diverse stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory.
“At the start of my career … I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I’d come full circle.”
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The list of collaborators looks like a who’s who of singers from across all genres. He’s singing with Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Stevie Wonder, Young Thug and Stevie Nicks.
The album also includes previously released work with Dua Lipa, Rina Sawayama and Surfaces. And he also performs with Brandi Carlile and Eddie Vedder.
Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, Elton John postponed his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. But through his Apple Music talk show called Rocket Hour, he got the idea to begin recording with other singers. He said some of the recordings were made remotely. Others were recorded together when the the Covid restrictions began loosening. Elton John is 74, so he could be at higher risk for a more severe form of Covid.
Two weeks ago, Elton John used part of his vacation to entertain beachgoers in the south of France. He hopped into a DJ booth at the La Guerite beach restaurant in Cannes.
And he played a remix of some of his old songs and called it, Cold Heart. The new recording merged lyrics from John’s single Sacrifice (1989) with Dua Lipa’s performance of his 1972 classic Rocket Man.
His Collab with Dua Lipa Includes Lyrics From Rocket Man
Fans expected a new song from Elton John. He’d teased it through the week. The surprise was he personally played it for a group of people having a good time on the beach. Then the clip went viral, giving the song even more of a boost, as if Elton John combining forces with Dua Lipa wasn’t enough of a hook.
Elton John, in an interview earlier this year, talked about his collaborations with Rolling Stone, hinting at more to come.
“The last 18 months have been hard, but being off the road has meant that I’ve actually had time to get back to my roots as a session player and collaborate with some wonderful artists,” Elton John said. “And having the opportunity to spend time with Dua, albeit remotely has been incredible. She’s given me so much energy. She’s a truly wonderful artist, and person, absolutely bursting with creativity and ideas. The energy she brought to ‘Cold Heart’ just blew my mind.”