Two Tracks From New Elton John Tribute Albums Are Surprisingly Good



As we reported a while back, Sir Elton John is planning to hang up the gold lamé for good and retire from performing after one big final tour, which begins in the fall. Dubbed the Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, it is scheduled for more than 300 dates over a three-year span, definitely making it one of the longer goodbyes in Rock history, perhaps topped only by The Who’s 35-years-and-counting farewell crusade.

But that’s Elton for you, never lacking for a sense of occasion, and rarely missing a good business opportunity – two traits not always shared by other Rock Legends. So to mark the occasion of his big year he commissioned two tribute albums to himself and co-writer Bernie Taupin, and he got some of today’s biggest pop and country stars to perform on them. Besides, it’s been over 25 years since the last official Elton John tribute album Two Rooms, and god knows the market is ready for another one, right?

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Anyway the two new albums will be called Revamp and Restoration, and will be released on April 6th. Revamp includes some of the biggest artists on the Pop, R&B and Rock scenes today, including Ed Sheeran, Lady Gaga, The Killers, and Queens Of The Stone Age, while Restoration includes only Country artists. Why would Elton cram different genres onto one album, and make the other one all Country? I’m guessing it was done for commercial as opposed to artistic reasons, but I could be wrong.

The track listings for the two albums will not get any Rock fan’s heart beating wildly in anticipation, but there could be some pretty interesting takes that work well. They have released one track from each album as a teaser, and surprisingly I thought both were pretty good. Chris Stapleton, who we raved about after an SNL performance earlier this year, does a great job on “I Want Love”, an excellent song from Elton’s best post-Seventies album, 2001’s Songs From The West Coast. And Q-Tip from one of the better hip hop acts A Tribe Called Quest combines talents with Demi Lovato to put an offbeat but groovy new spin on “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”, definitely upgrading the Kiki Dee duet fluffery from 1976.

I’m hoping the rest of the tracks can surprise like these two, but I have my doubts. We shall see. I’m definitely looking forward to Willie Nelson’s take on “Border Song”, and to The Killers doing “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters”.

Revamp Track List

1. “Bennie and the Jets” – Elton John, P!nk, Logic
2. “We All Fall in Love Sometimes” – Coldplay
3. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” – Alessia Cara
4. “Candle in the Wind” – Ed Sheeran
5. “Tiny Dancer “- Florence And The Machine
6. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” – Mumford and Sons
7. “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” – Mary J. Blige
8. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – Q Tip feat. Demi Lovato
9. “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” – The Killers
10. “Daniel” – Sam Smith
11. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” – Miley Cyrus
12. “Your Song” – Lady Gaga
13. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Queens of the Stone Age

Restoration Track List

1. “Rocket Man” – Little Big Town
2. “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” – Maren Morris
3. “Sacrifice” – Don Henley and Vince Gill
4. “Take Me to the Pilot” – Brothers Osborne
5. “My Father’s Gun” – Miranda Lambert
6. “I Want Love” – Chris Stapleton
7. “Honky Cat” – Lee Ann Womack
8. “Roy Rogers” – Kacey Musgraves
9. “Please” – Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton
10. “The Bitch Is Back” – Miley Cyrus
11. “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” – Dierks Bentley
12. “This Train Don’t Stop” – Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris
13. “Border Song” – Willie Nelson

Photo: By Ernst Vikne [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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