Music

Elton John and Bernie Taupin saluted with two new tribute albums

Covers for two new albums saluting the music of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. (Universal Music Group Nashville; Island Records)
Covers for two new albums saluting the music of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. (Universal Music Group Nashville; Island Records)

A bevy of pop, R&B, rock, country and Americana artists are paying homage to the 50-year collaboration between Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin with not one, but two separate collections of new interpretations of more than two dozen of the team’s biggest hits and many less-familiar selections. 

“Revamp” and “Restoration” — curated by John and Taupin, respectively — will be released April 6.

“Revamp” is a pop-R&B-urban-leaning album including recordings by John himself, accompanied by Pink and Logic, as well as Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Sam Smith, Mumford and Sons, Alessia Cara, Queens of the Stone Age and Q Tip featuring Demi Lovato, among others.

The country-Americana-themed disc that Taupin has supervised features Willie Nelson, Miranda Lambert, Don Henley and Vince Gill, Kacey Musgraves, Chris Stapleton, Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris, Little Big Town and several others.

Miley Cyrus is the only artist who appears on both albums.

“We have two completely different albums,” John, 70, said in a statement. “We have so many great artists doing our songs, it's quite incredible.”

Added Taupin in the same statement, “Because of our love of all kinds of music, we’re not stuck in one genre. 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.”

The albums, both subtitled “Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin,” set the stage for the recently announced “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour that John has proclaimed to be his final concert tour, which begins Sept. 8 in Allentown, Pa.,  and is scheduled to take three years to complete with 300 stops on five continents.

The albums also precede a two-hour, multi-artist network television special filmed in New York recently in conjunction with the 60th Grammy Awards ceremony and slated to air April 10 on CBS.

“Elton John: I’m Still Standing — A Grammy Salute” will include live performances by album participants Cyrus, Cara, Lambert, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Sheeran, Smith, Little Big Town and Maren Morris as well as John Legend, Kesha, Shawn Mendes and SZA.   

John and Taupin met in 1967 through an ad in England’s New Musical Express, which brought the composer and lyricist together and started one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in pop music history.

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