Admittedly, I am a HUGE Elton John fan. Almost as big as any you’ll ever meet.
But I am also realistic. I know when Elton makes a substandard album and long-time fans will feel my pain when I mention these two works: “Leather Jackets” and ” Victim of Love”. The latter is actually a disco album that thankfully very few people have ever heard (or remember hearing).
Elton’s latest– “The Union”– with Leon Russell is a SUPERB CD.
When you review The Union, you have to remember to put Elton’s long time lyricist / professional collaborator Bernie Taupin in the mix– especially since Bernie wrote songs with both Elton and Leon on this CD.
If you listen to this work in full– you will find tons of smart, meaningful and artistic touches. Wonderful moments worth enjoying over and over. Do NOT let the short samples make your buying decision for you. This CD is much more than that.
“If It Wasn’t for Bad”, “Hey Ahab”, “Monkey Suit”, “My Kind of Hell” hold their on with some of the BEST ROCKERS Elton and/or Leon have ever been associated with. Bernie Taupin’s lyrics show a sharp rejuvenation as well.
“When Love is Dying” and “Never To Old (To Hold Somebody)” are two of the best “relationship” songs Elton & Bernie have ever written. “In the Hands of Angels” is a tough, poignant song about Leon’s own trials, tribulations and close calls with death.
This is an album for every Elton and Leon fan ever made… And hopefully a whole slew of younger people who have never really paid attention to either of these masters.
Producer T Bone Burnett has captured magic here and we are all the better for it.
Please note the “Deluxe” Edition has 2 extra songs and a DVD directed by Cameron Crowe. The 2 songs are also top notch.