Just days before a Grammy tribute concert to Elton John airs on April 10, two separate albums containing covers of songs written by him and longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin by some of the world’s biggest artists will be released. “Revamp” and the country-themed “Restoration” will be released on April 6.
The former album will feature artists in the pop, rock and urban genres: Mary J. Blige, Alessia Cara, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Florence And The Machine, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, Pink and Logic, Q-Tip ft. Demi Lovato, Queens of the Stone Age, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith; the latter, on Universal Nashville, includes 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. The full track list appears below.
“’It’s always a huge compliment when an artist loves your song enough to take the time and effort to rework it,” adds Elton John. “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,” said Bernie 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.”
In January Elton 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 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 Elton that was recreated in neon.
“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,” said Elton John.
“’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.”
- 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