Elton John‘s biggest and most beloved hits are being reinterpreted on two new albums by rock and country artists: Revamp (Island Records) and Restoration (Universal Music Group Nashville) set for release on April 6. Restoration will feature Dierks Bentley, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Miley Cyrus, Vince Gill, Don Henley, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brothers Osborne, Chris Stapleton, Rhonda Vincent, Dolly Parton, and Lee Ann Womack putting their spin on classic John gems like “Rocket Man,” Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters,” “Honky Cat,” And “Sad Songs (Say So Much).”
Revamp features the hits reimagined by the best in pop, rock and urban with Mary J. Blige, Alessia Cara, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Florence And The Machine, Lady Gaga, The Killers, Mumford and Sons, P!nk and Logic, Q-Tip ft. Demi Lovato, Queens of the Stone Age, Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith. Elton John, P!nk, and Logic join forces on “Bennie & The Jets,” on the new CD, while Alessia Cara reimagines “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” and Mumford & Sons reinvent “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.” Lady Gaga’s version of “Your Song,” and Miley Cyrus’ take on “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” also appear on the star-studded collection.
“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.”
“Because of our love of all kinds of music, we’re not stuck in one genre,” said John’s longtime collaborator 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.”
The album art for Restoration was created by Taupin and 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.”
“’It’s always a huge compliment when an artist loves your song enough to take the time and effort to rework it,” said 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.
Fans can hear many of these tracks during a new network TV special, Elton John: I’m Still Standing A Grammy Salute, which will air Tuesday, April 10 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on CBS. The star-studded tribute concert includes performances by Alessia Cara, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Miranda Lambert, John Legend, Kesha, Little Big Town, Chris Martin, Shawn Mendes, Maren Morris, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and SZA.
Last month John announced his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, which kicks off in the U.S. in September. Comprised of over 300 dates across five continents over three years, the tour marks the finale of 50 years on the road.