Earlier today, Elton John announced a new album, his first new studio release since 2016's Wonderful Crazy Night. A spiritual successor to 1993's Duets, The Lockdown Sessions features Elton's collaborations with 16 diverse artists ranging from the late Glen Campbell and legendary Stevie Wonder and Stevie Nicks to current hitmakers including Lil Nas X, Miley Cyrus, and Nicki Minaj. The album was borne out of the many guest appearances Elton made on various records during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's due on CD, LP, cassette, and digital formats on October 22.
In John's words, "The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album. But, as the pandemic went on, one-off projects kept cropping up. Some of the recording sessions had to be done remotely, via Zoom, which I'd obviously never done before. Some of the sessions were recorded under very stringent safety regulations: working with another artist, but separated by glass screens. But all the tracks I worked on were really interesting and diverse, stuff that was completely different to anything I'm known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory. And I realized there was something weirdly familiar about working like this. At the start of my career, in the late '60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I'd come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast."
Among the tracks is John's most recent single, the Dua Lipa collaboration "Cold Heart." The remix by PNAU (the Australian dance music trio which tackled John's catalogue on the Good Morning to the Night album) mashes up "Sacrifice," "Rocket Man," "Kiss the Bride," and the deep cut "Where's the Shoorah?" into a new whole. Also included is "Nothing Else Matters," a cover of the Metallica classic featuring John, Miley Cyrus, WATT, Yo-Yo Ma, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith, and the Metallica's Robert Trujillo. This track also appears on the all-star charity album The Metallica Blacklist, out October 1.
John resumes his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour on September 28 in Copenhagen, Denmark with a return to North America beginning January 19, 2022 in New Orleans. The Lockdown Sessions is due from Interscope on October 22. You'll find the track listing and pre-order links below. Numerous formats are currently available at Elton's online store.
Elton John, The Lockdown Sessions (Interscope, 2021)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
Amazon-Exclusive Slipcased CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada
2LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada Links TBD
Blue Glitter Cassette, Green Cassette, Purple Cassette: EltonJohn.com
- Elton John & Dua Lipa - Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)
- Elton John, Young Thug & Nicki Minaj - Always Love You
- Surfaces feat. Elton John - Learn To Fly
- Elton John & Charlie Puth - After All
- Rina Sawayama & Elton John - Chosen Family
- Gorillaz feat. Elton John & 6LACK - The Pink Phantom
- Elton John & Years & Years - It's a sin
- Miley Cyrus feat. WATT, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo & Chad Smith - Nothing Else Matters
- Elton John & SG Lewis - Orbit
- Elton John & Brandi Carlile - Simple Things
- Jimmie Allen & Elton John - Beauty In The Bones
- Lil Nas X feat. Elton John - One Of Me
- Elton John & Eddie Vedder - E-Ticket
- Elton John & Stevie Wonder - Finish Line
- Elton John & Stevie Nicks - Stolen Car
- Glen Campbell & Elton John - I'm Not Gonna Miss You
Rob T says
Greg T. says
Meh. I’ll check it out because I’m a die hard fan and an Elton completist, but I’d still prefer more vault material (Broadway show demos, session outtakes, etc.) than a duets album.
The 5.1 mixes that Greg Penny did of "Don't Shoot Me", "Caribou", "Rock of the Westies" and "Blue Moves" have been sitting in a vault for twenty years. Really wish those could get released someday.
No doubt I have all the other sacd's and they sound fantastic,doesn't make sense for those to just to go unreleased
Guy Smiley says
Aside from maybe the Brandi Carlisle track (Because she is fantastic), can’t say this interests me. Anything even remotely hip-hoppy, which a few of these would appear to be, means I’m out. Also a lot of artists I don’t know, but none of this sounds terribly exciting.
I mean, Elton and Stevie Wonder sounds intriguing, but it’s been a long, long time since Stevie made any music I really enjoyed. Honestly, it’s been awhile since Elton’s new music has grabbed me too.
The Metallica thing sounds bat**** crazy. Might be worth a listen, but nothing I must have (Don’t really care about Metallica or Miley. Cool that Yo-Yo Ma is involved though).
Questions though: Campbell passed on in 2017, so clearly this is more than COVID lockdown stuff... Or is that track something being “Frankenstein’d” after Campbell’s death and he Elton never actually worked together?
The Stevie Nicks track is called “Stolen Car.” Springsteen cover?
Dee Zink says
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You": This medley is not a true duet as you surmised. Glen Campbell's vocal was lifted from the last song he ever recorded, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," released on his 2014 soundtrack album, I'LL BE ME. According to Redding Record Searchlight (CA)*, "Campbell's team reached out to (Elton) John to see if he would be interested in rerecording it along with Campbell's vocal." Obviously, Elton agreed, and the song's inclusion on THE LOCKDOWN SESSIONS seems to be an acknowledgement of his own mortality. *Oct. 21, 2021, p. 24.