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Editors’ Notes

Leon Russell was an early inspiration for Elton John and John had opened for Russell in the early days. But fortunes flipped and John went on to superstardom while Russell kept on keeping on his own road of smaller clubs and selective audiences. Together, some forty years later, they sound as if they had been meant to play together. “If It Wasn’t for Bad” is a solid piece of no-nonsense road music, strong beats and harder voices coming together with a sense of mastery and experience. “Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes” plays with even more legacy under its piano weight, as it turns and looks at past success in all its faded glory. “Hey Ahab” struts with a renewed sense of the world. “Gone to Shiloh” settles in with a touching, emotive pull as it spills over the Civil War. “Jimmie Rodgers’ Dream” remembers a long-lost country legend, the Singing Brakeman. “The Best Part of the Day” brings out a classic modern country sound. “When Love Is Dying” throws the two singers into sweet relief, with Brian Wilson’s choral arrangement adding the heavenly touch.

Customer Reviews

The Union

This is a superb album! I was skeptical at how Elton and Leon's voices would mix but by the end of the disc I came to appreciate how they complement each other. Two giants - I've been a Leon fan since the 70's, less of an Elton fan but still liked his music and respected him as an artist. The combination is almost too good! Of course, I teared up reading the booklet - I so much appreciate this album.

The Union between Elton and Leon is brilliant!

I am a huge fan of Elton, and this album seems to show his songwriting genius and versatility. I am not really a fan of Leon Russell, at least not yet, but I might be after I hear this album a few times. It is neat to see Elton collaborating with one of his biggest musical heroes. Without Leon, Elton wouldn't have made all of the great music he's made. I have only heard all of the samples here on I-tunes once, but can't wait to buy this. Long live Elton and Leon!

Not worth waiting 40 years for.

When I first read about this album I was jumping for joy, I was expecting a pairing of dueling boogie-woogie pianos a melding of two unique voices and some tunes that would no doubt get me pulled over speeding. What I end up with is an album of mediocre ballads, sad love songs along with dull introspective songs using strings and small choir's. Come on guys, strings?

I was really hoping that they would reprise Jumping Jack Flash - Youngblood medly, with Elton starting off with JJF and Leon doing the Youngblood, OK 20 minute songs are no longer vogue, but what about the Mighty Quinn, that would be a show stopper.

Sorry guys, the long wait was hardly worth it but at least I know I won't be getting any speeding tickets.


Born: March 25, 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early '70s. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers with equal aplomb. He could dip into soul, disco, and country, as well as classic pop balladry and even progressive rock. His versatility, combined with his effortless melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and flamboyant stage shows, made him the most popular recording artist of the '70s....
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