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Developments Concerning Elton And Leon’s ”Union”
Posted by editor_usa

Tuesday 14
December 2010 @ 16:38

”Two rock giants, one largely forgotten, rekindle a friendship and make music that ranks with their best. Producer T Bone Burnett delivers his most spectacular production in memory, filled with shining steel guitar, chortling brass and gospel-time choirs. Ultimately, it’s Russell’s voice that shines brightest, drawing on the entire history of American popular music in its canny, vulnerable, knowing croon.”

The above is from Rolling Stone magazine, which calls The Union one of 2010’s Top Five Albums, ranking it in third place.

Meanwhile, the first single, If It Wasnt For Bad, has received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals.

Bernie Taupin says:

”As the album itself was released to late to be eligible for Album Of The Year, well just have to wait and see if it makes the cut in 2012. Some things are done for a reason and hopefully steady sales, word of mouth and a consistent high profile will keep it viable and visible when the powers that be mark their ballots at the end of next year.”

In related news, as this Web site announced last week, Elton and Leon Russell were featured on CBS Sunday Morning.

“He’s such an amazing musician, he’s done so much, and it’s kind of, like, you know, not really getting the recognition for it, I think, that was due,” said one of Russell’s daughters, Tina Rose.

Reporter Russ Mitchell caught up with Rose, also a singer, at the studio Leon used to own in Tulsa.

While a lot of folks hadnt seen the pianist for the last 20 years, Rose says he’s been working hard and touring.

However, the tours had shrunk, and aside from a few die-hard fans, Leon was largely forgotten . . . but not by Elton. 

On his and Elvis Costello‘s Spectacle show two years ago, the talk turned to inspirational figures, and the older man was at the top of Elton’s list.

“He was my hero,” he said.

Then Elton took off on his annual African safari, with an iPod full of Leon’s music.

“And it brought me back to a time in my life where it was so exciting and so wonderful,” he said. “And I just said, ‘It’s not fair that he’s been forgotten about.'”

Russell recalled, “I was laying in bed, watching As The World Turns. And he was laying on an elephant. And he called me.”

“I rang him up,” Elton reported, “and said, ‘It’s me, 39 years later. Would you like to do a record?’ And he said, ‘Do you think I can?’ I went, ‘What do you mean, you think you can? Of course, you can.'”

So into the studio they went. In four days, according to Elton, they wrote ten songs.

Not even brain surgery midway through recording stopped Russell.

“As soon as the backing singers came in, he lit up, his eyes lit up, because he just arranged all these songs straight away,” Elton said.

A national tour followed, and Leon said goodbye to the decades of obscurity.

“I don’t want him ever to go back,” Elton said. “I won’t let him. It’s not gonna happen. He’s never going back there.”

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