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At last week’s The Other Songs Live concert in London, England, that’s what Bernie Taupin said fans could expect from Elton’s next album. He added that the recording is ”quite brilliant and contemporary,” and ought to excite a lot of people.

Isn’t new music from Elton and Bernie always something to be excited about? As long as AI isn’t involved, right? Bernie told Sky News that he can’t stand the technology, as it has ”no heart.” The lyricist, who says the next album won’t be their last, admits he has ”no idea” as to how he’s been able to come up with so much material. ”I just do it,” he said.

The subject of AI came up, along with the song Amoreena; an unpleasant concert experience; and more, during the Radio Elton John interview with Ray Williams, one of Elton and Bernie’s early mentors.

Fred Mandel, who used to play keyboards (and a bit of guitar) in Elton’s band, has just released his solo project. On the notes to Part-Time Rebel, he thanks a number of artists for their guidance and musical adventures. Elton is one of them. As you may know, Fred helped write Ice on Fire‘s Wrap Her Up, and was onstage with Elton at Live Aid.


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Une publication partagée par Fred Mandel (@fredmandelmusic)

Part-Time Rebel’s liner notes also give a shout-out to Elton for a birthday gift: a white Steinway piano which Fred made good use of for his new music. Others receiving kudos include Fred’s wife and daughter, Jenny and Cara, who do backing vocals on one track, and guitarist/vocalist Philip Sayce, who contributed to a couple of tunes. Incidentally, Mandel played on Sayce’s new disc,The Wolves Are Coming.

Elton’s 2008 duet with Charles Aznavour has been re-released. Yesterday When I Was Young is part of Sings in English–Best Of.

This is part of a celebration to mark what would have been Charles’ 100th birthday on 22 May. In Paris, France, a square was named in his honour.

Earlier this month (on the sixth of May), Davey Johnstone turned 73. American Songwriter marked the occasion by looking back at some of Davey’s non-Elton recordings. He was particularly prolific on Alice Cooper‘s Flush the Fashion. Besides performing, he co-wrote six of the songs.

Davey also worked with Bob Seger and Rod Stewart, and played on Stevie Nicks‘ Bella Donna and Meat Loaf‘s Dead Ringer  albums.

On Wednesday, Elton’s friend and songwriting partner celebrated his 74th birthday. Bernie was in the UK at the time. He spent part of his birthday at John Cleese‘s Fawlty Towers play at the Apollo Theatre. Bernie also got to see Fragile Beauty at the V&A, featuring photos from the collection of Elton and David Furnish.


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Une publication partagée par Bernie Taupin (@bernietaupinofficial)

Have you seen Yardbarker‘s latest ”best of” lists? One has songs which are better live than in the studio. Peter Frampton is cited three times; Elton not at all. But don’t you think Rocket Man and Take Me To The Pilot qualify?

Elton is on Yardbarker’s favourite collections of hits. His 1974 Greatest Hits LP is in 17th place, and includes Goodbye Yellow Brick Road‘s title track–which Paste magazine has called ”one of those songs you can’t revisit, because it’s never been forgotten.” They tried anyway, and gave Elton and Bernie credit for rejuvenating the familiar tale of achieving success–and at the same time, wanting to escape it all.

On his Instagram Stories, Elton recently thanked Apple Music for naming Goodbye Yellow Brick Road one of their 100 Best Albums. It was #78–and frankly, ought to have scored higher.


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Une publication partagée par Elton John (@eltonjohn)

It seems like quite a while since Elton’s had a new episode of his Apple Music show. He was back in a big way over the weekend as he celebrated the 400th Rocket Hour with Pnau, Raye, and Chappell Roan. This has been on for nine years now, with over six thousand songs played, and a total of 179 guests.

It’s a labour of love for Elton, who has spent 30,000 minutes listening to new music for Rocket Hour.

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