From the morning e-mail: Decca Records is pleased to announce the release of the highly anticipated collaboration between two musical legends, Elton John and Leon Russell with The Union available October 19 in the U.S. (To be released October 25 in the U.K. on Mercury Records.) This album marks the first time these iconic artists have worked together since 1970.
Produced by Oscar and multiple-Grammy winning producer T Bone Burnett, who took home numerous awards in 2009 for his production work on Raising Sand with Robert Plant and Alison Krause, The Union features songs written by John and his lifelong lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as in combination with the extraordinary talents of Russell and Burnett.
Recorded live in the studio with John and Russell on dueling pianos, the album features a variety of musical genres from R&B, soul, gospel, country, pop and rock. Icons Neil Young and Brian Wilson provide guest vocals on the 16-track record along with legendary R&B organist Booker T. Jones, steel guitarist Robert Randolph and a 10-piece gospel choir.
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Russell first met John in 1970 when he attended John's first ever U.S. show at the famous Troubadour in Los Angeles. The meeting heralded the beginning of a long friendship and a mutual appreciation between the two artists. "In the late '60s and early '70s, the one piano player and vocalist who influenced me more than anybody else was Leon Russell," John said. "He was my idol." The pair went on to tour together shortly thereafter at New York's Fillmore East and to this day have held such high admiration for each other's work.
After years of being out of touch, John listened to Russell's music while on safari in Africa last summer and was inspired to reconnect with his idol. "Elton called to ask if I would do a duet album with him," Russell said. "I'm very happy that he chose me to do this."
The monumental career of international singer/songwriter and performer Elton John has spanned more than three decades. He is the one of the top-selling solo artists of all time with 35 gold and 25 platinum albums and more than 250 million records sold worldwide. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences has awarded John multiple Grammys, including the Grammy Legend Award.
Russell has performed his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues and country music for over 50 years. This legendary and Grammy award winning musician and songwriter has topped music charts, led the famous Joe Cocker's 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen' tour, performed with George Harrison and Friends at the Concert for Bangladesh and in 2006 was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Bare Bones International Film Festival.
The Union is a unique collaboration of two of the most talented artists in the music business. Combining forces and fusing diverse talents, John and Russell along with Burnett have produced an extraordinary album.