When it comes to the extraordinary, Elton John feels right at home.
So goes his latest opus, The Lockdown Sessions, an eclectic blend of mega-collabs and unprecedented genre studies. The 16-track project was released on October 22nd via Mercury Records.
From the piano-driven ballad "Always Love You" with Young Thug and Nicki Minaj to the rock 'n' roll anthem "E-Ticket" with Eddie Vedder, The Lockdown Sessions manages to foil the banality of quarantine with a steady supply of surprising sounds. And, in Rocket Man's signature style, each track is chock full of drama, bringing just the right amount of camp.
Also featured on the project are a number of dance and electronica artists. "Orbit" with SG Lewis is an ode to the swirls and twirls of classic disco, while "It's a sin - global reach mix" with Years & Years flies high as a tribute to the 1987 Pet Shop Boys original. John also teamed up with Surfaces for "Learn To Fly," which involved the artist's first Zoom recording experience.
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In an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music's Beats 1, John revealed that The Lockdown Sessions created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with artists and sounds outside of his normal comfort zone. It also got his foot in the door with musicians on his "bucket list" of collaborators, namely Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Brandi Carlile, and Vedder.
"This album has been one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done in my life and I’m so proud of it," John wrote on social media. "Not only have I been able to work with artists who have hugely influenced my music but I’ve also been able to collaborate with musicians at the start of their career, or from genres well outside of my own, all of whom have skills and talents well beyond my way of music-making."
To celebrate these unique experiences, John has published an interactive website that dives into the stories behind each song's origins and process. Complete with anecdotes, photos and exclusive videos, you can check it out track-by-track here.