It can be tricky to celebrate your decade-spanning discography without making it feel like a narcissistic journey down memory lane. However if you're Elton John
, this will come as more of an effortless task, and it will prove to be more graceful and triumphant than ever.
Not too long ago, John announced that he will be heading out on a three year-long farewell tour and after that, officially say sayonara to touring so that he can spend more time with his family and watch his kids grow. Before the tour kicks of this September though, he and longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin have been honored with not one, but two fabulous tribute albums. The first, Revamp,
was curated by John himself and features pop and rock artists while the second, Restoration,
was curated by Taupin and features more country-leaning artists. Spoiler alert: it's all great.
Some artists have tried to do things like this before - the most recent example to come to mind would be Tegan & Sara
, with their album The Con X: Covers
that features covers by the likes of CHVRCHES
, and more. But there's something that just feels so grand about these John and Taupin tributes. First starting off with a distant, nostalgic recording of John's original "Bennie And The Jets," it quickly drops into a modern day hip hop version of the song, with heavy bass and performances by P!nk
. It used to be a song you'd sing to your lover from across the diviest of dive bars, and now it's a song you sing to a stranger from across the most lit bar on the Lower East Side.
We then get a cover of "We All Fall In Love Sometimes," an appropriate song choice for Coldplay
, "Tiny Dancer" by Florence + The Machine
, "Candle In The Wind" by Ed Sheeran
, and the list goes on. Perhaps what is one of the most original takes on the album is Q-Tip
and Demi Lovato
's cover of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" - a jazzy rendition with completely re-painted melodies and an extra funky rhythm section. On Restoration,
we're graced with today's biggest country artists - Miley Cyrus
, who is featured on both albums, gives us a fierce "The Bitch Is Back" while Kacey Musgraves
makes an appearance for a more somber "Roy Rogers."
The evident pattern on both of these records is that each song is cut and tailored to the artist. Of course, this is about John and Taupin, but really when listening, it feels like it's more about the artist performing. And that's what makes it so great - it's not just a celebration of the original, it's a celebration of everyone's interpretation.