Elton John has announced a new album of collaborations with some of his fellow global stars, to be titled The Lockdown Sessions and released on October 22 via EMI Records. It features such names as Dua Lipa, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Gorillaz, and Miley Cyrus.
Some tracks on the set were recorded remotely, and others under strictly distanced conditions. The idea emerged after Elton was forced to put his record-breaking, three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour on hold because of the pandemic. A number of projects began to present themselves via his continuing support for new artists and favorite tracks on his Rocket Hour show on Apple Music. The result is one of the boldest and most interesting albums of his epic recording career.
The Lockdown Sessions, as Elton has called the record, saw him returning to his roots as a session musician, a challenge that he rose to with remarkable results. The album kicks off with the current single “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” with Dua Lipa, based on his classic hits “Sacrifice” and “Rocket Man.” It proceeds to weave its way through many genres, all mastered with the finesse of this consummate musician and insatiable music fan.
The 16-track release features more than 20 artists across ten previously unreleased recordings and a guest list of contributors that only Elton could command and bring together. It not only spans genres but generations, cultures, and continents.
“The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album,” says Elton. “But, as the pandemic went on, one‐off projects kept cropping up. Some of the recording sessions had to be done remotely, via Zoom, which I’d obviously never done before. Some of the sessions were recorded under very stringent safety regulations: working with another artist, but separated by glass screens.
“But all the tracks I worked on were really interesting and diverse, stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory. And I realised there was something weirdly familiar about working like this. At the start of my career, in the late 60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I’d come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast.”
Pre-order The Lockdown Sessions, which is released on October 22.
The full The Lockdown Sessions tracklist is:
Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)
Elton John, Young Thug & Nicki Minaj – Always Love You
Surfaces feat. Elton John – Learn To Fly
Elton John & Charlie Puth – After All
Rina Sawayama & Elton John – Chosen Family
Gorillaz feat. Elton John & 6LACK – The Pink Phantom
Elton John & Years & Years – It’s a sin (global reach mix)
Miley Cyrus feat. WATT, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo & Chad Smith – Nothing Else Matters
Elton John & SG Lewis – Orbit
Elton John & Brandi Carlile – Simple Things
Jimmie Allen & Elton John – Beauty In The Bones
Lil Nas X feat. Elton John – One Of Me
Elton John & Eddie Vedder – E-Ticket
Elton John & Stevie Wonder – Finish Line
Elton John & Stevie Nicks – Stolen Car
Glen Campbell & Elton John – I’m Not Gonna Miss You