The mid-paced track leads on Elton’s piano and he takes the lead before Stevie’s equally unmistakable voice takes a verse. The soul giant then lends a distinctive harmonica solo to the track, which also features Kanye West’s gospel troupe, the Sunday Service Choir.
John and Wonder sang together, along with Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight, on the 1985 single “That’s What Friends Are For,” which went to No.1 on Billboard’s pop, R&B and adult contemporary charts. Stevie also contributed memorable harmonica to Elton’s 1983 hit “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.” But “Finish Line,” produced by the Grammy-winning Andrew Watt, is the first duet between the two greats.
The Lockdown Sessions, recorded remotely over the last 18 months, will be released via Interscope on October 22. The new track comes hot on the heels of the second track from the album, “After All” with Charlie Puth. That in turn followed the “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” with Dua Lipa. Elton and Puth performed their duet on stage together last weekend at the Global Citizen event in Paris.
“I couldn’t be more proud of ‘Finish Line’ – I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the best records I’ve ever made,” says Elton. “Stevie’s voice is as good as I can ever remember hearing him – he sounds like a 17-year-old again, he’s singing with a sheer joy and exuberance in his vocals.
“Andrew Watt has done an unbelievable job on the production. It was a magical process. I’ve always loved collaborating with Stevie, and I’m delighted that after fifty years of friendship we finally get to do a full blown duet. He has always been so kind and sweet to me, and his talent is beyond ridiculous. When you listen to what he does vocally and instrumentally on ‘Finish Line’ you think, this is a true genius here.”
Adds Stevie: ‘It is both a joy and honor to sing, play piano and harmonica for Elton! He has truly been one of the great spirits of music, life, friendship and love, who I’ve met on this life journey! True artistry and music like love equals a forever commitment lasting many lifetimes. And Elton, anyone who hears your voice singing ‘Finish Line,’ will hear and feel your wisdom, your pain, your soul, your love, but also your resilience…I love it!! Congratulations to you and our forever and never, never-ending music, friendship, life-song! Long live Sir Elton John!!! (big smiley face!).”
Pre-order The Lockdown Sessions, which is released on October 22.