The brilliant musician’s new record, which arrived last week (October 22), debuted at the top spot, grabbing 31,000 chart sales, 84 percent of which were made up of physical sales.
The collection – which includes collaborations with Dua Lipa, Lil Nas X, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, and more – is John’s eighth UK No.1 album and his first since 2012’s Good Morning To The Night.
“The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album. 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,” John explained when the album was first announced. “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.”
A number of The Lockdown Sessions tracks were released prior to the album release or were included on other projects entirely. The Lil Nas X collaboration, “One of Me,” features John on piano and was released on the singer and rapper’s debut album Montero. Elton also included his Rina Sawayama collaboration “Chosen Family,” “The Pink Phantom,” with Gorillaz and 6LACK, and “Learn To Fly” with Surfaces.
Other big name collaborators featured on the album include Years & Years, Charlie Puth, Young Thug and Nicki Minaj, SG Lewis, Brandi Carlile, Jimmie Allen, Eddie Vedder, Miley Cyrus, and Glen Campbell.
“I realized there was something weirdly familiar about working like this,” John explained. “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.”