The much-anticipated soundtrack to one of the cinematic events of the year, the Elton John musical fantasy Rocketman, will be released on 24 May by Virgin EMI, two days after the film’s UK release. Rocketman: Music From The Motion Picture features the vocal performances of the film’s star Taron Egerton, and producer-composer Giles Martin reinterpreting Elton’s landmark hits, tailoring the music specifically to complement the movie’s narrative.
The first preview of the album, their new interpretation of Elton’s 1972 classic ‘Rocket Man,’ is unveiled today on Apple Beats 1 as presenter Zane Lowe’s World Record. In the film, the track, with its “submerged” intro feel, has Egerton, as Elton, in the depths of a swimming pool, before climaxing at Dodgers Stadium.
“It was so important that the music I composed and recorded had to be sung by Taron,” says Elton John. “I wanted his interpretation of me, through Bernie [Taupin]’s lyrics and my music — not just acting. I left Taron in the hands of Giles Martin, who I trusted implicitly because he’s brilliant.
“I didn’t want to be in Taron’s shadows, watching over the process, I trusted them to do what they needed to do, artistically, and listening back I’ve been astonished with the results. Getting the music right was the most important thing, as the songs in the film are integral to the story.”
Egerton adds: “The beauty of having Elton involved with the film is that we’ve been able to work with him to see how far we can take these classic songs. Giles Martin has impeccable taste and massive skills to bring the songs to a place where they are faithful and daring as well.”
Observes Martin: ‘The great thing about Elton is that he is a true artist and he wants people to expand on his work — he wants interpretations done, it’s refreshing for him. We had scope to play around with things and think how we address the songs. The songs are the story of the movie, the heartbeat of what happens. Once the songs start a whole world opens up. In Taron I’ve never known a singer who dedicates himself so much to the process. I don’t think anyone else could have played Elton.”
Working closely with the makers of Rocketman, Martin supervised such highlights as the transformation of ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’ into an epic ensemble piece, and turning ‘I Want Love’ into a moment of heartbreaking conflict around young Reg Dwight’s family meal. The soundtrack also features a brand new John-Taupin composition, ‘(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,’ performed by Elton and Taron Egerton. This is co-produced by Martin and Greg Kurstin, with Martin handling all other production; the album was recorded between 2017 and 2019 at Abbey Road Studios and AIR Studios in London. The executive album producers are Elton John, David Furnish, Matthew Vaughn and Dexter Fletcher.
Rocketman: Music From The Motion Picture is released on 24 May. Scroll down for the full tracklisting, and pre-order it here.
1 The Bitch Is Back (Introduction)
2 I Want Love
3 Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
4 Thank You For All Your Loving
5 Border Song
6 Rock & Roll Madonna – Interlude
7 Your Song
9 Crocodile Rock
10 Tiny Dancer
11 Take Me To The Pilot
13 Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
14 Honky Cat
15 Pinball Wizard – Interlude
16 Rocket Man
17 Bennie and the Jets
18 Don’t Let The Sun Go Down – Interlude
19 Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
20 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
21 I’m Still Standing
22 (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again
** All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin except ‘Thank You For All Your Loving’ written by Elton John and Caleb Quaye, ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ written by Ann Orson and Carte Blanche and ‘Pinball Wizard’ written by Pete Townshend
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