Elton John/Leon Russell: The Union

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Elton John / Leon Russell: The Union

About this item

On the inaugural episode of Elvis Costello's talk show Spectacle in 2008, Elton John -- who just happened to be a producer on the show -- rhapsodized at length about Leon Russell, hauling out a note-perfect impression of Russell's piano style and Oklahoma drawl. It was enough of a tease to whet the appetite for more but nothing suggested something like The Union, a full-fledged duet album with Russell designed to raise the profile of the rock & roll maverick. Like all lifers, Russell never disappeared -- he just faded, playing small clubs throughout the U.S., spitting out bewildering self-released albums of MIDI-synth boogie, never quite connecting with the spirit of his wonderful early-'70s albums for his Shelter label. The Union quite deliberately evokes the spirit of 1970, splicing Russell's terrific eponymous LP with Elton's own self-titled record and Tumbleweed Connection. In that sense, it's a kissing cousin to John's last album, 2006's The Captain and the Kid, which was designed as an explicit sequel to 1975's golden era-capping Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, but thanks to producer T-Bone Burnett, The Union dials down Bernie Taupin's inherent pomp and ratchets up the roots. Burnett had John and Russell record live in the studio, trading verses and solos, letting the supporting band breathe and follow their loping lead. This relaxed, natural interplay cuts through the soft haze of Burnett's analog impressionism, giving the record a foundation of true grit. If there are no immediate knockouts among this collection of 14 original songs, the tunes are slow, steady growers, taking root with repeated spins, with the sound of John and Russell's piano-and-voice duets providing ample reason to return to The Union after its first play. And even once the songs take hold, what lingers with The Union is that natural interplay, how John and Russell easily connect with their past without painstakingly re-creating it. Surely, it's a revival for Leon Russell, who has spent decades in the wilderness, but it's not a stretch to say The Union revitalizes Elton John just as much as it does his idol: he hasn't sounded this soulful in years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

About this item

On the inaugural episode of Elvis Costello's talk show Spectacle in 2008, Elton John -- who just happened to be a producer on the show -- rhapsodized at length about Leon Russell, hauling out a note-perfect impression of Russell's piano style and Oklahoma drawl. It was enough of a tease to whet the appetite for more but nothing suggested something like The Union, a full-fledged duet album with Russell designed to raise the profile of the rock & roll maverick. Like all lifers, Russell never disappeared -- he just faded, playing small clubs throughout the U.S., spitting out bewildering self-released albums of MIDI-synth boogie, never quite connecting with the spirit of his wonderful early-'70s albums for his Shelter label. The Union quite deliberately evokes the spirit of 1970, splicing Russell's terrific eponymous LP with Elton's own self-titled record and Tumbleweed Connection. In that sense, it's a kissing cousin to John's last album, 2006's The Captain and the Kid, which was designed as an explicit sequel to 1975's golden era-capping Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, but thanks to producer T-Bone Burnett, The Union dials down Bernie Taupin's inherent pomp and ratchets up the roots. Burnett had John and Russell record live in the studio, trading verses and solos, letting the supporting band breathe and follow their loping lead. This relaxed, natural interplay cuts through the soft haze of Burnett's analog impressionism, giving the record a foundation of true grit. If there are no immediate knockouts among this collection of 14 original songs, the tunes are slow, steady growers, taking root with repeated spins, with the sound of John and Russell's piano-and-voice duets providing ample reason to return to The Union after its first play. And even once the songs take hold, what lingers with The Union is that natural interplay, how John and Russell easily connect with their past without painstakingly re-creating it. Surely, it's a revival for Leon Russell, who has spent decades in the wilderness, but it's not a stretch to say The Union revitalizes Elton John just as much as it does his idol: he hasn't sounded this soulful in years. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

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Specifications

Artist: Elton John
Studio Label: CD
Edited: N
Format: CD
Enhanced: N
Number of Discs: 1
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.22
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 0.4 x 4.25 x 5.25
UPC: 0060252750473
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Track Listing

1. If It Wasn't For Bad
2. Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes
3. Hey Ahab
4. Gone To Shiloh
5. Jimmie Rodger's Dream
6. There's No Tomorrow
7. Monkey Suit
8. Best Part Of The Day
9. Dream Come True
10. When Love Is Dying
11. I Should Have Sent Roses
12. Hearts Have Turned To Stone
13. Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)
14. In The Hands Of Angels
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Customer reviews

Customer Reviews | 3 reviews | 3 out of 5

3.0 stars

3 reviews | 3 out of 5

3.0 stars

3 reviews | 3 out of 5

67%
Would recommend to a friend
5 stars
0
4 stars
2
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 stars
1
1-3 of 3 total reviews
67%
Would recommend to a friend

Age

Gender

11/19/2010

Customer review by bassman44

4.0 stars 11/19/2010 by bassman44
by bassman44

sir elton john/ leon russell that says it all. Both are legends

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bassman44
Georgia
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Age:65 or older
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Gender:Male
Usage:A few times per month
Leon & Elton
1/20/2013

Customer review by An anonymous customer

4.0 stars 1/20/2013 by An anonymous customer
by An anonymous customer

This is a terrific album of two of my all-time favorites. I saw Leon star in the best concert I ever attended, way back when. He's still got it, and Elton is Elton - wonderful

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An anonymous customer
New Orleans
Would recommend to a friend? Yes
Age:55 - 64
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Gender:Male
Usage:Every few days
Verified purchaser
Verified purchaser
Customer has been confirmed to have purchased the item from Walmart.
11/21/2010

Customer review by tinapp

1.0 stars 11/21/2010 by tinapp
by tinapp

Wal Mart certainly can't help this was a dull and dark cd, but they sure made it easy to purchase and at least I didn't waste too much money on it as Wal Mart had a great price !

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tinapp
mobile al
Would recommend to a friend? No
Age:45 - 54
Ownership:2 - 7 weeks
Gender:Female
Usage:Once per year

Customer Reviews | 3 reviews | 3 out of 5

Customer reviews

3.0 stars
3 reviews | 3 out of 5

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