Tuesday, August 24, 2010
1st Single Released, Union Documentary Coming Soon
'If It Wasn't for Bad' is the first single off Elton John and Leon Russell's first collaboration album, 'The Union,' produced by T-Bone Burnett.
Penned by Russell and lyricist Bernie Taupin, 'If It Wasn't for Bad,' features Russell's intricate piano licks -- beginning as a '50s classical tune, before breaking out into a bluesy, twangy rock effort.
And with John's undeniable soulful voice, mixed in with Russell's rustic harmonies and and backing gospel vocals, the song makes a perfect choice for the album's lead-off track.
The concept of the album, 'The Union,' stems from John's praise and appreciation of Russell's music, which was selective to studio sessions before extending to live performances in the late '60s and early '70s. A pianist, singer, songwriter and producer, Russell fronted the band for Joe Cocker's tour Mad Dogs and Englishmen, as well as the touring ensemble for George Harrison's benefit event Concert for Bangladesh.
"All I wanted for Leon is to have, in his later life, the accolades that seem to have been missing for him in the last 35 years," explains John. "I want his name written in stone. I want him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I want his name to be on everybody's lips again, like it used to be. So we made this record."
The album's penmanship varies song-to-song, but includes one, two or all three (Elton, Russell, Taupin), and features musicians and friends Brian Wilson, Booker T, Don Was and Neil Young.
The album cover was shot by esteemed photographer Annie Leibovitz, and Cameron Crowe even filmed the recording sessions for an upcoming documentary, details yet to be revealed.