Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Engelbert Chats about Elton Inspiration

Engelbert Humperdinck decided to do an album of duets -- a two-disc, 23-track duets set with Elton John, Smokey Robinson, Il Divo, Willie Nelson, Kiss' Gene Simmons, Wynonna Judd and more -- for one simple reason: He'd never done it before.

"I figured this'll be my 80th album, and I've never done a duets album, so it was kind of a change for me," Humperdinck, who releases "Engelbert Calling" on March 17 in the U.K. and later this spring in the U.S., tells Billboard. "It was a big change and a great honor to work with all these legendary people. All of (the songs) are pretty personal; I wouldn't have chosen them if I didn't particularly like them. They all have a certain significance attached to them that relates to my life and to (the other singers)."

Humperdinck credits John, with whom he sings "The Way You Look Tonight," with the "Engelbert Calling" concept -- and title.

"He said on one of his live CDs that in the early days, when he was a struggling writer in London, 'I used to live in a little flat with my partner Bernie Taupin, writing songs and hoping and wishing that one day an Engelbert Humperdinck would call and take one of my songs.' So we finally called, and that's why we called the album 'Engelbert Calling,' and Elton John was the first to answer, and it was a delight to work in the studio with him."

- Billboard

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