If there’s one thing fairly constant in popular music, it’s that Elton John has hit songs seemingly every year since the 1970s.
However, it has been a little while since new material of his climbed the pop charts. Diehard fans will know he did an album with Leon Russell in 2010, had songs on the soundtrack for the 2011 animated film Gnomeo & Juliet, and did a remix album in 2012, which did well in the UK. American music fans, when they think of Elton John these days, think of him as the guy who tours with Billy Joel, playing their piano hits to indoor arenas. And they remember him for his 1970s rock hits, his 1980s pop hits, his campy costumes and glasses, his Lion King anthems in the 1990s, and his touching tribute to Princess Diana.
Where does one of the world’s best-selling music artists go, musically, when it seems he has done everything already? How about back to basics. The new album, due out this year, is called “The Diving Board,” and it is essentially John playing the piano and singing, with a subdued bass and drum back-up. The album was written in just two days, by John and his longtime writing partner, Bernie Taupin, and produced by T-Bone Burnett.
Originally scheduled to be released last year, “The Diving Board” has had its release date changed several times so John could write more songs. John considers “The Diving Board” to be his most piano-oriented, most adult album of his career.
I’ve been listening to the radio station BBC2, the most popular station in the UK, and they’ve been playing John’s first single from the album, the heartfelt “Home Again,” regularly.
Hear Elton John singing “Home Again” here:
The follow-up single is “Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight).” The 66-year-old entertainer has already sold more than 250 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists on the planet. My guess is “The Diving Board” should sell at least a million copies worldwide, because Elton John is still a passionate piano man singing from the heart.