It’s OK if you initially found the news of some of country music’s biggest stars and icons taking on the catalog of Sir Elton John for a new album a bit surprising.
At first mention, it’s not exactly the most obvious pairing for a tribute — but in so many ways, it is. And one listen to Revamp and Restoration: Reimagining The Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, proves it to be the best surprise imaginable.
After all, when a song is prolific, timeless and transcendent like the whole of John’s catalog, it doesn’t matter who’s doing the singing. It’s guaranteed to cross the genre boundaries every time.
“That’s another thing that’s great about Elton’s songs,” he said. “I think any artist, any great song can be performed a lot of different ways and it still works.” The brother’s interpretation of the less obvious tune “Pilot” was a true standout on the compilation.
Rhonda Vincent, who appears on the project with Dolly Parton for a duet of “Please,” told Hot 20 that the two were given creative license by John’s writing partner, the incomparable Bernie Taupin, to take the tune and really run with it. “Well, I love that Bernie said, we want you to take the song and make it your own instead of just trying to emulate what they already had,” she said.
Well, we love them all, but how does John feel about all these new interpretations of his iconic material?
Turns out, happy. Very happy.
The legend said, “You know, when you get a cover version of your song, no matter how good or bad it is or indifferent, it always makes me happy because it’s a compliment that someone likes your song and records it. It’s a compliment to you.”
The revamp is full of outstanding renditions of classic John and Taupin compositions, including perfect re-imaginings of “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” from Maren Morris and “Roy Rogers” from Kacey Musgraves, as well as an incredible version of “I Want Love” from Chris Stapleton. Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Don Henley, Little Big Town, Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson and so many more contributed performances, as well.
The lineup alone is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face.