Elton and writer Bernie Taupin’s love for great American music was always evident (their 1970 ‘Tumbleweed Connection’ is indebted to The Band) – the addition here of eccentric piano legend Leon Russell is a fine complement to each other’s talents.
‘The Union’ is a mutual display of affection from both sides – Elton and Bernie’s nostalgic tales are infused with gospel, rollicking country and rock ‘n’ roll, while Leon’s croaky voice adds southern authenticity. Piano licks are traded with joyous abandon, and the spirit of intimacy shines through. Little wonder Neil Young and Brian Wilson wanted to get involved. You should too.
Words by Simon Harper