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Elton John and Leon Russell Together Again

08/24/2010
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Elton John and Leon Russell are teaming up for a new album called The Union which will hit stores on October 19th in the U.S. on Decca (October 25th in the U.K. on Mercury Records).

But fans can get the first taste of the project with today's release of the first single "If It Wasn't For Bad," on iTunes and all digital retailers.

The album marks the first time these iconic artists have worked together since 1970.

"If It Wasn't For Bad," written by Leon Russell, features vocals by Elton John and piano and vocals by Russell along with an extraordinary band bringing a bold rock/country sound organically crafted by these true musical legends.

Produced by Oscar and multiple-Grammy winning producer T Bone Burnett, The Union was recorded live in the studio with Elton and Leon on dueling pianos. The album features a variety of musical genres from R&B, soul, gospel, country, pop and rock. The 14-track disc includes selections written by Elton and his lifelong lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as the combined incomparable songwriting team encompassing Leon, Elton, Bernie and T Bone.

Leon first met Elton in 1970 when he attended Elton's first ever U.S. show at the famous Troubadour in Los Angeles. The meeting heralded the beginning of a long friendship and a mutual appreciation between the two artists. "In the late '60s and early '70s, the one piano player and vocalist who influenced me more than anybody else was Leon Russell," Elton said. "He was my idol." The pair went on to tour together shortly thereafter at New York's Fillmore East and to this day have held such high admiration for each other's work.

After years of being out of touch, Elton listened to Leon's music while on safari in Africa last summer and was inspired to reconnect with his idol. "Elton called to ask if I would do a duet album with him," Russell said. "I'm very happy that he chose me to do this."


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