40 years after they embarked on a tour together, legendary musicians Elton John and Leon Russell have again united, this time for the release of a collaborative studio album. Direct Current reports the pair recently wrapped up recording the aptly titled Union, which was produced by the equally legendary producer T Bone Burnett and written by John and longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin.
Back in February, Taupin reported on his blog that John, Russell, and Burnett had cut 15 songs, ranging from “Stones like rockers, Country tinged ballads, Gospel and even a Sinatra like weepy similar to something torn from the grooves of In the Wee Small Hours… Its varied in scope and drenched in a rich tapestry of atmospherics. Dont expect to hear the old EJ/BT sound; this is organic recording unlike anything youve heard from our duo before.”
Also appearing on the effort will be a slew of high-profile guests, including Neil Young and Brian Wilson — who both reportedly provided background vocals — and organist Booker T Jones.
Decca Records has set an October 19th release date for the album.
As alluded to in the opening, John and Russell have a long history together. In 1970, John opened for Russell at a series of US tour dates. The men have also long expressed admiration for one another with John going as far to call Russell his “musical hero.” Incredibly enough, the duo’s studio collaboration came just three weeks after Russell had brain surgery in January.