Elton's "Streets of Philadelphia" to be released on DVD/Blu-ray
Tuesday, February 25 2014
The 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year concert film honoring Bruce Springsteen will be released March 25, 2014 on DVD, Blu-ray and via digital download.
The sold-out event, which was hosted by Jon Stewart, recognized Springsteen’s extraordinary creative accomplishments as well as his significant charitable work and featured performances by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in addition to more than a dozen performances of Springsteen’s work by other artists. Columbia Records is proud, through this project, to provide essential support to MusiCares, which ensures that music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical and personal need.
‘A MusiCares Tribute To Bruce Springsteen’ Tracklist
1. “Adam Raised a Cain” Performed by Alabama Shakes 2. “Because the Night” Performed by Patti Smith 3. “Atlantic City” Performed by Natalie Maines, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite 4. “American Land” Performed by Ken Casey 5. “My City of Ruins” Performed by Mavis Staples and Zac Brown 6. “I’m On Fire” Performed by Mumford and Sons 7. “American Skin (41 Shots)” Performed by Jackson Browne and Tom Morello 8. “My Hometown” Performed by Emmylou Harris 9. “One Step Up” Performed by Kenny Chesney 10. “Streets of Philadelphia” Performed by Elton John 11. “Hungry Heart” Performed by Juanes 12. “Tougher Than the Rest” Performed by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill 13. “The Ghost of Tom Joad” Performed by Jim James and Tom Morello 14. “Dancing in the Dark” Performed by John Legend 15. “Lonesome Day” Performed by Sting 16. “Born in the USA” Performed by Neil Young with Crazy Horse 17. “We Take Care of Our Own” Performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 18. “Death to My Hometown” Performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 19. “Thunder Road” Performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 20. “Born to Run” Performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 21. “Glory Days” Performed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band & cast ensemble
Elton duet with Engelbert Humperdinck
Sunday, February 23 2014
Some of the world s entertainment legends have joined forces with Engelbert Humperdinck to create tracks for his forthcoming duets album.
Coming over 45 years after his first massive number one single, the incomparable trademark "Please Release Me", this album is a celebration of an incredible career. The album will be released on March 17, 2014 through Conehead via Nova Distribution/Universal. Featuring brand new recordings that see Engelbert teaming up with some of music s greatest stars, this is a collection that really shines. The album is being produced by Grammy Award-winner Martin Terefe [Jason Mraz, James Morrison, KT Tunstall, Mary J Blige].
Engelbert said: "This album is a true labour of love. We have a few more recordings to go, but what a cast! I m keeping most of it under my hat but I was so excited about working with Elton, Smokey, Willie Nelson, Dionne Warwick, Kenny Rogers and of course Sir Cliff whom I have admired ever since first hearing them, I m honoured that they have contributed to this album, people are going to love the songs."
Elton commented: "One of the sweetest and nicest people I have ever worked with. We had great time singing together and he is so quick, what I call a one-take singer, 76 years old and still sounding as good as ever."
Disc: 1 1. Something About The Way You Look Tonight (with Elton John) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Elton John 2. Since I Lost My Baby (with Cliff Richard) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Cliff Richard 3. Never Never Never (with Olivia Newton-John) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Olivia Newton-John 4. Spanish Eyes (with Il Divo) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Il Divo 5. Make You Feel My Love (with Willie Nelson) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Willie Nelson 6. I Need You Now (with Lulu) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Lulu 7. Spinning Wheel (with Gene Simmons) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Gene Simmons 8. Real Love (with Shelby Lynne) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Shelby Lynne 9. You ve Really Got A Hold On Me (with Smokey Robinson) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Smokey Robinson 10. Release Me (with Wynonna Judd) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Wynonna Judd 11. She Believes In Me (with Kenny Rogers) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Kenny Rogers 12. Better (with Louise Dorsey) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Louise Dorsey
Disc: 2 1. Ain t That Peculiar (with Andrea Corr) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Andrea Corr 2. A Certain Smile (with Johnny Mathis) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Johnny Mathis 3. Kiss Me Honey (with Tini) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Tini 4. The Hungry Years (with Neil Sedaka) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Neil Sedaka 5. It Matters To Me (with Dionne Warwick) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Dionne Warwick 6. She (with Charles Aznavour) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Charles Aznavour 7. After The Lovin' (with Beverley Knight) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Beverley Knight 8. It s Impossible / Somos Novios (with Armando Manzanero) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Armando Manzanero 9. Quien Te Dijo Eso (with Luis Fonsi.) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Luis Fonsi 10. Something To Hold On To (with Ron Sexsmith) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Ron Sexsmith 11. Father And Son (with Bradley Dorsey) - Engelbert Humperdinck & Bradley Dorsey
Bright Light Bright Light feat Elton John
Saturday, February 22 2014
As Bright Light Bright Light found out, when Elton John calls to tell you he's a fan, that's when you pop him on your new single.
The first single and title track from sophisticated electropop connoisseur Bright Light Bright Light, aka Rod Thomas', new EP "I Wish We Were Leaving" wasn't supposed to be a duet. In a story we all can relate to, Thomas was working on the song when he received a phone call from close personal friend Elton John who wanted him to know how much he enjoyed his debut album, 2012's "Make Me Believe In Hope."
"From then I kept hearing his voice on the track," Thomas explains. "In time I played him 'I Wish We Were Leaving' and he added his vocals. Although it wasn't written as a duet, I love that his voice taking lead in the second verse is a reminder that every relationship has two sides and two voices."
For Elton it meant working in a slightly different way to what he's been used to: "Working with Bright Light Bright Light was a challenge for me as I love Electronica but am quite ignorant on the recording process. I had to sing in a completely different way which I really enjoyed." As with the songs that made up his debut album, "I Wish We Were Leaving" is infused with a distinct mix of sadness and hope - the verses dealing with the longing that comes from wanting something more from a relationship, before the chorus of "one day you'll make somebody so happy" bursts with the realisation that what you have is special regardless.
The "I Wish We Were Leaving" EP is out on April 7, 2014 via Self Raising Records.
New 'Harmony' clip with rare Elton footage
Friday, February 14 2014
Newly unearthed tour footage gave rise to the first video for 'Harmony,' a fan favorite from 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,' to be reissued March 25, 2014.
To mark the upcoming reissue of Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," the legendary singer/songwriter is delivering a valentine to fans: a previously unreleased video for "Harmony," originally planned as the fourth single from the lauded 1973 album. The video will be available on Vevo.
The "Harmony" video was compiled by Tam Johnstone, the son of Davey Johnstone, the longtime guitarist for Elton and a player on the GYBR album. The 1973-74 tour footage used in the video was recently discovered in the attics of Elton's former tour managers Marvin Tabolsky and John Babcock. The clip also captures an encounter between Elton and Stevie Wonder.
The remastered "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" will be reissued March 25, 2014 on CD, vinyl, limited-edition yellow vinyl and in a box set with a recording of Live at Hammersmith 1973 on CD, a DVD of Bryan Forbes' 1973 film "Elton John and Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye to Norma Jean and Other Things" and a 100-page illustrated hardbound book of rare photos, memorabilia and interviews with Elton and Taupin.
The twin-CD deluxe edition and box will include newly recorded covers of Goodbye tunes. They are:
1. Ed Sheeran - Candle In The Wind 2. Miguel featuring Wale - Bennie And The Jets 3. Hunter Hayes - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 4. The Band Perry - Grey Seal 5. John Grant - Sweet Painted Lady 6. Emeli Sandé - All The Girls Love Alice 7. Imelda May - Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock And Roll) 8. Fall Out Boy - Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting 9. Zac Brown Band - Harmony
Elton brings back Love In My Blood campaign
Friday, February 14 2014
Elton John has called on members of the public worldwide to get involved in his "Love In My Blood 2.0" campaign.
He is asking supporters to post a selfie on social media using the hashtag #loveisinmyblood and make the global sign language symbol for "I love you," as demonstrated by David Furnish in the image.
The campaign, which was first launched by the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) last year, is a way of showing love and solidarity for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities around the world, who are at greater risk of contracting HIV because discriminatory laws cut off their access to information and treatment.
The movement will be back for Valentine's Day 2014.
On Valentines Day 30 years ago, Elton married his former wife, close friend and sound engineer Renate Blauel.
Elton and Renate met back in 1982 while working on the album "Too Low for Zero." Elton, who had already come out as bisexual several years before through an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, was speculated to have gone on with the marriage as a “cover” for his homosexuality. It must be remembered that at this point in time, Elton’s sexuality was still somehow kept under wraps, and that people who were suspicious reportedly ridiculed him for it. Anyway, he and Renate were together for 18 months before finally deciding to tie the knot on this day in 1984 at Darling Point in Sydney, Australia.
However, the marriage was only short-lived. In November 1988, the couple announced their divorce, with Renate stating that the separation was in good terms and that they “genuinely intend to remain best of friends.” It was said that during the course of their marriage, the couple spent less time together and more time apart because of their respective work – allegedly, they didn’t even sleep in the same room. Shortly after this, Elton was quoted to have told Rolling Stone, again, that he was “comfortable” being gay.
In 1993, Elton got together with now civil partner, David Furnish. In 2005, the couple formed a civil partnership, making them among the first to do so in the United Kingdom. They have two sons, both born by the same surrogate mother, named Zachary Jackson Levon and Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John. Today, Elton is among the most vocal supporters of same-sex marriage in the UK.
10 years ago: Elton begins Las Vegas residency
Thursday, February 13 2014
If there was ever a rock artist born to play Las Vegas, it’s Elton John.
On February 13, 2004, he began a long-term residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace, with five-nights-a-week performances for adoring fans, vacationing tourists, and high rollers who dropped a couple hundred thou at the poker tables for the privilege of seeing the Rocket Man up close and personal.
The modern Vegas show has evolved into a true theatrical event; look no further than the Cirque du Soleil Beatles celebration ‘Love’ or the intimate and improvisational Garth Brooks run for examples. Elton’s Vegas productions helped set the template for multiplatinum artist residencies on the Vegas Strip, with a level of production values far beyond just Elton and his seasoned touring band playing through his hits.
For his first Vegas show, ‘The Red Piano,’ Elton teamed with director David LaChapelle to develop a full production that incorporated videos playing on a massive screen–120 feet wide, 40 feet high–behind the band. For ‘The Bitch Is Back,’ Pamela Anderson performed a pole dance; a clip for ‘Rocket Man’ starred Justin Timberlake as a young Elton John, relating the song’s otherworldly lyrics to Elton’s own stratospheric launch into superstardom in the ’70s. ‘The Red Piano’ show also toured Europe and was made into a concert film for home video; in Vegas alone, it’s believed to have grossed more than $160 million dollars.
“I wanted to do a production that really reflected my tastes in art and photography,” Elton says. “It was a chance to be reflective about my career, not in a sentimental way but a fun way…It’s one of the biggest stages in the world, so if you don’t fill it up, you’re in trouble.”
In September 2011, Elton began his second Vegas show, ‘The Million Dollar Piano,’ this time building more variety into the set list by featuring some deep album cuts and a duet interlude featuring his voice and piano along with percussioninst Ray Cooper. The show’s production centerpiece is just as the title suggests, a Yamaha grand piano tricked out with 68 LED screens that play images as Elton plays the hits. In addition to Cooper, Elton has enlisted a Croatian cellist duo known as 2Cellos to accompany the band. They’ve also been known to open some of John’s live concerts with their cellos-only cover of AC/DC‘s ‘Highway to Hell.’
Today, artists as varied as Rod Stewart, Meat Loaf, Celine Dion, and Shania Twain have mounted their own long-term Vegas residencies, often departing for months at a time before returning for extended engagements. Elton remains one of the long-term denizens of the strip; with two productions under his belt and dates throughout 2014, the Rocket Man seems totally comfortable in Sin City.
Ben Babylon Band to play at Sunset Sessions Music Conference
Tuesday, February 11 2014
Rising teen singer/songwriter Ben Babylon and his band, the Ben Babylon Band, have been added to the lineup at Michele Clark’s Sunset Sessions, which will take place February 20-22, 2014 at the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort in Carlsbad, California. Babylon will perform on February 21, 2014.
Sunset Sessions is one of the music industry’s most prestigious events, bringing together industry representatives and leading up-and-coming talent. Babylon, 16, was invited to appear, after winning a competition sponsored by SonicBids, a digital platform that helps venues find musical talent.
Babylon has been steadily gaining a following throughout the Los Angeles area, and is presently working on an album with help from his band and members of the Elton John Band. He also recently released an EP, “Further Interpretations of Real Life,” which is available at concerts and through his website.
“It’s an honor to be invited to perform at Sunset Sessions,” Babylon said. “The standards are really high, so the pressure is on for us to do a great job. I can’t wait to see how the audience responds to my music.”
Sunset Sessions is viewed as a stepping stone for new artists, as it provides an opportunity to meet high-level industry professionals who can help move their careers forward. Sunset Sessions as been instrumental in launching artists such as Jason Mraz, fun., Black Keys, Zac Brown Band, Colbie Caillat and many more.
Guest speakers and panel moderators will include Erik Logan, president of Oprah Winfrey Network & HARPO Studios; Marc Geiger, head of music at the William Morris Endeavor agency and co-founder of Lollapalooza; Michelle Wolfe of KMMS in Bozeman, Montana; Alexandra Patsavas of Chop Shop; Alicen Schneider, vice president of Music Creative Services at NBC Universal; and more.
Sunset Sessions is a private event. For information about attending, details are available at www.sunsetsessions.org.
The Ben Babylon Band’s next public concert will take place on May 23, 2014 when the BBB opens for the Marshall Tucker Band at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California. Tickets and information are available at www.BabylonMusic.biz.
Pharrell wants Elton John duet
Thursday, February 6 2014
Pharrell Williams has revealed that a collaboration with Elton would make him "Happy."
The "Get Lucky" singer-songwriter, who has scored an Oscar nomination for his track "Happy," even named his son Rocket after Elton's hit "Rocket Man." "I really respect Elton John's music and I'd love to do something with him," he said.
"Contrary to popular belief, Rocket's middle name is not Man. But Elton John's Rocket Man song was a part of it and also Stevie Wonder's Rocket Love. But Elton would be really interesting."
Pharrell, who has worked with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers, Jay Z and Robin Thicke on hits such as Get Lucky, Blurred Lines and Drop It Like It's Hot, would also like to bring the warring Gallagher brothers - Noel and Liam - back together. "Who wouldn't want to work with the Gallaghers? Yeah, both of them. And I can't give this away but I'm a huge fan of Jamiroquai. Man, I'd love to," he added.
The 40-year-old also dreams of working with Stevie Wonder on a record, following their performance of Daft Punk's Get Lucky at the Grammys last month. "I would love to do a whole album with Stevie Wonder. That would be amazing. He doesn't need me, but it'd be amazing," he said.
Rocket Pictures will produce another animated film
Thursday, February 6 2014
Elton's Rocket Pictures has acquired the film rights to "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and will produce — in association with The Really Useful Group — an all-new animated family feature film based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical.
Rocket Pictures CEO Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish will produce the film with Really Useful. Lloyd Webber, Rice and Elton will executive produce.
Shaw said in a statement, “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat is one of the most popular musical experiences ever conceived. We are excited about the huge potential of a contemporary animated version, and we’re thrilled to bring this to the big screen in partnership with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.”
Really Useful Group managing director Barney Wragg added, “Developing Joseph as a new feature film marks the beginning of a new stage in the Really Useful Group’s plans to co-produce and fund new films, television and stage productions from our theatrical shows which play continuously worldwide.”
Lloyd Webber stated, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat started in a school and was the first step on the path that led to my musicals with Tim Rice. It is now being performed all over the world by a fourth generation of school kids, and a great movie can only help Joseph be part of the lives of many more.”
Rice said, "I have always thought Joseph was a strong contender for an animation production, and I'm delighted this is now going to happen.”
Originally created by Lloyd Webber and Rice for performance in schools, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has now been seen by an estimated 26 million people, earning over $600 million at the box office. It premiered on Broadway in 1982 at the Royale Theatre, earning multiple Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations including Best Musical and Best Original Score.
Rocket Pictures is currently producing "Rocketman," the spectacular musical reinvention of Elton John’s life, with Tom Hardy starring as Sir Elton John, co-financed by AI Film and Focus Features distributing.
Ed Sheeran to perform at EJAF's Academy Awards Viewing Party
Wednesday, February 5 2014
The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) announced that it has selected British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran to perform at this year's Academy Awards Viewing Party to be held on March 2, 2014, at West Hollywood Park.
This annual gala, sponsored by Chopard, Neuro Drinks and Wells Fargo, is the largest fund-raising event in Hollywood on Oscar night and has raised nearly $40 million to support the Foundation's mission to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
"I am absolutely delighted to welcome Ed Sheeran to EJAF's Academy Awards Viewing Party," said Elton. "I've been following his work closely ever since I heard his independent EP,'No. 5 Collaborations Project.' He's an amazing artist, and I know our guests will be thrilled by his performance."
Following a handful of independent EP releases, Sheeran's 2011 major label debut "+" went platinum six times with nearly two million in sales, debuted at #1 in the Official UK Charts upon release and reclaimed the #1 title at the turn of 2012. This, and the 2.8 million single sales (four in the Top 10), meant Ed had the highest opening sales for a debut male solo artist in the UK ever. In 2013, Sheeran joined Taylor Swift on her 70 date US tour and was featured in her single "Everything Has Changed." Sheeran's 2013 hit "I See Fire" was featured in the closing credits of Peter Jackson's hit movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. In the first week of January 2014, Sheeran announced his first UK headline tour since 2012, including four O2 Arena dates, and confirmed that he is adding the finishing touches to his next album.
"I'm thrilled to have been invited to perform at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's Oscar-night party," said Sheeran. "HIV/AIDS is a huge concern for all young people, and I'm delighted to do my part to raise funds for Elton's vision of a world without AIDS."
The Mighty Hannibal, the politically charged soul and funk singer who inspired garage rock groups such as Black Lips and King Khan and the Shrines, died on January 30, 2014 at the age of 74.
In his prime in the 1960s, Hannibal hardly received the mainstream recognition of his soul music peers, but a new generation of musicians were influenced by his stomping soul music and outlandish costumes. Most notably, Hannibal co-wrote Elton John and Leon Russell's "There's No Tomorrow," a track off the duo's 2010 album The Union built from the singer's 1966 blues march "Hymn No. 5."
When he heard about Mighty Hannibal's death, Elton said: "Dear Mighty Hannibal, it was a pleasure to know you. Thanks for all the great music."
Mighty Hannibal wrote and waxed the very graphic and blistering anti-war gospel ballad "Hymn No 5" before message lyrics were common in soul music. His most popular recording, banned from the airwaves due to its controversial lyrics, "Hymn No 5" is a bleak letter home from Vietnam. When Hannibal's protagonist yells, "I’m way over here crawling in these trench-holes covered with blood," he's answered by a chorus of "There is no tomorrow." Elton John and Leon Russell borrowed this refrain and melody for their 2010 song "There's No Tomorrow."
CLASH: Elton fuest edits the Fashion Special
Tuesday, February 4 2014
On February 6, 2014, Elton John is to take control of Clash magazine for one special issue, becoming deeply involved with the suggestions and selections of content.
Opening with an insightful and heartfelt Editor's Letter, the cover story traces the path of Elton's classic 1973 album, 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road'. Celebrating the record's 40th anniversary, Clash goes behind the scenes to chat with all of its surviving contributors: guitarist Davey Johnstone, drummer Nigel Olsson, percussionist Ray Cooper, writer Bernie Taupin, and of course Elton himself.
Keen to keep moving forwards, Elton also joins Clash for a fresh discussion on contemporary music and the industry itself.
A fashion special, Elton allowed the Clash team extremely rare access to his private storage facility, to shoot incredibly detailed photographs of his imaginative, iconic '70s stage costumes. Spread across six pages, this shoot is accompanied by an interview with Annie Reavey, one of Elton's original costume designers.
This is must-have material for any Elton fan – so if you can’t find Clash in stores, you can also buy it online.