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Re­vamp & Restora­tion: Reimag­in­ing The Songs Of El­ton John & Bernie Taupin

IS­LAND/UNI­VER­SAL

NASHVILLE

‘Please’ - Rhonda Vin­cent & Dolly Par­ton 3/10 & 6/10 YOU WON’T FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT

I love El­ton. We could use more pop stars in Don­ald Duck out­fits with win­dow wipers on their spec­ta­cles, and there’s no ar­gu­ing with the records he put out from

El­ton John (1970) up un­til about

Rock Of The Westies (1975) ei­ther. So it’s hard to be­grudge this two al­bum trib­ute, ahead of his first “fi­nal” tour. Hard, that is, un­til you press play.

Disc 1, Re­vamp, fea­tures “some of con­tem­po­rary mu­sic’s most vi­tal tal­ents”. If The Hague dealt with crimes against mu­sic, this lot would be on the next plane to Hol­land. ‘Ben­nie And The Jets’ starts with a fleet­ing El­ton sam­ple be­fore

P!nk (ex­cla­ma­tion mark in­ten­tional) stomps all the feel­ing out of it, “helped” by “rap­per” Logic. This car crash is merely the first song.

Cold­play’s stab at ‘We All Fall In Love Some­times’ starts off pleas­antly enough, but then Chris Mar­tin comes in, car­ry­ing all his celeb-bag­gage, and you al­most put your foot through the speak­ers. Ev­ery­one and his Ma will tell you what a nice fella Ed Sheeran is, but when he ut­ters the word “nude” dur­ing ‘Can­dle In The Wind’ – a pretty hor­ri­ble song to be fair – you want to do a Van Gogh on your own ears.

Flo­rence Foghorn Leghorn and the Ma­chine should face in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions for ‘Tiny Dancer’, and they’re fol­lowed by Mum­ford & Fuck­ing Sons. The Killers do their usual flat, poor man’s U2 act – a heinous in­sult to both U2 and poor men – but they are as noth­ing com­pared to the over-emot­ing of Mary J. Bilge and Sam Smith. Miley Cyrus, who sings her bol­locks off on ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’, and Queens Of The Stone Age, who drop some ‘ludes for ‘Good­bye Yel­low Brick Road’, alone emerge with some small shred of dig­nity.

The coun­try mu­sic of Disc 2 is a bet­ter fit, but then clas­sics like

‘Tum­ble­weed Con­nec­tion’ were pretty coun­try in the first place. Wil­lie Nel­son, Rosanne Cash with

Em­my­lou Har­ris, Rhonda Vin­cent with Dolly Par­ton, and Chris Sta­ple­ton all ac­quit them­selves well, al­though Sta­ple­ton de­serves a bet­ter song than ‘I Want Love’. Chancers like Don Hen­ley and Lit­tle Big Town, who ap­pear to be chan­nelling

The Fly­ing Pick­ets, should have stayed at home.

El­ton’s no ee­jit. I sus­pect this is a well-crafted plot by the old bas­tard to get pun­ters run­ning in ter­ror back to the vastly su­pe­rior orig­i­nals. A good plan.

OUT NOW / PAT CARTY

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