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