Source: BBC

The global pandemic has left everyone down in the dumps. Consequent lockdowns have left the world in a seemingly endless loop of dreariness and negativity. In light of these trying times, music legend Sir Elton John has released a brand-new album to ease the quarantine woes and make life a little better as the dust of the pandemic slowly settles. Aptly titled The Lockdown Sessions, the album was crafted during the lockdown period and features a host of several big-name celebrities of our time.

The album comprises sixteen tracks, which include ten previously unreleased songs. This is Sir Elton John’s 32nd studio album as of late, and he is bringing along top-notch talent with him as featured acts. The list of features includes pop icons Rina Sawayama, Dua Lipa, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, and Charlie Puth. Joining along the ride of The Lockdown Sessions are legendary artists Eddie Vedder, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Nicks, Gorillaz, Years & Years, Young Thug, and many more. 

Sir Elton John would never have thought that he would be creating an album during the lockdown period. In fact, it was the furthest thing from his plans. However, due to the global pandemic, he had been forced to adjourn his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour, and the ensuing uncertainty of events was more than enough to deal with.

“The last thing I expected to do during lockdown was make an album. But as the pandemic went on, one-off projects kept cropping up,” expressed Elton. “Some of the recording sessions had to be done remotely, via Zoom, which I had obviously never done before. Some of the sessions were recorded under very stringent safety regulations: working with another artist but separated by glass screens.”

Over the course of 18 months, The Lockdown Sessions came together despite the unique challenges presented by the lockdown measures. “I was forced into a vastly unfamiliar musical territory for this body of work, immersing myself in EDM (Electronic Dance Music), country music, and hip-hop at times, all within the same song,” said Elton. “All the tracks I worked on were really interesting and diverse stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory, and I realized there was something weirdly familiar about working like this,” he added.

Exploring uncharted territories within the music industry, Sir Elton John rekindled a part of himself that seemed to have been lost in time. “At the start of my career in the late ’60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I had come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast,” shared the musical icon.

The Lockdown Sessions opens with a track featuring Dua Lipa entitled “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix).” The song debuted at number 81 on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Sir Elton’s first entry on the Billboard charts in over two decades and his 68th overall. Announced on the first of September, The Lockdown Sessions is slated to release on October 22 by EMI Universal.

Currently, Sir Elton John is gearing up to reset his swansong tour on September 28 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He also added 31 dates and venues to the tour all across the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe, stretching the tour’s final date to May 2023.

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