While Elton John is getting ready to retire from touring, it’s safe to say that the singer isn’t slowing down. The albums, released on April 6, cover many hits from Elton John and songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin. Those albums are Revamp: Reimaging the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin and Restoration: Reimaging the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.
Additionally, to celebrate his three-year 300 date concert series, CBS aired the Elton John: I’m Still Standing — A Grammy Salute on April 10, which showcased many artists performing his hit songs.
Needless to say, the albums have an eclectic cast of artists from all genres. Some of these artists include: Lady GaGa (naturally), Miley Cyrus, Vince Gill, Demi Lovato, Ed Sheeran, Alessia Cara, and Kacey Musgraves.
The reason why there are two albums is to have both a pop album and a country one, according an article on E! News entitled Elton John Announces Two Cover Albums Featuring Miley Cyrus, Lady GaGa and Ed Sheeran. Restoration, according to the article, was Taupin’s project, while Revamp was John’s.
Furthermore, the article says that John said in a statement that it’s “incredible” that there are so “many great artists doing” their songs.
Now, let me pose the question — is this worth the listen?
My answer is yes, yes it is.
When doing a cover song, it’s often a make it or break it kind of thing. This is especially true when you think of songs done by an artist like Elton John, a true icon in the music industry.
However, this is not the case with these two albums. Many of the artists take the originals and blow them out of the water. One song in particular is Lady GaGa’s rendition of Your Song. Her version is amazing, because it captures the emotions of the song with her strong vocals. And, does it come as any surprise that she’s featured on it? GaGa and John maintain a close relationship, even doing a duet together back at the 2010 Grammy’s.
Furthermore, another awesome cover is Miley Cyrus’ cover of Don’t Let The Song Go Down On Me. Personally, I think Cyrus does a great job doing ballads, which is why songs such as Wrecking Ball and The Climb remain to be classic hits. While Cyrus has a cover on both albums, I truly think that this stands out the most. Her vocals really shine on the track, and she just does an overall great job on it.
However, it’s worth pointing out that some artists have changed the complete integrity of the song. In some cases, it works. For instance, Q Tip and Demi Lovato covered Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. Now, the song is a classic. With that being said, let me be honest — the original is a bit cliché. That’s not the case with the new version. They manage to take the cliché part out of, but leave the meaning in tact. I like that, because while you can’t recreate the song, you still can say that they did a great job.
And, while it works for some songs, other songs didn’t do it justice. One example is Ed Sheeran’s version of Candle in the Wind. Now, you all know Candle in the Wind as being a somber song that pays tribute to a life lost too soon. However, Sheeran’s version has an upbeat tone to it. In my opinion, this doesn’t work. After all, the song is a tribute. Therefore, it’s hard to have an upbeat tone to it. At least, in my opinion anyways.
At the end of the day, all of these artists were able to breathe new life into classic hits. This, in my opinion, definitely makes these albums worth the listen. It introduces new audiences — fans of those artists — to the hits of Elton John.
Here’s the complete track listing for both albums.
Here is the track Listing for Revamp:
1. “Bennie and the Jets” – Elton John, Pink and Logic
2. “We All Fall in Love Sometimes” – Coldplay
3. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” – Alessia Cara
4. “Candle in the Wind” – Ed Sheeran
5. “Tiny Dancer” – Florence and the Machine
6. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” – Mumford and Sons
7. “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” – Mary J. Blige
8. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – Q Tip and Demi Lovato
9. “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” – The Killers
10. “Daniel” – Sam Smith
11. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” – Miley Cyrus
12. “Your Song” – Lady Gaga
13. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Queens of the Stone Age
Also, here is the track listing for Restoration:
1. “Rocket Man” – Little Big Town
2. “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” – Maren Morris
3. “Sacrifice” – Don Henley and Vince Gill
4. “Take Me to the Pilot” – Brothers Osborne
5. “My Father’s Gun” – Miranda Lambert
6. “I Want Love” – Chris Stapleton
7. “Honky Cat” – Lee Ann Womack
8. “Roy Rogers” – Kacey Musgraves
9. “Please” – Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton
10. “The Bitch Is Back” – Miley Cyrus
11. “Sad Songs (Say So Much) ” – Dierks Bentley
12. “This Train Don’t Stop” – Rosanne Cash and Emmylou Harris
13. “Border Song” – Willie Nelson