Fans of Elton John who’ve been hoping for him to return to his early-’70s stripped-down format are about to get their wish. Earlier today (June 24), the legendary singer/pianist announced an official release date and track listing for his first solo album in seven years, The Diving Board. Out September 24, Elton says it’s “the album I’ve been waiting to make for decades.”
Elton’s last effort–2010’s duo album with Leon Russell, The Union–was produced by T Bone Burnett, who in recent years has produced for artists such as Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, B.B. King, and Gregg Allman. Elton has re-teamed with Burnett for The Diving Board.
The album was initially set for release last year, but the release was delayed (more than once) for promotional reasons. Elton took that extra time to write additional material and and give the collection, as he said at the time, a “tighter identity.”
The Diving Board features 12 new songs written by Elton and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as three piano interludes composed by Elton. The album’s presale starts today on iTunes and on Elton’s official website. Those who pre-order will receive an instant download of the album’s premiere single, “Home Again.”
While Elton John’s albums over the years have featured lavish production, The Diving Board sees a return to the piano, bass and drums lineup that marked his introduction to worldwide audiences more than 40 years ago. (If you’re unfamiliar with Elton in such a stripped-down setting, check out his live album 11-17-70.)
— Brian Ives, Radio.com