The Union

( 39 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
On the inaugural episode of Elvis Costello's talk show Spectacle in 2008, Elton John -- who just happened to be a producer on the show -- rhapsodized at length about Leon Russell, hauling out a note-perfect impression of Russell's piano style and Oklahoma drawl. It was enough of a tease to whet the appetite for more but nothing suggested something like The Union, a full-fledged duet album with Russell designed to raise the profile of the rock & roll maverick. Like all lifers, Russell never disappeared -- he just faded, playing small clubs throughout the U.S., spitting out bewildering self-released albums of MIDI-synth boogie, never quite connecting with the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
On the inaugural episode of Elvis Costello's talk show Spectacle in 2008, Elton John -- who just happened to be a producer on the show -- rhapsodized at length about Leon Russell, hauling out a note-perfect impression of Russell's piano style and Oklahoma drawl. It was enough of a tease to whet the appetite for more but nothing suggested something like The Union, a full-fledged duet album with Russell designed to raise the profile of the rock & roll maverick. Like all lifers, Russell never disappeared -- he just faded, playing small clubs throughout the U.S., spitting out bewildering self-released albums of MIDI-synth boogie, never quite connecting with the spirit of his wonderful early-'70s albums for his Shelter label. The Union quite deliberately evokes the spirit of 1970, splicing Russell's terrific eponymous LP with Elton's own self-titled record and Tumbleweed Connection. In that sense, it's a kissing cousin to John's last album, 2006's The Captain and the Kid, which was designed as an explicit sequel to 1975's golden era-capping Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, but thanks to producer T-Bone Burnett, The Union dials down Bernie Taupin's inherent pomp and ratchets up the roots. Burnett had John and Russell record live in the studio, trading verses and solos, letting the supporting band breathe and follow their loping lead. This relaxed, natural interplay cuts through the soft haze of Burnett's analog impressionism, giving the record a foundation of true grit. If there are no immediate knockouts among this collection of 14 original songs, the tunes are slow, steady growers, taking root with repeated spins, with the sound of John and Russell's piano-and-voice duets providing ample reason to return to The Union after its first play. And even once the songs take hold, what lingers with The Union is that natural interplay, how John and Russell easily connect with their past without painstakingly re-creating it. Surely, it's a revival for Leon Russell, who has spent decades in the wilderness, but it's not a stretch to say The Union revitalizes Elton John just as much as it does his idol: he hasn't sounded this soulful in years.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/19/2010
  • Label: Decca U.S.
  • UPC: 602527504735
  • Catalog Number: 001484002
  • Sales rank: 14,082

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elton John Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals
Leon Russell Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals
Brian Wilson Background Vocals
Neil Young Vocals
Marc Ribot Guitar
Tata Vega Vocals, Background Vocals
Jim Keltner Percussion, Drums
T Bone Burnett Electric Guitar
Bill Cantos Vocals, Background Vocals
Dennis Crouch Acoustic Bass
Debra Dobkin gourd
Davey Faragher Bass
Marty Grebb Hammond B3
Booker T. Jones Hammond B3
Darrell Leonard Trumpet, Conductor, Bass Trumpet
Bill Maxwell Conductor
Perry Morgan Background Vocals
Ira Nepus Trombone
Russ Pahl Pedal Steel Guitar
Lou Pardini Vocals, Background Vocals
William Roper Tuba
Jason Scheff Vocals, Background Vocals
Maurice Spears Trombone
Rose Stone Tambourine, Vocals, Background Vocals
Joe Sublett Saxophone
Don Was Bass
Jay Bellerose Percussion, Drums
Doyle Bramhall II Guitar
Mike Piersante Tambourine, Hand Clapping
Jim Thompson Saxophone
Tiffany Smith Background Vocals
Robert Randolph Pedal Steel Guitar
George Bohanon Trombone, Baritone Horn
Jason Wormer Dulcimer, Hand Clapping
Tanya Balam Background Vocals
Kyle Ford Hand Clapping
Thomas Peterson Saxophone
Judith Hill Vocals, Background Vocals
Alfie Silas-Durio Vocals, Background Vocals
Keefus Ciancia Keyboards
Keefus Pardini Background Vocals
Jean Witherspoon Vocals, Background Vocals
Drew Lambert Electric Bass
Kellye Huff Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Elton John Composer, Executive Producer
Leon Russell Composer, Vocal Arrangements
Brian Wilson Vocal Arrangements
T Bone Burnett Composer, Producer
Mark Lambert Engineer
Darrell Leonard Horn Arrangements
Bill Maxwell Vocal Arrangements
Bernie Taupin Composer
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Mike Piersante Engineer
Johnny Barbis Executive Producer
Paul Ackling Guitar Techician
Jason Wormer Engineer
Kyle Ford Engineer
Ben McAmis Engineer
James Timothy Shaw Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 21, 2011

    Great CD

    Love, love , love this album. Have about worn it out listening
    in my car.

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  • Posted November 11, 2010

    Highly Recommended!

    It's a great union--and reunion!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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