The Diving Board [CD/LP/DVD/Art Book] [Super Deluxe Edition]

The Diving Board [CD/LP/DVD/Art Book] [Super Deluxe Edition]

by Elton John


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So the story goes like this. Inspired by their work on the Leon Russell duet album The Union, producer T-Bone Burnett encouraged Elton John to return to making albums like he used to in the old days for 2013's The Diving Board, harking back to the days when he wrote quickly and recorded with little more than a rhythm section. This all sounds like a major shift in aesthetic for John, but Elton has been on a decade-long quest to tap into that old magic, beginning his voyage into the past with 2001's Songs from the West Coast and getting progressively elliptical with each subsequent release. The Diving Board does indeed evoke ghosts of Elton past but it never suggests the hits. It's an album consisting almost entirely of songs that riff on "Sixty Years On" and "Rotten Peaches" -- long, languid ballads or open-ended blues-rockers where atmosphere trumps hooks. Occasionally, Elton musters up elongated melodies that eventually catch hold, but The Diving Board isn't a collection of finely sculpted pop; it's a set of song poems and ballads, all placing emphasis on mood, not immediacy. This is an exceptional idea in theory; in practice it is ever so slightly gormless, floating whenever it should be taking root. There are moments where the tempo gets ever so slightly sprightly -- "Take This Dirty Water" has a dirty gospel shuffle reminiscent of a toned-down "Take Me to the Pilot," "The Ballad of Blind Tom" is faithful to the spirit of Tumbleweed Connection, "Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)" not only rocks but has a welcome gust of tastelessness -- but that only emphasizes just how ponderous the rest of the record is. There is much that is admirable about The Diving Board -- the feel is spacious and haunting, the ambition is commendable -- but the emphasis on tone over song means it leaves only wistful wisps of melancholia behind with the actual songs seeming like faded, distant memories. [A Super Deluxe Edition added an LP, a DVD, and an "Art Book" to the CD release.]

Product Details

Release Date: 09/24/2013
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0602537439171
catalogNumber: 001887400


Disc 1

  1. Oceans Away
  2. Oscar Wilde Gets Out
  3. A Town Called Jubilee
  4. The Ballad of Blind Tom
  5. Dream, Pt. 1
  6. My Quicksand
  7. Can't Stay Alone Tonight
  8. Voyeur
  9. Home Again
  10. Take This Dirty Water
  11. Dream, Pt. 2
  12. The New Fever Waltz
  13. Mexican Vacation (Kids In the Candlelight)
  14. Dream, Pt. 3
  15. The Diving Board
  16. Candlelit Bedroom
  17. Home Again
  18. The New Fever Waltz
  19. Mexican Vacation (Kids In the Candlelight)

Disc 2

  1. Introduction
  2. The New Fever Waltz
  3. Mexican Vacation (Kids In the Candlelight)
  4. Home Again
  5. Behind the Diving Board

Disc 3

  1. Oceans Away
  2. Oscar Wilde Gets Out
  3. A Town Called Jubilee
  4. The Ballad of Blind Tom
  5. Dream, Pt. 1
  6. My Quicksand
  7. Can't Stay Alone Tonight

Disc 4

  1. Voyeur
  2. Home Again
  3. Take This Dirty Water
  4. Dream, Pt. 2
  5. The New Fever Waltz
  6. Mexican Vacation (Kids In the Candlelight)
  7. Dream, Pt. 3
  8. The Diving Board

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elton John   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals
Bruce Fowler   Trombone
Larry Goldings   Hammond B3
Louis Price   Background Vocals
Jack Ashford   Tambourine
Bill Cantos   Background Vocals
Alvin Chea   Background Vocals
Chuck Findley   Flugelhorn
Darrell Leonard   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Bass Trumpet
Perry Morgan   Background Vocals
Ira Nepus   Trombone
William Roper   Tuba
Rose Stone   Background Vocals
Jay Bellerose   Drums
Raphael Saadiq   Bass
Doyle Bramhall   Guitar
George Bohanon   Trombone,Euphonium,Baritone Horn
Carmel Echols   Background Vocals
Judith Hill   Background Vocals
Keefus Ciancia   Keyboards
Jean Witherspoon   Background Vocals
Stjepan Hauser   Cello
Luka Sulic   Cello

Technical Credits

Elton John   Composer
T Bone Burnett   Producer,Introduction
Darrell Leonard   Horn Arrangements
Bill Maxwell   Vocal Arrangements
Bernie Taupin   Composer
Jason Wormer   Engineer
Melissa Larsen   Producer
Mat Maitland   Art Direction
Zachary Dawes   Equipment Technician
James Marcus Haney   Director
Jennifer Heath   Producer

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