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New Elton John Album: A Return to Roots With T Bone Burnett, Raphael Saadiq

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Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images

Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images

Though his next solo album is titled “The Diving Board,” Elton John‘s latest is more of a return to a piano, bass and drums format rather than a jump into new territory. And apparently he can thank superstar producer T Bone Burnett for that.

“It was T Bone’s idea to get back with piano, bass and drums,” John told Rolling Stone, adding, “As I said with The Union, I had to go back to go forward, and it’s the same with this record.”

The result, according to John, is “the most exciting solo record [he’s] done in a long, long time” – and interestingly enough, the “quickest record [he’s] ever made.” The album was written and recorded in L.A. at a record speed, with John writing 12 songs in two days and cutting them in four. All this despite John feeling less-than-thrilled about getting back in the studio to follow-up 2010’s The Union with Leon Russell, he says.

“I was due to go back into the studio, but I didn’t know whether I wanted to go back in so quickly,” he said, adding that he “was on holiday and I didn’t even look at” the stack of lyrics from longtime lyrical partner Bernie Taupin. “But I said, ‘I’ll go into the studio and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t matter.'”

In addition to producer Burnett, John stacked his small band with Raphael Saadiq on bass, Jay Bellerose (a veteran who also played on The Union) and on two tracks, Clapton guitarist Doyle Bramhall II.

The 10-song “Diving Board” is set to make a splash this fall.

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