This February, Elton John will release his 33rd studio album: Wonderful Crazy Night. The album will be available in a standard ten track edition, a deluxe 12 track and a Super Deluxe edition with a 20-page book.
Wonderful Crazy Night was recorded in a mere seventeen days; with long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin providing the lyrics and producer extraordinaire, T Bone Burnett overseeing the album. Even Elton John’s touring band marked their first appearance on a studio album in over a decade.
Wonderful Crazy Night is another quality release from Elton John and Bernie Taupin but it suffers the same fate as the last 5 studio albums. Trying to recapture that magic of the 1970’s heyday. Their conscious and unapologetic pursuit comes at a price however, a lack of an instantly recognizable “hit” that fans come to expect. Not to take anything away from the duo because they have been releasing enjoyable, quality products for the last 15 years, but what I wouldn’t give to have another catchy hit single.
Once again, Wonderful Crazy Night tries very hard to evoke the sound and feel of Elton John’s 70’s recordings but what distinguishes this album from the previous ones is the more joyful and upbeat songs. Hopefully this, joie de vivre, marks the end of John & Taupin trying to recapture that sound from their past and instead have them embrace their history and move forward, all the while having fun.
I guess we should take solace in the fact that 47 years since their début, this duo, still has an unbridled enthusiasm to create new material.