Elton John has united almost all of the 23 collaborators that appear on his recently minted 32nd album, ‘The Lockdown Sessions’, for what may very well be the most star-studded Zoom call of all time.
Among those that appear in the chat are modern-day trailblazers like Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Dua Lipa, Charlie Puth, Young Thug and Rina Sawayama, as well as fellow music legends like Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Brandi Carlile and Damon Albarn. Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder also makes an appearance, showing off an artwork of John “dominating the world” drawn by John Entwistle of The Who.
“If there’s anything that’s going to make a difference in the world, connected with love, it’s music,” Wonder said in the call. “We do it from our hearts, we do it from our experiences, and we share those emotions with you, the people.”
Take a look at the ‘Ultimate Zoom’ video – which also closes out with a cheeky cameo from Ed Sheeran – below:
‘The Lockdown Sessions’ was released back in October, and followed up earlier this month with a making-of documentary. In a four-star review of the album, NME’s Gary Ryan called ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ an “all-bets-off stylistic game of spin-the-bottle” that “feels attuned to 2021’s post-genre Spotify world, as Elton continues to further his musical universe”.
Speaking to NME, John said he enjoyed the sense of having come full circle as an artist with ‘The Lockdown Sessions’. “I thought, ‘I’m becoming a session musician again like I was 54 years ago,’” he said, “‘and it feels good.’ I had no restrictions, and I actually loved playing on other people’s records. It was different sorts of music, and music and artists that I loved, so I was in my element. It was like Back To The Future.”
He added: “You have to go in there with no ego when you’re playing on someone else’s record and just give them exactly what they want. But also enjoy the process too.”
At the start of December, John and Sheeran linked up for a Christmas-themed single bluntly titled ‘Merry Christmas’, which NME said in a review was “warm enough to toast a marshmallow on and sweeter than a Pumpkin Spice Latte”.
The pair also featured on another Christmas song, ‘Sausage Rolls For Everyone’, released by novelty duo LadBaby (comprised of YouTuber Mark Hoyle and his wife Roxanne). John told NME that he and Sheeran had also written a further two Christmas songs, one of which is supposedly titled ‘Pull My Christmas Cracker’.