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4.6 out of 5 stars76
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 November 2010
I've been a big fan of Leon Russell for a long time and was thrilled that Elton John tracked him down and created this work of art with him. Absolutely fantastic. Every track is stunning. My two favourite albums are Captain Fantastic and Leon Russell and the Shelter People. To combine the two talents is a dream come true. Thank you.
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on 25 October 2010
Elton John returns with an album `The Union', accompanied by Leon Russell, who influenced a lot of his early works in the 1970's. The album is produced by T Bone Burnett who did such a great job on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's album `Raising Sand' and goes back to revisit Elton's roots and the themes of `Tumbleweed Connection' with Bernie Taupin's lyrics having the familiar `Americana' feel. It's quite a move away from the pop fayre normally delivered in Elton John's albums, and much of the sound is based around the pianos of Elton and Leon, with strong vocal performances by Elton interspersed with Leon singing in a very laid back style, often in a similar vein to Willie Nelson.

I don't think that many of Elton's fans would be disappointed with `The Union' as this is unmistakably an Elton John album, with the familiar Taupin lyrics and Elton's melodious backing tracks. The album is very much a mixture of ballads and uptempo songs, and features some of the best songs Elton has recorded in a long time. `Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes' is one of those wonderful tracks and would have fitted well on his early 1970's recordings and `Gone to Shiloh', with Neil Young joining Elton and Leon is outstanding, and there are a number of songs where Elton's more laid back vocals meld well with Leon's voice, to deliver some great emotional songs the best of which I think are `There's No Tomorrow' and `Best Part of The Day'.

It's been a long time since we have had a classic Elton John album and this comes very close, through his recording the songs from his roots and the themes being more appropriate for someone of his age. Though I have reviewed this as more of an Elton John album, Leon Russell really does make a great contribution through his vocals and piano playing, and in bringing back the influences that made the `Elton John' and `Tumbleweed Connection' albums so very special. Hopefully if Elton sticks to this type of music he will one day deliver that classic album, but in the mean time this is highly recommended for everyone who appreciates Elton's music.
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on 31 October 2010
This album does not scale the heights of Elton's best work. There are no goodbye yellow brick road or your song moments. Nevertheless, it is packed full of good songs and hangs together better than any album he has put out before. Its an album where you can sit back, relax and enjoy with no need to press the fast forward button. I'm loving it.
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on 17 January 2015
On the face of it an unlikely combination,but it really works

Excellent songs,excellent production and some handy guest artists

Standout for me is Gone to Shiloh

A vast improvement for Elton after the uninspired Captain and the Kid and Peachtree Road
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on 13 November 2010
Make no mistake this is a fine fine album.when two giants collide like this the results can be questionable,but Elton and Leon have created an album that will be a milestone in both their careers.
In short the album sounds like a perfect partner to Eltons "Tumbleweed Connection""HOnky Chateau"and "Madman across the water"albums.
Leons southern rock roots come to the fore in this album,aand the plaudits must be shared equallyand with the addition of Neil Young this album cannot fail to impresss,although the DVD included us unecessary as it is only 6 minues long,however insert the cd into your pc and dicover a cornucopia of delights.
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on 25 October 2010
I've never been a huge fan of Sir Elt and only have a few of his early records and couple of his recent releases where he was trying to rediscover his early sound before it went wrong musically. Having played this record half a dozen times, it's a triumph of song-writing, singing, production T-Bone Burnett & playing from a host of great musicians. But most important of all it allows many of us to revisit Leon Russell - the sleeve notes say it all. One of the records of 2010.
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on 7 August 2012
This is, by far, the best alnum Elton John has released since the 1970s. Beautiful melodies, moving lyrics and an extraordinary back story make for one of the albums of the last 10 years. But perhaps the most significant things about the album is that it has introduced me, and a younger generation, to Leon Russell and his wonderful music.
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on 22 December 2010
Now, I'm only 19 and so for the average teenager of my age, this album would probably not be up my street, however, as my Dad was a huge fan of Elton John, i've grown up listening the incredible man's music and I regard him as one of my favourite artists. Admittedly, I hadn't really heard much from Leon Russell but was equally intrigued to hear how his collaboration with Elton sounded. It has blown me away!

Elton is right on form and Leon's quirky yet brilliant voice makes time during this hour long album sail by and if you buy this, I really don't think you'll be disappointed. There are a number of brilliant tracks on this such as the opening 'If It Wasn't For Bad' which ends up being quite a catchy soft rock tune. Other favourites for me are 'Monkey Suit', 'When Love Is Dying' and 'The Best Part of the Day'. There may be a couple of lesser tracks, but which are still good. On the whole, the album is consistently good, a great hour to chill-out with.

It's great to hear some real music being produced and hearing people talk about that as opposed to the contrived rubbish in the charts today with the likes of X Factor contestants, Jason Derulo, and auto-tune. As a student, I hear a lot of people rave about current chart music and have to put up with it when I go out with my friends. Recently i've discovered, I really just can't enjoy certain nights out due to how dire a lot of it is. I'm thankful I have good music to listen to during my own time with the likes of Elton John, Arcade Fire, Aerosmith and KISS.

Back onto the album - I strongly recommend it.
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on 8 November 2010
As a fan of Eltons since the early 1970s,the Union stands alongside his best work
and as a complete body of work you would probably have to go back to Captain Fantastic
to find an album offering so many outstanding tracks.
If you are considering buying this album I would go for the deluxe edition otherwise you will
miss out on the additional 2 tracks My Kind of Hell and Mandalay Again which are as good as
anything on the album.
Produced in brilliant fashion by T Bone Burnett the music seeps of gospel, country and blues
influence which makes it a very american sounding record and while comparisons have been made
with early John albums such as Tumbleweed Connection this is a fresh and new sounding Elton.
Bernie Taupin comes up with his strongest set of lyrics,especially on the civil war ballad Gone to Shiloh
and the co write with Leon Russell on I Should Have Sent Roses.
Although I knew of Leon Russell and a few of his songs,this album will have me checking out his
previous work as he is an exceptional songwriter and piano player.
This album may not scale the previous album sales achieved by Elton in his career,but for an old fan
like myself this is the album I have been waiting a very long time for. I challenge anyone to listen
to this music and say it doesnt belong up there with the best music to come out in 2010 so far.
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on 19 January 2011
...this is a fabulous album (can I still use that term?)

When they sing together, Elton and Leon's voices complement each other melodically.
And it's so brilliant that an artist of Leon Russell's merit has the opportunity he so richly deserves, having been encouraged out of relative obscurity, to illustrate his talents.

'The Union' is a total treat.
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