The Diving Board

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For the Shanghai building nicknamed "The Diving Board", see Wukang Mansion.
The Diving Board
Studio album by Elton John
Released 13 September 2013
Recorded January 2012, January 2013 at The Village, Los Angeles, California
Genre Rock, soft rock
Length 57:33
Label Capitol, Mercury
Producer T-Bone Burnett
Elton John chronology
Good Morning to the Night
(2012)
The Diving Board
(2013)
-
Singles from The Diving Board
  1. "Home Again"
    Released: 24 June 2013
  2. "Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)"
    Released: 28 August 2013[1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]
The Independent 5/5 stars[3]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[5]
Allmusic 3/5 stars[6]

The Diving Board is the 31st studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John.[7] It is the second of his studio releases since 1979's Victim of Love without any of his regular band members.[8][9] The album was released in the United Kingdom on 16 September 2013, and debuted at #3 on the UK album chart, his highest charting studio album in that country since 2001's Songs from the West Coast, and at #4 on the Billboard 200. It is also his highest-charting solo album in the United States since Blue Moves in 1976. However, after just eight weeks the album fell off the charts completely.

The album's premiere single, "Home Again", was released on 24 June 2013, the same day the album became available for pre-order. On 28 August 2013, a video for "Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)" was released on YouTube.

Production[edit]

The album was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and produced in Los Angeles by The Union producer T-Bone Burnett. Burnett suggested that John return to the piano, bass and drums format of his very early years and the result, John says, is "the most exciting solo record I've done in a long, long time."[10] The Diving Board was initially written in two days.[11]

The album's release date was pushed back: though the record was originally planned for release in the fall of 2012, it was revealed on Taupin's website that it would instead be released in February 2013 for promotional reasons.[12] Later, it was pushed back again.

It was revealed on 28 September 2012 in Rolling Stone magazine that John was unsatisfied with some songs on the album and that he had started to write more new songs for the album. He believed that many of the songs had a theme and that he wanted to write more songs after sitting on the project for so long.[13]

During a concert at the Perth Arena in Perth, Australia on 10 November 2012, John revealed that The Diving Board '​s release would be pushed back further, to May 2013.[14] The delay in release was because John was to record more material for the album with Burnett in January 2013.[15]

On 8 January 2013 it was revealed by Taupin's website that the title of the album had been changed from The Diving Board to Voyeur.[16][17]

An article on Billboard published on 23 February 2013 revealed that the release date had once again been pushed back, this time until September 2013; the title of the album was back to The Diving Board again. The article also revealed the revised track list, which includes four new songs mixed in with the original material. A song originally stated for release on the album, titled "5th Avenue" (6:18), had been dropped. John called the revised album "The most piano-oriented album of my career" and said "It's my most adult album".[18] In total the album's release had been pushed back four times.

The album's premiere single "Home Again" was released on 24 June 2013, the same day the album became available for pre-order.[19]

On 28 August 2013, a video for "Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)" was released on YouTube, being the album's second single.[1]

The album debuted at #3 on the UK album chart behind indie rock band Arctic Monkeys at #1 and Swedish dance music producer Avicii at #2. In the United States, it entered the Billboard 200 at #4.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Bernie Taupin, all music composed by Elton John.

No. Title Length
1. "Oceans Away"   3:58
2. "Oscar Wilde Gets Out"   4:35
3. "A Town Called Jubilee"   4:29
4. "The Ballad of Blind Tom"   4:12
5. "Dream #1" (Instrumental interlude) 0:39
6. "My Quicksand"   4:46
7. "Can't Stay Alone Tonight"   4:48
8. "Voyeur"   4:16
9. "Home Again"   5:01
10. "Take This Dirty Water"   4:24
11. "Dream #2" (Instrumental interlude) 0:43
12. "The New Fever Waltz"   4:38
13. "Mexican Vacation (Kids in the Candlelight)"   3:33
14. "Dream #3" (Instrumental interlude) 1:36
15. "The Diving Board"   5:55
Total length:
57:33

Reception[edit]

The Diving Board was received with general critical acclaim with critics praising it as a "great return to form" and one of John's best albums of recent years and of his career.[20] Alan Light of Rolling Stone gave the album a four star review commending its spare instrumentation and focus, saying that John has "regained his sense of musical possibility and taken a brave, graceful jump".[21] Robert Hilburn, who famously reviewed John's American debut at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, praised The Diving Board's "finely crafted and deeply moving" songs that celebrate the past in a "fresh and revealing" manner. Hilburn goes on to say that if these songs had been played at the Troubadour in 1970 John would still have been "showered with applause and acclaim".[22] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic was less enthusiastic. In a mixed review, he claimed that the album is an "exceptional idea in theory; in practice it is ever so slightly formless."[6]

Rolling Stone placed the album at No. 25 on its list of the 50 Best Albums of 2013.[23]

Charts[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Catalog
Australia[35] 13 September 2013 CD, LP, digital download Mercury Records 3744867
United Kingdom[36] 16 September 2013 3744867
United States/Canada[36] 24 September 2013 Capitol Records B0018688-02

Editions[edit]

  • Standard edition: 15 track album[37]
  • Deluxe edition: 19 track album[38]
  • Super deluxe edition: 19 track album with DVD Live from Capitol Recording Studios [not available as MP3][39]
  • Double LP[40]
  • Amazon.com USA exclusive edition: Deluxe album with a reproduction of 1970 Troubadour Concert Poster[41]
  • Walmart.com USA exclusive edition: Deluxe album with a bonus DVD of Live at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, AR, June 2013 For Walmart Shareholders
  • Target.com USA exclusive edition: 2CD version with three session tracks. Two unavailable on any other format[41]
  • BestBuy.com USA exclusive edition: Deluxe album with a bonus DVD of the making of The Million Dollar Piano Show
  • Japanese exclusive edition: SHM 2CD version with three session tracks. Two unavailable on any other format[41]

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Elton John Releases Second Single From New Album". Ultimate Classic Rock. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Light, Alan. "The Diving Board Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Gill, Andy (13 September 2013). "Album review: Elton John, The Diving Board (Mercury)". London: The Independent. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Sullivan, Caroline. "Elton John: The Diving Board – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Roberts, Randall (24 September 2013). "Review: 'Diving Board' delves deep into the classic Elton John sound". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "The Diving Board Review". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Elton John Cuts Raw LP With T Bone Burnett". Rolling Stone. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "Elton John to Release "The Diving Board" This Fall". Artist Direct. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Elton John – Elton John Prepares The Diving Board". Contact Music. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "The Diving Board". EltonJohn. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  11. ^ "Elton John Wrote New Album 'The Diving Board' in Two Days". IMDB. 15 March 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  12. ^ ""The Diving Board" Release Rescheduled". BernieTaupin. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  13. ^ "Elton John Writing More Songs For His 'Diving Board' LP". Rolling Stone. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "The Diving Board Delayed". Elton Daily. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Q&A: T Bone Burnett on 'Nashville,' Elton John's Comeback and Retiring as a Producer". Rolling Stone. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Bernie & Elton Back in the Studio". Bernie J Taupin. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Elton John and Bernie Taupin change new album title". Music-News. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g "Elton John Finishes New Album, Eyes September Release Date". Billboard. 23 February 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  19. ^ "The Diving Board Now Available for Pre-Order!". EltonJohn.com. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  20. ^ Gill, Andy (13 September 2013). "Album review: Elton John, The Diving Board". London: Independent. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  21. ^ Alan, Light. "The Diving Board Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  22. ^ Hilburn, Robert. "Music Reviewer Robert Hilburn Rejoices Over Elton's New Album". eltonjohn.com. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2013". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Elton John: The Diving Board". aCharts. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  25. ^ http://austriancharts.at/showitem.asp?interpret=Elton+John&titel=The+Diving+Board&cat=a
  26. ^ a b "Elton John: The Diving Board". Hung Media. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  27. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/301679/elton-john/chart?f=309
  28. ^ http://www.hdu-toplista.com/index.php?what=albumi&w=details&id=2422
  29. ^ http://www.ifpicr.cz/hitparada/index.php?a=hitparada&hitparada=2&sec=ba5b31eebb857d691e29623b3fd2b7a3
  30. ^ http://www.officialcharts.de/album.asp?artist=Elton+John&title=The+Diving+Board&cat=a&country=de
  31. ^ http://www.fimi.it/main/chart_id/1649
  32. ^ http://www.oricon.co.jp/prof/artist/49457/ranking/cd_album/
  33. ^ "The Diving Board – Elton John". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  34. ^ "British album certifications – Elton John – The Diving Board". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter The Diving Board in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  35. ^ "Australian Release of The Diving Board Scheduled for September 13". Elton Daily. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  36. ^ a b "Pre-Order The Diving Board Now, Released September 16 UK, 24 USA". Elton Daily. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "The Diving Board". Elton John. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  38. ^ "The Diving Board [Deluxe]". Elton John. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  39. ^ "The Diving Board [Super-Deluxe]". Elton John. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  40. ^ "The Diving Board [LP]". Elton John. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 
  41. ^ a b c "UPDATE: "The Diving Board" – special editions". EltonJohnFan. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.