The Union (Elton John and Leon Russell album)

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For the documentary film about the album, see The Union (2011 film).
The Union
Studio album by Elton John and Leon Russell
Released 19 October 2010 (US)
27 October 2010 (UK)
Recorded 2010
Genre Rock
Length 63:12 (Standard album)
66:28 (iTunes deluxe LP)
71:22 (Deluxe CD and vinyl)
Label Decca (US/Canada)
Mercury
Producer T Bone Burnett
Elton John chronology
Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits
(2007)
The Union
(2010)
Gnomeo & Juliet Soundtrack
(2011)
Leon Russell chronology
Angel in Disguise
(2006)
The Union
(2010)

The Union is a collaboration album by singer-songwriters Elton John and Leon Russell, released on 19 October 2010 in the US and on 25 October in the UK. This album is his first studio release since 1979's Victim of Love without any of his regular band members. It is also his highest charting studio album on the Billboard 200 since 1976's Blue Moves, debuting at No. 3, as well as Russell's highest charting studio album since 1972's Carney. The Union was No. 3 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 30 Best Albums of 2010.[1]

The album features appearances by: Booker T. Jones (playing Hammond B-3), Neil Young (contributing vocals), Robert Randolph (playing pedal steel), and Brian Wilson (contributing vocal harmonies). This album was dedicated to Guy Babylon, John's keyboard player who died a year before its release.

"If It Wasn't for Bad" was nominated for the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "If It Wasn't for Bad"   Leon Russell 3:43
2. "Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes"   Elton John, Bernie Taupin 3:23
3. "Hey Ahab"   John, Taupin 5:39
4. "Gone to Shiloh" (Featuring Neil Young) John, Taupin 4:50
5. "Hearts Have Turned to Stone" (Moved to twelfth track on some CD copies) Russell 3:47
6. "Jimmie Rodgers' Dream"   John, Taupin, T Bone Burnett 3:34
7. "There's No Tomorrow"   John, Russell, Burnett, James Timothy Shaw 3:45
8. "Monkey Suit"   John, Taupin 4:46
9. "The Best Part of the Day"   John, Taupin 4:45
10. "A Dream Come True"   John, Russell 5:07
11. "I Should Have Sent Roses"   Russell, Taupin 5:21
12. "When Love Is Dying"   John, Taupin 4:51
13. "My Kind of Hell" (Bonus track on iTunes Digital Deluxe LP, Deluxe CD and vinyl only) John, Taupin 3:16
14. "Mandalay Again" (Bonus track on Deluxe CD and vinyl only) John, Taupin 4:54
15. "Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)"   John, Taupin 4:58
16. "In the Hands of Angels"   Russell 4:43

Personnel[edit]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 76/100 [2]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[3]
Clash 8/10 stars[4]
Consequence of Sound 4/5 stars[5]
Contactmusic.com 4/5 stars[6]
Daily Mirror 4/5 stars[7]
Financial Times 4/5 stars[8]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[9]
The Independent 5/5 stars[10]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[11]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[12]
Uncut 4/5 stars

The Union has received general critical acclaim with critics praising it as some of the pair's best work to date. It reached No. 3 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the Greatest 30 Albums of 2010.[13]

Charts[edit]

Chart Peak
Australia 28
Austria 28
Belgium (Fl.) 66
Brazil 7
Canada 7
Croatia 46
Denmark 15
Europe 19
France 51
Germany 23
Greece 61
Ireland 52
Israel 5
Italy 28
Netherlands 60
New Zealand 24
Norway 5
Russia 15
Spain 30
Sweden 24
Switzerland 27
UK 12
US Billboard 200 3

Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Recipient Award Result
2011 "If It Wasn't for Bad" Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals[14] Nominated

Certifications[edit]

Country Provider Certification
United Kingdom BPI Silver(60,000)
Canada CRIA Gold (40,000)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The 30 Best Albums of 2010". Rolling Stone (25 December 2010). Retrieved 18 January 2011
  2. ^ "Critic Reviews for The Union". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  3. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (2010-10-19). "The Union - Elton John,Leon Russell | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  4. ^ "Elton John And Leon Russell – The Union | Clash Music Latest Album Review". Clashmusic.com. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Album Review: Elton John and Leon Russell – The Union « Consequence of Sound". Consequenceofsound.net. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "Elton John – The Union (feat Leon Russell) Album Review". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Elton John & Leon Russell – The Union: Album review". mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "/ Arts / Music – Elton John and Leon Russell: The Union". Ft.com. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Alexis Petridis (21 October 2010). "Elton John and Leon Russell: The Union – review | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  10. ^ "Album: Elton John & Leon Russell, Union (Mercury) – Reviews, Music". London: The Independent. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  11. ^ "Album review: Elton John and Leon Russell's 'The Union' | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 19 October 2010. p. m. Retrieved 1 December 2010. 
  12. ^ David Fricke (2010-10-12). "The Union | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  13. ^ "30 Best Albums of 2010: Elton John and Leon Russell, The Union". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "GRAMMY Rewind: 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards". articles.latimes.com. Los Angeles Times. 5 January 1996. Retrieved 24 January 2013.