respect the classics

Elton John Tapped All His Favorite Artists for Star-Studded Lockdown Sessions

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for EJAF

When Sir Elton John calls, you answer. Many musicians have been doing just that recently, as Elton John tapped them to work on new collaborations, from his remake of “Chosen Family” with Rina Sawayama to his cover of Pet Shop Boys’ “It’s a Sin” with Years & Years at the Brit Awards to remixes of his songs “Rocket Man” and “Sacrifice” with Dua Lipa and PNAU. Now, John is collecting those performances — along with ten new ones — on an album, The Lockdown Sessions, out October 22. The pop legend began teasing his list of collaborators on his Instagram Story on August 31, listing artists from Brandi Carlile to Nicki Minaj to Stevies Wonder and Nicks.

In a statement, John said the album came from finding himself working on features during the COVID-19 pandemic. “All the tracks I worked on were really interesting and diverse, stuff that was completely different to anything I’m known for, stuff that took me out of my comfort zone into completely new territory,” he said. “And I realised there was something weirdly familiar about working like this. At the start of my career, in the late 60s, I worked as a session musician. Working with different artists during lockdown reminded me of that. I’d come full circle: I was a session musician again. And it was still a blast.” John indeed had more free time than expected in 2020, after originally being set to tour the world on his massive, final Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Due to pandemic cancellations, the tour is now set to stretch into 2023.

In total, the album features 23 other artists alongside John, including his previously released songs “The Pink Phantom” with Gorillaz and 6LACK, “Learn to Fly” with Surfaces, and “Nothing Else Matters” with Miley Cyrus, WATT, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo, and Chad Smith. Among the new songs are a posthumous Glen Campbell duet of “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” from the documentary Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, and “One of Me,” which Lil Nas X announced today for his debut album Montero. See the full track list of The Lockdown Sessions below.

1. Elton John & Dua Lipa, “Cold Heart” (PNAU Remix)
2. Elton John, Young Thug & Nicki Minaj, “Always Love You”
3. Surfaces feat. Elton John, “Learn to Fly”
4. Elton John & Charlie Puth, “After All”
5. Rina Sawayama & Elton John, “Chosen Family”
6. Gorillaz feat. Elton John & 6LACK, “The Pink Phantom”
7. Elton John & Years & Years, “It’s a sin (global reach mix)”
8. Miley Cyrus feat. WATT, Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma, Robert Trujillo & Chad Smith, “Nothing Else Matters”
9. Elton John & SG Lewis, “Orbit”
10. Elton John & Brandi Carlile, “Simple Things”
11. Jimmie Allen & Elton John, “Beauty in the Bones”
12. Lil Nas X feat. Elton John, “One of Me”
13. Elton John & Eddie Vedder, “E-Ticket”
14. Elton John & Stevie Wonder, “Finish Line”
15. Elton John & Stevie Nicks, “Stolen Car”
16. Glen Campbell & Elton John, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”

Elton John Tapped All His Faves for The Lockdown Sessions