Elton John has teamed up with Leeds post-punks Yard Act to record a new version of their album track 100% Endurance.
Writing on social media, the band say: “We asked Elton if he fancied collaborating and his response, word for word was “Abso-fucking-lutely”. What is going on? What an honour. We spent the day working together and getting to know each other and exploring where our songwriting could go. All culminating in a brand new recording with a new arrangement and new lyrics for verse 2.”
Recalling the origins of what might appear to be an unlikely collaboration, Yard Act frontman James Smith says, “Elton John saw our stuff, and he started telling the press he thought we were good, and then we chatted on the phone and after a few calls, I said, ‘Elton, do you want to come to the studio and play piano on a tune?’ because, fuck it, it doesn’t matter if he says no. Anyway, he said ‘yes,’ so it doesn’t matter that he didn’t say no.
“I don’t know what else to say. He’s brilliant. Switched on, hilarious and an amazing musician.”
“From the first moment I heard Yard Act, I fell in love with James’ lyrics, and the way he’s delivered the song,” says Sir Elton. “Their sound is such a breath of fresh air. When James called and asked if I would come into the studio, I instantly loved the idea. I started out as a session musician in the late ’60s, and I absolutely loved it then. It was such a thrill to be thrown in with musicians I’d never met before, it pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I became a better musician.
During lockdown, I had the time on my hands to really start doing that in a concerted way again, and I fell in love with the challenge and the process all over again. They’re a very special band, with a massive future ahead of them, and I’m honoured they’ve let me be a part of their journey.”
Listen to the song below:
Elton John returned home to London last week (June 24) on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
“Thank you for all the love, all the kindness, all the loyalty you’ve thrown my way for so many years, over 50 years, you’ve always been there for me,” he said in parting. “And I will take in you in my heart and my soul, and when I stop next July, I’ll have so many beautiful memories, and you’ll be a part of all those memories.”
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