Elton John, Leon Russell

Elton John has been a superstar for decades. His latest collaborator, Leon Russell, on the other hand, has been something of an obscurity for most of his 40-something-year career, which started as a session musician and featured one semi-hit album, 1972's Carney, and a few other charting records before his success faded at the end of the '70s.

The new record from this pair, The Union, features both men playing piano and singing. It's a natural partnership, which is probably why it's gotten such rave reviews: Russell has been an inspiration for Sir Elton for many years, and John even opened for him early in his career. Now the tables have turned: While it's customary for Elton to sell out arenas, Russell has been performing in small clubs. He's got arena-size talent, though, so don't expect him to be blown off the stage by Elton.


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