Elton John and Stevie Wonder have unveiled ‘Finish Line’, the latest song to be unveiled from forthcoming album ‘The Lockdown Sessions’. Listen here. A collection of collaborations recorded remotely over the last 18 months, ‘The Lockdown Sessions’ is a dazzlingly diverse array of 16 tracks that celebrate togetherness and sees Elton collaborating with an unparalleled range of artists only he could draw together. It will be released on 22nd October via EMI Records and is available to pre-order here.
Just last week Elton unveiled the second track to be taken from ‘The Lockdown Sessions’, ‘After All’ with Charlie Puth. A classic, soulful ballad, the track showed a delicious counterpart to previous single, and burgeoning global hit, ‘Cold Heart (PNAU remix)’ with Dua Lipa. And now, with ‘Finish Line’ Elton and Stevie Wonder have revealed another fully realised side to the multifaceted ‘The Lockdown Sessions’. A stunning gospel infused track, with Stevie’s unmistakable vocals and trademark harmonica, the song features The Sunday Service Choir, Kanye West’s renowned Gospel Choir. Previous collaborations between the pair have included ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’ (featuring Stevie on harmonica) and the Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager penned ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ (a 1985 charity record also featuring Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight), but ‘Finish Line’ is the first time that these two undeniable greats of popular music have duetted together. The resulting track is well worth the wait, a timeless song worthy of either man’s oeuvre.
‘Finish Line’ is produced by GRAMMY Award winner Andrew Watt. In line with the rich and varied sonic palette that makes up ‘The Lockdown Sessions’, the creation of the track was equal parts kismet and hard work, born out of mutual artistic respect and a fifty year friendship. Watch here as Elton and Andrew Watt discuss the making of ‘Finish Line’ in a preview of this Saturday’s Rocket Hour, airing on Apple Music 1.
Speaking of the collaboration Elton says: ’I couldn’t be more proud of ‘Finish Line’ – I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the best records I’ve ever made. Stevie’s voice is as good as I can ever remember hearing him – he sounds like a 17-year-old again, he’s singing with a sheer joy and exuberance in his vocals. Andrew Watt has done an unbelievable job on the production. It was a magical process. I’ve always loved collaborating with Stevie, and I’m delighted that after fifty years of friendship we finally get to do a full blown duet. He has always been so kind and sweet to me, and his talent is beyond ridiculous. When you listen to what he does vocally and instrumentally on ‘Finish Line’ you think, this is a true genius here.’
Stevie Wonder says: ‘It is both a joy and honor to sing, play piano and harmonica for Elton! He has truly been one of the great spirits of music, life, friendship and love, who I’ve met on this life journey! True artistry and music like love equals a forever commitment lasting many lifetimes. And Elton, anyone who hears your voice singing “Finish Line”, will hear and feel your wisdom, your pain, your soul, your love, but also your resilience….. I love it!! Congratulations to you and our forever and never, never-ending music, friendship, life-song! Long live Sir Elton John!!! (big smiley face!)‘
In further Lockdown Sessions news, Elton and Charlie Puth appeared together on stage at the Global Citizen event in Paris last weekend to perform their duet ‘After All’. Watch here. This global charitable 24-hour event saw some of the world’s biggest artists and global leaders come together to defend the planet and defeat poverty. This is a part of Global Citizens campaign, a Recovery Plan for the World, which focuses on COVID-19, ending the hunger crisis, resuming learning for all, protecting the planet; and advancing equity for all.
Charlie Puth and Elton John Perform New Song “After All”: