Release date
19 Oct 2010
Running length
16 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 If It Wasn't For Bad 3:43 13,648
2 Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes 3:23 9,166
3 Hey Ahab 5:39 9,425
4 Gone To Shiloh 4:51 8,057
5 Hearts Have Turned To Stone 3:47 5,844
6 Jimmie Rodgers' Dream 3:43 7,017
7 There's No Tomorrow 3:46 6,926
8 Monkey Suit 4:45 4,159
9 The Best Part Of The Day 4:45 6,539
10 A Dream Come True 5:07 6,531
11 I Should Have Sent Roses 5:21 5,949
12 When Love Is Dying 4:51 6,599
13 My Kind Of Hell 3:16 1,649
14 Mandalay Again 4:55 1,505
15 Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody) 4:58 5,084
16 In The Hands Of Angels 4:44 4,867

About this album

On the inaugural episode of Elvis Costello’s talk show Spectacle in 2008, Elton John — who just happened to be a producer on the show — rhapsodized at length about Leon Russell, hauling out a note-perfect impression of Russell’s piano style and Oklahoma drawl. It was enough of a tease to whet the appetite for more but nothing suggested something like The Union, a full-fledged duet album with Russell designed to raise the profile of the rock & roll maverick. Like all lifers, Russell never disappeared — he just faded, playing small clubs throughout the U. S., spitting out bewildering self-released albums of MIDI-synth boogie, never quite connecting with the spirit of his wonderful early-‘70s albums for his Shelter label. The Union quite deliberately evokes the spirit of 1970, splicing Russell’s terrific eponymous LP with Elton’s own self-titled record and Tumbleweed Connection. In that sense, it’s a kissing cousin to John’s last album, 2006’s The Captain and the Kid, which was designed as an explicit sequel to 1975’s golden era-capping Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, but thanks to producer T-Bone Burnett, The Union dials down Bernie Taupin’s inherent pomp and ratchets up the roots. Burnett had John and Russell record live in the studio, trading verses and solos, letting the supporting band breathe and follow their loping lead. This relaxed, natural interplay cuts through the soft haze of Burnett’s analog impressionism, giving the record a foundation of true grit.

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