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ELTON ON BEATS

During a promo tour for his upcoming 33rd album, Wonderful Crazy Night (2/5, Island U.S./Virgin EMI U.K.), Elton John dropped in to Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show to give his take on the modern music industry and the world at large. The veteran British star also discussed writing with Lady Gaga, his take on Justin Bieber’s comeback, the future of Ed Sheeran (who’s on his management roster at Rocket Music) and dealing with the disappointment of being turned down by Steve Barnett’s Capitol Records.

Wonderful Crazy Night is described as a “joyous record” and the most accessible John has made in a long time. It was written in 17 days with longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. While his last album was released by Capitol in the U.S., the label decided to pass on the new record, and John landed a deal with Island instead.

While initially “hurt, angry and upset,” there’s no hard feelings anymore, he said: “I found Island and I’ve calmed down. I know the business; people have to make decisions based on budgets. But I’m not upset with Steve anymore; we move on. I’m at Island and they are great, I wish Capitol all the best.”

John’s hope for Sheeran, who’s taking a break before releasing his third album later this year, is to have a career that matches the length of his own, while Lady Gaga, Bieber and Adele are among the other stars he reveres. Gaga’s new music is “killer,” harking back to her earlier style pre-ARTPOP. Said John: “She made some bad decisions, ARTPOP was not a good idea, it wasn’t a good album and I think she will admit that. But in the last year, she did three things that were amazing; the tour and album with Tony Bennett, when she sang the Julie Andrews [Sound of Music] tribute at the Oscars and was on American Horror Story. She’s a great writer; I want her to go and make a simple, fabulous, great song record, maybe like Tapestry [by Carole King], but her own version.”

Listen here for Bieber praise, the inside story on John’s bizarre fake call with a Vladimir Putin impersonator, the new music he's excited about this year and more. 

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