Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, October 28th, 2021  

Various Artists

Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin

MCA Nashville

May 03, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The other of two recent compilations of Elton John cover songs, Restoration, finds John and Taupin’s compositions played by country artists both old and new. Elton John has always has a country streak to his songs, and most of the choices on this compilation fit this repurposing like a hand in glove.

Little Big Town’s “Rocket Man” is awash in harmony, and sounds from the radio instrument of NASA’s Mission Juno are incorporated into the song. This is more successful in theory than in practice, where the faraway sounding voices heard beneath the harmonies may have you turning off the music to find where that sound is coming from before realizing it’s part of the song. Don Henley and Vince Gill are perfect together on the singer/songwriter-y “Sacrifice,” and Miranda Lambert’s twangy vocals fit “My Father’s Gun” nicely. Lee Ann Womack’s soulful vocals and the fiery slide guitar wonderfully augment “Honkey Cat,” and Rhonda Vincent and Dolly Parton’s fiddle- and banjo-led “Please,” which originally graced John’s 1995 Made in England album, is rendered here a revelation compared to John’s original.

Elsewhere, things aren’t as interesting. Maren Morris doesn’t do anything new with “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” and Brothers Osbourne’s take on the funky “Take Me To the Pilot” adds little to the classic. And Miley Cyrus, the only artist to contribute to both of the recent covers albums, lends her pop stylings to “The Bitch Is Back,” a song whose only nod to country is a lone (and out of place) banjo.

Finally, in stunning fashion, the album ends with Willie Nelson’s version of “Border Song,” recasting the original as only Willie can and making the song completely his own, bringing things full circle and putting a cap on an album that ultimately shows how well John’s songs can cross over to a more country context. (

Author rating: 6/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 6/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

May 6th 2018

Read Bernie Taupin autobiography. You’ll find the real soul to the song words.  RESTORATION is Bernie.
The album cover was created by Taupin too! First time ever??

rinosa maja
August 12th 2018

i love this song

Muhammad Ishaq
February 1st 2019

Nice…Its highly informative post. I really enjoyed reading. Thanks

M Ishaque
February 1st 2019

aswom thanks for sharing