"I'm so proud of this record," John, 68, told the Los Angeles Times, beaming that gap-toothed grin that's been familiar to pop music fans for almost half a century now. "It's the most upbeat record I've done probably since 'Rock of the Westies' [in 1975], and this is a better record than that one."
In a small-scale show Wednesday at the Wiltern Theater, the
"T Bone said, 'Why don't we make a record with your band?'" John said, something he hadn't done since 2006's "The Captain and the Kid." "I thought it was a great idea. I was in Hawaii, and I called up [longtime guitarist] Davey Johnstone and said 'I want you to go out and buy some 12-string guitars. We're going to make a very up record.'"
Similarly, he asked his longtime songwriting partner, lyricist Bernie Taupin, to provide him with a batch of positive new lyrics. "I said, 'no sad songs,'" John said. "We could both write sad songs every five minutes, but I wanted something to reflect where I am right now. I have a great career, a great partner, two wonderful children and life couldn't be better. I wanted to make a record that reflects that."
The Times will have a full profile of the five-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter closer to the album's scheduled release date of Feb. 5.