Reanimated by 2010’s The Union, his fine collaborative effort with Leon Russell, Elton John declared he was only interested in making honest and personal records from now on. Follow-up The Diving Board (2013) was certainly a striking return to the piano-centric economy of his early days.
Wonderful Crazy Night finds him forging another link to the past by reuniting core members of his classic band from the 70s – namely guitarist Davey Johnstone, drummer Nigel Olsson and percussionist Ray Cooper – on a set of songs whose freshness reflects the spontaneous manner in which they were recorded.
Having overseen those previous two albums, producer T Bone Burnett is back too, John transmuting the words of Bernie Taupin into lusty R&B, Memphis soul and a little southern blues. The terrific In The Name Of You and Claw Hammer both smoulder as much as rock; Guilty Pleasure is an ebullient bout of hairy pop‘n’roll. Elton’s late-period purple patch continues.