NASHVILLE, TN. (Dec. 1, 2010) An historical moment was captured when famed photographer Annie Leibovitz took photos of Elton John and Leon Russell in front of two Yamaha pianos for the cover of the recently released album The Union. The shot shows a casual, laid back and beardy Leon in front of a Yamaha U1 contrasting an always well-dressed Elton showing off his perfect piano posture with his right hand on a Yamaha DC7A Pro.
Annie Leibovitz has photographed musicians, actors, and writers since the early 1970s. Perhaps best known for her stunning image of a nude John Lennon enveloping a fully clothed Yoko Ono only hours before he passed away, she has captured some of the most enduring images of the last 30 years, from her work with Rolling Stone magazine through to her Hollywood cover portraits at Vanity Fair.
Produced by T Bone Burnett, The Union marks the culmination of a mutual musical adoration that began in the late 1960s, ahead of Elton's debut US performance in 1970 at The Troubadour Club in Los Angeles. The album is a collaboration between Elton and Leon Russell, with songs by Elton and Bernie Taupin; by Elton, Bernie and Leon; by Elton and Leon and by Leon alone. It was recorded in Los Angeles earlier this year, with guest musicians including Brian Wilson, Booker T, Don Was and Neil Young. Cameron Crowe filmed the sessions for a documentary, creating too a moment of history as this is the first time that the genesis of Elton's music has been recorded on film.
The Union is being widely celebrated as a return to the form of Elton John's early 1970s albums as influenced by Leon Russell. Rolling Stone awarded the collection a rare 5-star review, and it entered the American Billboard Top 200 album chart at Number 3.
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