Elton John Electric Proms

Simon Mayo Drivetime


17:05 - 19:00 // Next up: Paul Jones
Elton John

Captain Fantastic finds his inspiration

One of the most successful musicians and flamboyant showmen of all time, Elton John has won a multitude of awards from Brits, Grammys, Golden Globes to Oscars. For this special event two pianos took centre stage. One for Elton, and the other, for an artist who inspired Elton as a young musician; singer songwriter Leon Russell.

Leon has written classic songs such as This Masquerade and Delta Lady, as well as working with legends of popular music like The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones. Russell and Elton first worked together and toured the US in the early 1970s, but lost touch for many years. Then last November Elton, Leon, Bernie Taupin and producer T Bone Burnett started collaborating in an L.A. studio on a new album, The Union. Making the new record, Elton told Mojo magazine in August, "made me fall in love with a guy I fell in love with years ago,all over again".

As well as looking back at his roots, Elton's looked ahead by bringing on board two exciting new names, Plan B and Rumer to perform alongside him. The show was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 at 20:00 and then shown on BBC Two on Saturday 30 October, together with an exclusive documentary about his music and life.

An inspiring and emotional demonstration of poignant songwriting performed at its best.

The Leon Russell Story

Paul Sexton profiles Leon just ahead of the release of The Union, his collaboration with Elton John. Paul examines not only the incredible career peaks, but explores how and why Russell slipped slowly into relative obscurity.Listen to Singing This Song For You: The Leon Russell Story

BBC Music

Set List

  • 1.Burn Down The Mission
  • 2.Levon
  • 3.Tiny Dancer
  • 4.Ballad of a Well Known Gun
  • 5.I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues (featurng Plan B)
  • 6.Delta Lady
  • 7.A Song for You
  • 8.Masqureade (featuring Rumer)
  • 9.If It Wasn't For Bad
  • 10.Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes
  • 11.Hey Ahab
  • 12.Gone to Shiloh
  • 13.Jimmy Rodgers Dream
  • 14.There's No Tomorrow
  • 15.Monkey Suit
  • 16.The Best of the Day
  • 17.Dreams Come True
  • 18.I Should Have Sent Roses
  • 19.When Love Is Dying
  • 20.Hearts Turned To Stone
  • 21.Never Too Old To Hold Somebody
  • 22.In The Hands Of Angels
  • 23.Tightrope
  • 24.Prince of Peace/ Out of the Woods
  • 25.Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms
  • 26.Stranger In A Strange Land
  • 27.Your Song
  • 28.Take Me To The Pilot
  • 29.Sad Songs Say So Much
  • 30.The Bitch Is Back
  • 31.Hey Ahab

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Press Reviews

First Night: Electric Proms: Elton John, Leon Russell, Plan B and Rumer, The Roundhouse, London

The Indepedent

Forty years after his last gig at the circular Camden venue supporting The Who, the multi-award winning singer/songwriter kicked off the festival's fifth anniversary with a trip down memory lane.

Elton John, BBC Electric Proms, review

Daily Telegraph

Some standout songs saved an evening dominated by sludgy mid-tempo tunes.

Elton John

The Guardian

In keeping with the BBC's Electric Proms' eclectic ethos, he's sharing the spotlight with new talent and an old idol.

Elton's gig goes to Plan

The Sun

SIR ELTON JOHN hailed PLAN B's The Defamation Of Strickland Banks his favourite album of the year before welcoming the rapper on stage at the Roundhouse last night.


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Thursday 28 October

The Roundhouse

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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
BBC Radio 2 | Simon Mayo Drivetime
Philadelphia Freedom
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BBC Radio 2 | Janice Long
I'm Still Standing
BBC Radio 2 | Simon Mayo Drivetime
BBC Radio 2 | Steve Wright in the Afternoon

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