By Steve Wiseman

Elton John had his 30th solo album wrapped up and ready to go last spring. In fact, he was so confident that he released an 10-song tracklist for Diving Board in anticipation of its release. But with the street date being delayed until 2013 for promotional reasons, the extra time to sit and speculate the finished product has given Sir Elton second thoughts.

“This is the first time that Elton’s had time to live with something before it’s come out,” producer T-Bone Burnett tells Rolling Stone. “I think he thought, ‘You know, maybe I should write some more things in that mode so that the album has a tighter identity.’ Some tunes were maybe too happy for the overall identity of the album.”

Originally expected to become available to the public at the end of this year, Diving Board‘s delay has disappointed many involved with the project. “It’s disappointing that our new music won’t hit the streets sooner but in order to get things done right it makes sense to delay its release by a few months,” said lyricist Bernie Taupin. “It’s no fun having to sit on something you’re truly excited about but hopefully our fans will understand and that eventually the wait will be worth it.”

When Diving Board comes to the masses, they will be greeted with vintage Elton. John recorded this album as a trio, a format he used with great success in the early 1970s. “The first time I heard Elton it was with a trio at the Troubadour in 1970” says Burnett. “And he absolutely killed it.”

On his new record, Elton, per Burnett’s recommendation, summoned the efforts of drummer Jay Bellerose and recruited bassist Raphael Saadiq. Burnett also believes fans of Elton will be able to see John take his 3-man show on the road, though nothing has been confirmed. “I’m sure he will though. Why wouldn’t he? It’s a good deal.”

— EJ Judge, WCBS-FM, New York


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