In the mid-2010s, Elton John's life was in a good place. He had a loving family with his husband David Furnish, and two sons, Zachary and Elijah. So his approach coming into the studio for the work that would become Wonderful Crazy Night was that he wanted to make an upbeat album with a live feel.
For his next album following his very successful collaboration with Leon Russell The Union, Elton John once again turned to producer T-Bone Burnett, who suggested that Elton return to the piano-bass-drums lineup that had served him well in his early career. Accordingly, the majority of this album is anchored by Elton on piano, Raphael Saadiq on bass , Jay Bellerose on drums and Keefus Ciancia on keyboards, with Davey Johnstone and the touring band left on the sidelines. Bernie Taupin wrote all the lyrics for the album in just a few days time. Elton described it as his most exciting solo record in a long time. The album was originally to be released in the Fall of 2012 but numerous delays pushed its release to the Fall of 2013.
In 2008, on the debut episode of Spectacle!, a music and talk show hosted by the bespectacled and by now highly respected Elvis Costello, Elton John spoke highly of three of his primary piano-playing influences: Laura Nyro, David Ackles, and Leon Russell. At that time, only Leon Russell was still alive.
In 2005 Elton John celebrated the 30th anniversary of 1975's excellent autobiographical album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy with a concert performing (almost) the entire album in sequence at Madison Square Garden. (Elton opted to exclude "Tower of Babel" and "Writing" from the concert.) It accompanied the release of a Deluxe Edition double-CD set that featured a 1975 performance of the as-yet unreleased entire album given with a brand-new band before a Wembley Stadium crowd. Now to say that playing an album to an audience unfamiliar with the songs nor the band was a challenge would be an understatement, especially as the bill was filled with hitmakers like the Beach Boys, Chicago and the Eagles.
The original Magic Kingdom Tomorrowland /1971-1993
As was Tomorrowland at Disneyland on its opening day 16 years earlier, Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World started out quite bare.
In January 2004 Elton John assembled his band at Tree Studios and Silent Sound in Atlanta Georgia to record his twenty-seventh album, By this point the Elton John Band had solidified, with longtime associates Davey Johnstone on guitars and vocals, and Nigel Olsson on drums and vocals, joined by Bob Birch on bass and vocals, John Mahon on percussion and vocals and Guy Babylon on keyboards. By this time, the latter 3 had worked extensively with Elton.