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The Diving Board

361 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 24, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Elton John s The Diving Board, is his first studio album in seven years Produced by T Bone Burnett, the album features 12 new songs written by Elton and his longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as three piano interludes composed by the artist.

The Diving Board returns Elton John to the piano, bass and drums lineup that marked the artist s introduction to worldwide audiences more than 40 years ago. As Elton explains, In many ways, I feel like I m starting again, making records. Several years ago when beginning to work with T Bone and being in the studio with Leon Russell for The Union, I had to ask myself, What kind of music do I really want to make? , and I realized that I had to go back to go forward again. I needed to strip away the excesses and get back to the core of what I do as an artist. That s what The Diving Board represents. The Diving Board is the album I ve been waiting to make for decades. According to producer T Bone Burnett, The Diving Board is an album of music by a master at the peak of his artistic powers.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
  1. Oceans Away 3:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Oscar Wilde Gets Out 4:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. A Town Called Jubilee 4:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. The Ballad Of Blind Tom 4:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Dream # 10:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. My Quicksand 4:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Can't Stay Alone Tonight 4:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Voyeur 4:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Home Again 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Take This Dirty Water 4:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Dream # 20:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. The New Fever Waltz 4:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. Mexican Vacation (Kids In The Candlelight) 3:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
14. Dream # 3 1:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
15. The Diving Board 5:55$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00DJZR46G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,828 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

168 of 193 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Rosenthal on September 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Diving Board is not Elton John's "first record" since The Captain and the Kid in 2006. He released a CD called The Union with Leon Russell - produced by T Bone Burnett - just three years ago. Although it was not a "solo" Elton John effort, it was as much an Elton John album as anything else he's released in his career, even if he shared top billing with his hero and mentor of 40-plus years ago. EJ co-wrote and played piano on almost all of the songs, and sang lead or backing vocals on all but one track.

As for The Diving Board, it was controversial before anyone had heard a note. Some fans were apoplectic that Elton's excellent and versatile touring band, headed by longtime EJ guitarist Davey Johnstone, was left off the new work. Fans furiously pointed fingers at T Bone Burnett, the producer on this, his second project with the Rocket Man. "Burnett is a musical tyrant!" protested some Elton John devotees on social media sites. "He is a bad, bad man who doesn't understand Elton's music!" I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea.

The truth is that T Bone Burnett deserves a medal for drawing out the real Elton John on this recording. Burnett told Elton before they started that he'd like to see the Pinner native go back to basics. Not just back to basic rock, or back to organic music without synths and click-tracks, but a piano-bass-drums set-up, like Elton's touring band of 1970-71, which featured Nigel Olsson on drums and Dee Murray on bass. Burnett attended one of Elton's historic Troubadour concerts in Los Angeles the week of August 25, 1970, the series of shows which made EJ a star, as they say, overnight. As Elton enthusiasts know, his trio floored jaded, music industry heavies.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Aaron on September 20, 2013
Format: Audio CD
As someone before me said, listen to the hype.

As an avid Elton John listener, under 40 (I'm 25), I've been disappointed with every album Elton John has released SINCE I'VE BEEN ALIVE. This despite him being one of my major musical influences. This Album, I would argue, is the best thing he's released since Captain Fantastic, maybe before. It is the best he's released in decades, and easily stands up to his earlier works.

Listening to songs, you hear elements from Yellow Brick Road, Tumbleweed Connection, Madman Across the Water, and even some of his better recent work (a couple of the songs closely echo his single "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues." He also delves into some new territory, but this is a landmark work by an artist at the top of his game, and going back to the roots that made him great. It's like he took the best of everything he did over the years and compiled it into 15 songs. He and Taupin are at the top of his game, and anyone who likes listening to him for more than just the hits, will love this album.
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Rudy Palma on September 24, 2013
Format: Audio CD
(A 21-track deluxe edition featuring two exclusive tracks is available only at Target.)

The concept behind "The Diving Board," Elton John's sophisticated new offering - his first solo outing since 2006's criminally underrated "The Captain and the Kid" - is one of simplicity, of intentionally harking back to the stark, literate sound he quietly descended upon downtown Los Angeles with in 1970 when he powerfully made his American debut at the Troubador.

That alone makes it a worthy, often harrowing listen, though the songwriting itself is unquestionably ripened, wizened and mature in perspective - that John and lyricist Bernie Taupin are no longer the two lads who wrote "Your Song" and "The Greatest Discovery" is quite clear - making for an intriguing, if at first alarming, and not always successful, musical dichotomy.

When Taupin is at his best it is something to behold. Lead single "Home Again," the most radio-friendly tune among the dozen, is achingly beautiful and universal in its sentiments without a trace of treacle, beckoning one of John's most buttery, ingratiating melodies. "Oscar Wilde Gets Out" is as epic as one of his early 70s story songs, and John responds with a bone-chilling performance.

"Oceans Away" is a classy, dignifying, and, above all, poetic tribute to the Greatest Generation and those they left behind in World War II. John's matter-of-fact, graceful vocal underscores the pathos and power of Taupin's key points, and his playing is arresting and rapturous.

There are also moments where one cannot help but be reminded of Taupin's claim that he is writing lyrics now by and large as "a hobby.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rex Oates on October 16, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Elton John has written the soundtrack for my life. At every turn from pre-adolescence to now, there has been an Elton John album, 8-track, cassette, CD and now thumbdrive, living in my musical device. So I'm obviously a bit biased with my 5-stars.

What's fun about "The Diving Board," as Elton has stated, is his own experimentation with minimal instrumentation. When you don't have a full band behind you, that puts pressure on you, as the keyboard becomes the main musical focus. Elton does not disappoint. His piano playing has never been better than it is on this collection...and considering the time span of his career, we're talking a LONG time. And while there's no "jump up and dance, rock-it" type music here, there is some toe tapping that goes one...and sometimes, these days that more than good enough. T-Bone Burnett adds his own special flavor as producer, but never to the point of drawing attention away from the work.And the lyrics bring the imagery and emotion one would expect from the master wordsmith Bernie Taupin (again I'm biased because his work with Elton has been such a big part of my entire life).
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Very true; although I think he's been back since 2001's Songs From the West Coast.
Sep 23, 2013 by Nathan B. Blake |  See all 3 posts
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