NEW YORK: Elton John on Thursday announced his first album in nearly three years, on which the pop legend reunites with longtime backup artists.
The 68-year-old English singer said that “Wonderful Crazy Night,” his 33rd studio album, will come out worldwide on February 5.
A first song from the album, “Looking Up,” shows John going back to the blues-rock sound characteristic of his early work, with the song driven by a heavy rhythm guitar.
The song — with a chorus in which John sings, “I m looking up more than I look down” — was released for fans who pre-order the album.
If the song — both musically and lyrically — is representative of the album, it marks a return to an upbeat feel for John after his last album, “The Diving Board,” a more stripped-down work consisting largely of John singing alone with his piano.
“The Diving Board,” released in September 2013, was the first album in more than 30 years in which the “Rocket Man” did not include any of his regular band members.
“Wonderful Crazy Night” marks a reunion with original drummer Nigel Olsson as well as with guitarist Davey Johnstone, who has been key to John s sound since 1971 and has also played with other stars including Meat Loaf and Rod Stewart.
John, while regularly releasing albums, has made his name as one of the highest earning performing artists and maintains an active concert schedule, which includes a residency in Las Vegas.
John, who married his partner David Furnish last year, has also been one of the most outspoken celebrities in advocating gay rights. He recently voiced his concerns on the treatment of gays in Russia in a conversation with President Vladimir Putin.