“I Want Love” isn’t widely regarded as one of Elton John’s classics. Instead, the grandly sweeping ballad, the first single from John’s 2001 album Songs From The West Coast, is mostly remembered for a pretty great music video where Robert Downey Jr., still recovering after doing whatever he could to torch his own career, dramatically lip-synced its lyrics. Still, it’s a pretty strong late-period Elton John single, and it might work even better as a country song.
Yesterday, we learned the news that two Elton John tribute albums, Revamp and Restoration, are on the way. While Revamp focuses on right-now pop singers doing their best to update John’s old songs, Restoration is focused on rootsy country singers doing their thing with his music. And the first single is scraggly-voiced country-rock star Chris Stapleton’s take on “I Want Love.”
Stapleton’s “I Want Love” is a pretty faithful take on the song. Stapleton doesn’t alter the melody, and his version, like John’s, is full of strings and pianos and soaring guitar solos. It mostly works as a showcase for Stapleton’s voice, which remains an absolute natural wonder. Listen to his version and watch the video for the original below.
Revamp and Restoration are both out 4/6 on Island and Universal Music Group Nashville. Restoration also features people like Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, and, um, Miley Cyrus.