He’s just kicked off what stands to be the biggest farewell tour in music history and it seems Elton John is going full slam on the promotion with rumours abounding that he will be the star of this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert.
The unveiling of the ad has been the unofficial start of the festive commercial season for just over a decade, ever since the company spent £6m on their ‘Shadows’ commercial in 2007 - albeit it wasn’t until the following year that they soundtracked the ad with the now-traditional stripped-down cover version.
However, this year, it seems they’re not going for a ‘quirky’ piano cover, but very much the real thing, with Elton reportedly securing £5m to perform his 1970 hit ‘Your Song, with the total production cost hitting £10m.
He reported spent four days recording the advert at Pinewood Studios in London, with a source telling the Mail on Sunday that the storyline would span Elton’s lifetime of Christmases.
“John Lewis wanted to win the battle of the Christmas adverts this year and it has cost them a significant sum to do it, but they think having Elton on board will guarantee its popularity and blow Marks & Spencer out of the water.
“It’s a tear-jerker but also very sweet, and follows Elton from a child, through his teenage years, into how he is today.
“It is all very, very charming and the exciting crescendo at the end will be Elton playing his famous piano.”
Meanwhile, a John Lewis spokesperson responded: “We are lucky enough to enjoy lots of speculation around our TV ads, much of which is wildly inaccurate, and our one rule is to never comment on any aspect simply because we want to keep the magic.”
Elton’s ‘Your Song’ has already featured once on a John Lewis advert - when Ellie Goulding covered it for 2010’s ‘A Tribute to Givers’.
The final advert is likely to be released on 8 November if John Lewis keep to their usual schedules (with the inevitable viral mash-ups no doubt following directly behind).
Rumours have been wrong before: last year it was widely reported that they were going to use a cover of ‘Last Christmas’ - the final advert, which featured ‘Moz the Monster’ instead used Elbow’s cover of The Beatles’ ‘Golden Slumbers’ instead.
However, it would make complete sense for everyone involved if this were accurate - John Lewis get to retain their whimsical piano theme whilst also mixing it up a little with a bona fide star involved while John gets a nice publicity shot for his ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ retirement tour, which kicked off in Pennsylvania on Saturday night and is due to feature over 300 shows, finishing in 2021. The first UK dates were announced over the weekend; he’ll play the 1st Central County Ground in Hove on 9 June 2019, followed by Cardiff City Stadium on 15 June.
The tour was announced in January when the 71-year-old singer/songwriter explained that his “priorities have changed since he and husband David Furnish adopted their two sons, Elijah and Zachary.
“In 2015 we sat down with a school schedule and I thought I don’t want to miss too much of this. My life has changed, my priorities have changed and my priority now is my family.”
He added that making the decision, “wasn’t a hard struggle because I love my kids so much and they have taken over my life and are the most important thing”.
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(Image: John Lewis)