Hear Maren Morris’ ‘Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,’ From New Elton John Tribute Album
Almost two years ago, Maren Morris received the surprise phone call of a lifetime: Elton John himself called the country superstar to tell her that he'd purchased her debut studio album, Hero, on vinyl, and that he loved her music. "He didn't tweet me, didn't have his people email my people...He called me on the phone himself, which was such a badass, fading-from-the-world kind of sweet gesture," Maren added in a recent Instagram post reflecting on that phone call.
Now, in a star-studded new tribute to John's musical legacy, the double albums Revamp and Restoration, Morris has the opportunity to return the compliment. Along with a host of other country stars including acts such as Dolly Parton and Vince Gill, Morris will offer her own rendition of one of her favorite John tracks, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters." Readers can press play above to listen to the song now.
Originally released in 1972 on the studio album Honky Chateau, "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" was one of a large catalog of songs written by John and his long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin. Critics have praised John's version of the song for its "emotional directness," and John himself introduced the song as "one of my all-time favorites" before performing it at his 60th-birthday concert in New York City.
Morris' soulful rendition of the tune taps into a gospel sensibility that is an undercurrent in much of her own music, but in this performance has a chance to take center stage. While Morris makes the song her own, the cover is ultimately faithful one, and retains everything that makes the original version great.
The pair of tribute albums will be released ahead of John's 300-date, 3-year-long Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, which will cap off his 50-year career of performing. The tour is set to kick off this September.
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