If you ask Elton John , soul legend Smokey Robinson is "the most amazing lyricist." So Elton tells Billboard. Now John will be joining Robinson on the Motown giant's forthcoming album of duets.
Smokey & Friends is due September 9, Billboard reports, and in addition to Elton John the album, produced by American Idol 's Randy Jackson , will feature James Taylor . Other duet partners have yet to be announced. The all-star slate of guests will accompany Smokey on versions of classic songs he wrote many of which he recorded on his own or with The Miracles .
Elton partners with Smokey on Robinson's 1965 hit "The Tracks of My Tears." Never one to shy away from superlatives, Elton calls it, "the greatest pop song ever written." He adds, "I think Bob Dylan described [Smokey] as America's greatest poet. He says things in five words that people take a whole page to say." For his part, Robinson says, "My dream and my aim as a songwriter is fulfilled with statements like that -- especially by someone like Elton who is a great songwriter himself."
Taylor , meanwhile, duets with Robinson on "Ain't That Peculiar," a song Smokey co-wrote with members of The Miracles and which became a big hit for Marvin Gaye .
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