Elton John is giving fans a taste of his long-awaited upcoming album The Diving Board with his new music video for “Home Again.” But Elton himself is nowhere to be found in the clip. A series of actors plays a single character as he journeys home; the closer he gets to his destination, the younger he gets.
It’s not the first time Elton has declined to appear in one of his videos; the video for 2001’s Songs From The West Coast first single, “I Want Love,” featured Robert Downey Jr. lip-synching the song, done in one single take while he walks through an empty mansion.
The second video from that album, “This Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore” starred Justin Timberlake (who was still a member of *NSYNC at the time) playing a young Elton; again, the man himself made no actual appearance in the video.
Sir Elton finally made a cameo in the third clip from that album, “Original Sin,” which starred Mandy Moore (John played her father, while Elizabeth Taylor played her mother).
At that time, Elton’s absence from his own music videos was seen as a way to keep a focus on the songs; Songs From The West Coast was seen as an “important” album with a stripped down sound (inspired by Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker) that brought him back to his roots. It was warmly received by fans and most music critics, getting a four star review from Rolling Stone and an A- from Entertainment Weekly. His upcoming album, Diving Board, is produced by T-Bone Burnett (whom Elton worked with on his collaboration with Leon Russell, 2010’s The Union), and clearly Elton has high hopes for it, saying it’s “the album I’ve been waiting to make for decades.”
That wait will soon be over: after a few delays, The Diving Board will be released on September 24.