''Songs from the West Coast'' is the twenty-seventh studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released worldwide on 1 October 2001. Many critics have said that this album brought John back to his piano-based musical roots. He once again collaborated with long-time lyricist Bernie Taupin. Elton also brought back former band members including drummer Nigel Olsson. This album marks the first time Elton John and collaborator Bernie Taupin wrote together in person. From the album, "I Want Love" was a single and a Grammy nominated song, and "Original Sin" and "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" also became hits. Stevie Wonder, who played harmonica on "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" 18 years earlier, played harmonica and clavinet on "Dark Diamond".
It was the first non-soundtrack studio album from John to be released after PolyGram and Universal Music Group merged, consolidating distribution rights to his entire catalogue.
Rufus Wainwright sings backing vocals on the track "American Triangle", which is about Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was brutally murdered in 1998.
The restaurant shown on the album's cover is Rae's Restaurant, which is frequently used as a location for many Los Angeles-based film shoots, including 1993's ''True Romance'' and 2005's ''Lords of Dogtown''. John's partner David Furnish and his Director of Operations Bob Halley appear on the album cover: Furnish as a cowboy at the bar and Halley as the man getting handcuffed.
Elton has said that the inspiration for many of the songs on this album came from when he listened to "Heartbreaker" by Ryan Adams.
In an interview with Jon Wiederhorn in 2001, Elton revealed that the album was recorded using analogue tape as he believes "the voice and instruments sound warmer".
The album was dedicated to Matthew Shepard and Oliver Johnstone, Davey Johnstone's late son.
In 2005, the album was repackaged as a special edition containing a bonus disc with remixes, b-sides and non-album singles from the time of its release. - Wikipedia