Track Review: It’s a sin // Elton John, Years & Years

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The BRIT Awards on 11 May saw Elton John and Years & Years debut their new collaboration, a cover of the Pet Shop Boys’ ‘It’s a sin.’ The song was originally released in 1987 and was the inspiration behind the title of Russell T Davies’ incredibly successful and poignant Channel 4 drama, released in January of this year. The programme is set in the outbreak of the AIDS crisis during the 1980s, with Years & Years’ Olly Alexander playing the lead role.

The cover provides a contrast to the original track, with Alexander’s melancholy and vulnerable vocals leading the first verse of the song, accompanied by a simple piano melody. Sir Elton later joins the song, accompanied by an upbeat sound, similar to the original. Throughout the track the vocals flow seamlessly between stripped back and the original up-tempo sound, with a flavour of both Elton John and Years & Years’ iconic sounds running throughout. 

The track debuted at number one on the Official Charts following the electric performance at the BRIT Awards. Upon introducing the performance, David Furnish remarked, “By fighting together, we’ve changed the world.” Proceeds from sales of the track will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which aims to reduce the stigma surrounding AIDS through advocacy and research.

Words by Grace Nicholls


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