After three decades of living a grand and sordid rock star life, Elton John set off in a different direction, writing the soundtrack for Disney's "The Lion King." "I sat there with a line of lyrics that began, 'When I was a young warthog.' And I thought, 'Has it come to this?'" John told TIME London bureau chief Barry Hillenbrand. It worked out fine. The effort just netted John a Grammy. Soon he will be back at the keyboard to back his latest album, "Made in England." TIME critic David E. Thigpen describes it as "pungent, coherent, and brimming with good tunes."