Showing posts with label Elton John. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elton John. Show all posts

Friday, 3 February 2012

Philadelphia freedom - Elton John

Elton John released 'Philadelphia freedom' as a single in 1975. Elton, looking to honour his friend, tennis professional Billie Jean King, asked Taupin to write a song called 'Philadelphia Freedom', an homage to her tennis team. Taupin said, 'I can't write a song about tennis', and did not. Taupin maintains that the lyrics bear no relation to tennis, Philly Soul or even flag-waving patriotism. In the U.S. it was a charttopper in April 1975.

The B-side features a live performance of 'I saw her standing there' by Elton John and John Lennon at Madison Square Gardens on November 26, 1974.

My collection: 7" single no. 5292
Found: Fun Records, Berlin, received February 1, 2012
Cost: 2,8 euro
Tracks: 'Philadelphia freedom' / 'I saw her standing there (live)'

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Blue eyes - Elton John

'Blue eyes' was written by Elton John and Gary Osborne and released by Elton John in 1982 as the first single from the album 'Jump up!'. The single reached number 8 in the UK singles chart and number 10 in the Dutch Top 40.

At the time of its release, I wasn't particularly impressed with this song, but I've grown to like it almost three decades later. Perhaps I'm getting less critical of Eighties music than I was then.

My collection: 7" single no. 5223
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, November 19, 2011
Cost: 0,5 euro
Tracks: 'Blue eyes' / 'Hey papa Legba'

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Little Jeannie - Elton John

Elton John and Gary Osborne wrote this song, which was released in 1980 as a single from Elton John's album '21 at 33'. The song can be described as an uptempo ballad. In the US, it would be Elton's highest-charting single co-written with Gary Osborne, while in the UK, where the song only reached number 33, 'Blue eyes' would eventually hold that honour.

Despite its impressive performance in the US charts, Elton has rarely performed 'Little Jeannie' live, doing so only on his 1980 tour and during 2000's One Night Only concerts.

My collection: 7" single no. 5203
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 15, 2011
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'Little Jeannie' / 'Conquer the sun'

Friday, 15 April 2011

Passengers - Elton John

'Passengers' was released in 1984 as the second single from Elton John's album 'Breaking hearts'. It reached number 5 in the UK singles chart and number 9 in Australia.

The song was written not only by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, who write most of John's material, but in collaboration with Davey Johnstone and Phineas McHize.

My collection: 7" single no. 5082
Found: Record fair, Utrecht, April 9, 2011
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Passengers' / 'Lonely boy'

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Cold as Christmas (in the middle of the year) - Elton John

Although this single was released in late 1983 and the title actually mentions Christmas, this song is not a very Christmassy affair.

Taken from Elton John's 1983 album 'Too low for zero', this single only reached number 33 in the UK singles chart and number 52 in Australia. In other territories it remained unreleased or unsuccessful.

My collection: 7" single no. 4961
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 31, 2010
Cost: 50p
Tracks: 'Cold as Christmas (in the middle of the year)' / 'Crystal'

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Heartache all over the world - Elton John

Double singles have always been irresistible to me, so when I spotted this one I bought it despite the fact that I didn't know the A-side track. Elton John is a classic singer/songwriter anyway, so most of his stuff is worth listening to. With the exception, perhaps, of 'Heartache all over the world', which is a piece of music that doesn't really go anywhere.

Despite being described as a 'non-hit' on Wikipedia, it still managed to reach number 7 in Australia. In the UK, it didn't get past number 45.

My collection: 7" single no. 4966
Found: Sister Ray, London, October 31, 2010
Cost: 2 pounds
Tracks: 'Heartache all over the world' / 'Highlander' // 'I'm still standing' / 'Passengers'

Friday, 9 April 2010

The one - Elton John

'The one' is the first single from Elton John's 1992 album, also called 'The pne'. Elton said that he felt an intense connection to Taupin's lyrics for 'The one' in light of his personal circumstances around the time of making the album, in particular the line 'for each man in his time is Cain until he walks along the beach.'

The single reached number 10 in the UK singles chart, number 11 in the Dutch Top 40 and number 9 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 1664
Found: Melody Maker, Den Haag, June 13, 1992
Cost: 6,5 guilders
Tracks: 'The one' / 'Suit of wolves'

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Kiss the bride - Elton John

The third single from Elton John's 1983 album 'Too low for zero' was 'Kiss the bride'. Released in this limited edition double pack, a second disc included the old classic 'Song for Guy' from 1978 and another single from the same year, 'Ego'. Curiously, this package was not housed in a gatefold sleeve; the two discs were crammed into one sleeve instead.

The single reached number 20 in the UK singles chart, with lower chart placings in Australia, Canada and the USA (number 25, 37 and 25 respectively).

My collection: 7" single no. 4747
Found: Record fair, Rijswijk, April 5, 2010
Cost: 1 euro
Tracks: 'Kiss the bride' / 'Dreamboat' // 'Ego' / 'Song for Guy'

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Cry to heaven - Elton John

I hated the song 'Nikita' by Elton John. I thought it was a sentimental piece of drivel with a much too repetitive chorus. This made it hard to like 'Cry to heaven', released a few months later. Still, I did buy the single a few years later, realising that this song actually had an interesting melody.

'Cry to heaven' reached number 12 in the Dutch Top 40 and number 47 in the UK singles chart. It was less successful than 'Nikita', which inexplicably became a top 10 hit almost everywhere.

My collection: 7" single no. 656
Found: Leiden, September 23, 1988
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Cry to heaven' / 'Candy by the pound'

Saturday, 3 April 2010

I guess that's why they call it the blues - Elton John

'I guess that's why they call it the blues' was released in 1983 as a single from Elton John's album 'Too low for zero'. The track features Stevie Wonder on harmonica and received favourable reviews from the moment it was released. It has gone on to be one of Elton John's most-played songs on radio stations from the Eighties portion of his career.

The single reached number 5 in the UK singles chart and number 4 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, but failed to reach the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 1037
Found: Record Exchange, London, October 17, 1989
Cost: 30p
Tracks: 'I guess that's why they call it the blues' / 'Choc ice goes mental' (Lord Choc Ice)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Song for Guy - Elton John

Elton John wrote 'Song for Guy' himself, without his usual writing partner Bernie Taupin. The track is mainly instrumental but contains one line near the end of the track, which is repeated several times: 'Life isn't everything'. Elton later commented: 'As I was writing this song one Sunday, I imagined myself floating into space and looking down at my own body. I was imagining myself dying. Morbidly obsessed with these thoughts, I wrote this song about death. The next day I was told that Guy (Burchett), our 17 year-old messenger boy, had been tragically killed on his motorcycle the day before. Guy died on the day I wrote this song.'

The single version of 'Song for Guy' is one and a half minutes shorter than the album version. The single reached number 4 in the UK singles chart and number 6 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 1768
Found: House of Rhythm, London, October 20, 1992
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Song for Guy' / 'Lovesick'

Monday, 1 March 2010

Something about the way you look tonight / Candle in the wind 1997 - Elton John

Yesterday it was twelve and a half years ago that Diana, Princess of Wales, affectionately known as Lady Di, was killed during a mysterious road accident in a tunnel in Paris. The outpouring of grief in the UK was unprecedented, but also set a trend that equalled mass hysteria whenever somebody famous died.

Part of the funeral service was Elton John's performance of 'Candle in the wind', the lyric of which was rewritten to suit the circumstances of Diana's life and death. When the song was released as a single, the official A-side was the song 'Something about the way you look tonight', a track from his then-current album 'The big picture'. The single reached number 1 around the world.

My collection: 7" single no. 2924
Found: Record fair, November 30, 1997
Cost: 10 guilders
Tracks: 'Something about the way you look tonight' / 'Candle in the wind 1997'

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Empty garden - Elton John

'Empty garden' was written by Elton John after his friend John Lennon was murdered by an obsessed fan in front of his New York City apartment on December 8, 1980. He first performed the song live at Madison Square Garden in 1982, with Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and their son Sean in the audience.

The 'Empty garden' referred to in the song is Madison Square Garden, where John Lennon did a duet with Elton in 1974 during his last stage performance. Elton has since performed the song several times at Madison Square Garden. The single was released in the summer of 1982, reaching number 13 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 51 in the UK singles chart.

My collection: 7" single no. 2435
Found: All that music, Leiden, August 19, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Empty garden' / 'Take me down to the ocean'

Friday, 12 February 2010

I don't wanna go on with you like that - Elton John

'I don't wanna go on with you like that' was taken from Elton John's 1988 album 'Reg strikes back'. Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, the song describes the breakup of a lovers' relationship.

When the single was released in the summer of 1988, it reached number 30 in the UK singles chart and number 2 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was kept from the top spot by the single 'Monkey' by George Michael.

My collection: 7" single no. 660
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, October 1, 1988
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'I don't wanna go on with you like that' / 'Rope around a fool'

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Rocket man - Elton John

This single has the unique distinction to be the inspiration for two very recognisable women in music: Kate Bush and Tori Amos. Kate Bush recorded a cover of 'Rocket man' in 1994, whereas Tori Amos performed 'Tiny dancer' during her concert tour in the same year.

The song 'Rocket man' was conceived when Bernie Taupin saw a shooting star or a distant airplane. The lyric describes a Mars-bound astronaut's mixed feelings at leaving his family in order to do his job. The single reached number 2 in the UK singles chart and number 6 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1972.

My collection: 7" single no. 2552
Found: Record fair, November 19, 1995
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Rocket man' / 'Tiny dancer'


Sunday, 27 December 2009

Easier to walk away - Elton John

The sleeve of this single announces that all royalties from the sale of the record will be divided equally between four charities: the Terence Higgins Trust, London Lighthouse, Jefferiss Research Wing Trust and Body Positive. But that wasn't the most attractive thing about this single: 'Easier to walk away' is a strong pop song, and quite a change from the dull dross that was 'Sacrifice', Elton John's biggest hit in the UK in 1990.

'Easier to walk away' was released as a single from Elton's greatest hits compilation 'The very best of Elton John', released in 1991. The single only reached number 63 in the UK singles chart and number 51 in Germany.

My collection: 7" single no. 1502
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, March 6, 1991
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'Easier to walk away' / 'I swear I heard the night talking'

Saturday, 12 December 2009

I'm still standing - Elton John

'I'm still standing' was taken from Elton John's 1983 album 'Too low for zero'. The lyric of the song is about making a comeback despite problems in daily life. It could well be autobiographical, although Elton John was consistently successful thoughout the Seventies and early Eighties.

The single reached number 4 in the UK singles chart, number 12 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 8 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 940
Found: All that music, Leiden, July 7, 1989
Cost: 2 guilders
Tracks: 'I'm still standing' / 'Tortured'

Friday, 6 November 2009

Sorry seems to be the hardest word - Elton John

'Sorry seems to be the hardest word' was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It was one of the rare instances where Elton John himself wrote much of the lyric. The track was released in 1976 as a track on his album 'Blue moves'. When it was released as a single, it reached number 11 in the UK singles chart, number 6 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 14 in the Dutch Top 40.

In 2007, Marty Wilde released a cover version of this track on a compilation cd to commemorate his 50 years as a performing artist. It was a duet with his daughter Kim, a successful artist in her own right. Although their version is commendable, nothing beats the beauty of the original.

My collection: 7" single no. 612
Found: All that music, Leiden, 1988
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Sorry seems to be the hardest word' / 'Shoulder holster'

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Your song - Elton John

Released in January 1972, 'Your song' was Elton John's eighth single release, but his first hit. The song was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The song was part of a stockpile of songs John and Taupin wrote in 1969 while they were living together. John pinpoints his composition of the music to October 27. Supposedly, it took him only ten minutes. Taupin had penned the lyrics earlier that day over breakfast.

The single reached number 7 in the UK singles chart, number 8 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 10 in the Dutch Top 40.

My collection: 7" single no. 686
Found: Disco Market, Den Haag, 1988
Cost: 1 guilder
Tracks: 'Your song' / 'Into the old man's shoes'

Friday, 23 October 2009

Don't let the sun go down on me - George Michael and Elton John

'Don't let the sun go down on me' was originally a hit for Elton John in 1974. The single peaked at number 16 in the UK singles chart. However, it was this live version, performed together with George Michael, that made the song even more popular.

The track was recorded live at a concert in Wembley Arena on March 25, 1991, where Elton appeared as a surprise guest star of George Michael, the duet became a massive hit. It reached number 1 in the USA, the UK and the Netherlands. The proceeds from the single were divided among 10 different charities for children, AIDS and education.

The B-side of this single is a live performance of the Stevie Wonder song 'I believe (when I fall in love it will be forever)'. The first verse sounds a lot like Mel & Kim's 'Who's gonna catch you'. Or rather, I think it's the other way around...

My collection: 7" single no. 3256
Found: House of Rhythm, London, October 20, 2000
Cost: 60p
Tracks: 'Don't let the sun go down on me' / 'I believe (when I fall in love it will be forever)'

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