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29 Feb 2008

Aida's Hard To Find Lyrics

Fortune Favors The Brave:

Oh, Oh
Fortune Favors the Brave
Oh, Oh
Fortune Favors the Brave

We have swept to glory,
Egypt's mastery expands
From the Nile's northern most delta
To the dry, dry southern sands

The more we find, the more we see,
The more we come to learn
The more that we explore,
The more we shall return

Oh, oh
Fortune favors the brave

It's all worked out, my road is clear
The lines of latitude extend
Way beyond my wildest dreams
Toward some great triumphant end

We seize the day
We turned the tide
We touched the stars
We mocked the grave
We moved into uncharted lands

Radames & Soldiers:
Fortune favors the brave

The more we find, the more we see
The more we come to learn
The more that we explore
The more we shall return

Nothing is an accident
We are free to have it all
We are what we want to be
It's in ourselves to rise or fall

This is easy to believe
When distant places call to me
It's harder from the palace yard
Fortune favors the free

Oh, oh

Fortune favors the young!

Oh, oh

Fortune favors the brave!

Every Story Is A Love Story:

Every story, tale or memoir
Every saga or romance
Whether true or fabricated
Whether planned or happenstance

Whether sweeping through the ages
Casting centuries aside
Or a hurried brief recital
Just a thirty-minute ride

Whether bright or melancholy
Rough and ready, finely spun
Whether with a thousand players
Or a lonely cast of one

Every story, new or ancient
Bagatelle or work of art
All are tales of human failing
All are tales of love at heart

This is the story
Of a love that flourished
In a time of hate

Of lovers no tyranny could separate
Love set into motion on the Nile's shore
Destiny ignited by an act of war

Egypt saw the mighty river as its very heart and soul
Source of life for all her people
That only Egypt could control
Destruction of her southern neighbor justified
Nubia exploited, left with little more than pride

The Dance Of The Robe:

It's knowing what they want of me that scares me
It's knowing having followed that I must lead
It's knowing that each person there compares me
To those in my past whom I now succeed
But how can whatever I do for them now
Be enough
Be enough

Aida! Aida!
All we ask of you
Is a lifetime of service, wisdom, courage
To ask more would be selfish
But nothing less will do
Aida! Aida!

You robe should be golden, your robe should be perfect
Instead of this ragged concoction of thread
But may you be moved by its desperate beauty
To give us new life for we'd rather be dead
Then live in the squalor and shame of the slave
To the dance!
To the dance!

Aida! Aida!
All we ask of you

All we ask is a lifetime of
Service, wisdom, courage
To ask more would be selfish
But nothing less will do
Aida! Aida!

Aida! Aida!
Aida! Aida! Aida!

I know expectations are wild and almost
Beyond my fulfillment but they won't hear
A word of a doubt or see signs of weakness
My nigh on impossible duty is clear
If I can rekindle my ancestors' dreams
It's enough
It's enough

It's enough

Aida! Aida!
Aida! Aida! Aida!

It's enough

28 Feb 2008

Unforgettable People (XI): Tim Rice

According to Wikipedia, Sir Timothy Miles Bindon Rice (November 10, 1944) is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, and his work for The Walt Disney Company with Alan Menken and Sir Elton John. He also collaborated with Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA on Chess and with Rick Wakeman on the concept albums 1984 and Cost of Living.

Born in Buckinghamshire, England, Rice entered the world of popular music as the lead singer for a pop group called the Aardvarks (1961-1963), and went on to sing occasionally with other sixties rock groups. His first published song, "That's My Story," appeared in 1965, the same year he met Andrew Lloyd Webber.

For eltonites, Sir Tim Rice is known since he teamed up with Elton for “Legal Boys” on 1982. When Jeffrey Katzenberg asked in 1991 Tim Rice to write lyrics for an animated musical about the life of a lion, Tim said “Elton was my first choice (to put music to) I didn’t think they could get him, to be honest, but they did”. So Tim phoned Elton saying he could have the lyrics for “Circle Of Life” that afternoon, giving Elton three days to compose. But Elton didn’t want or need the lyrics then, asking Tim to bring them with him the next day: and Elton composed the great opener song from the movie.

In 1996, there were three new songs to write for the stage version of “The Lion King”, and many more for an update of Verdi’s opera Aida, another Disney project. Disney gave Elton this project because he hadn’t wanted to follow up “The Lion King” with another cartoon: “Give me something dangerous” exclaimed Elton. But Sir Tim Rice thought that the cast album is much better than the All-Stars 1999 Collection of songs because “none of the performers had a clue what the whole project was about, they all did it as a favour to Elton”.

He released his autobiography Oh What a Circus - The Autobiography of Tim Rice in 1998, which covered his childhood and early adult life until the opening of the original London production of Evita in 1978. A sequel covering his life since then is in production.

More info on

22 Feb 2008

Unforgettable People (X): Gary Osborne

Elton met Gary Osborne is late 1960s, when Elton was playing the Cromwellian Club with Bluesology and Gary was stll a teen. In 1973 Gary began writing lyrics for Kiki Dee’s albums, but remainded an Elton’s friend, playing poker in the evenings. Once, Elton confessed to Gary that they would work someday together. And so they did it in 1978, with the “A Single Man” album.

Gary Osborne wrote a great deal of the lyrics on Elton's "A Single Man" album, and provided lyrics for "21 At 33", "The Fox", "Jump Up!" and "Leather Jackets", including the hit "Blue Eyes", this had led to him writing a lot of the lyrics for 1978 Jeff Waynes classic album "War of the Worlds".

“I was only known as the poor man’s Taupin , the guy who wrote some of the lighter things for Elton” remembered Gary. Elton always had defending him, saying that this method to writing music before lyrics gave him a complete freedom. It was Gary’s personality that appealed to Elton: his blond hair, his big coats and his longer fingers.

19 Feb 2008

The Story Behind "Empty Garden"

The song was written by Bernie Taupin the day after John Lennon’s 1980 murder. He said he locked in his office and refused to watch the news or read any paper. “I knew in the back of my mind that everybody would be doing the same thing” explained Bernie. “I thought: “God, am I cashing in? Am I being cold and calculating?” But then I realized it was te only thing I could do. I couldn’t cry because that comes later”.

“When Bernie came up with the lyrics”, Elton expressed his point of view, “I didn’t think anyone would be able to say anything without being clumsy or cheesy”.

Taupin borrowed the line “Can’t you came out to play” from The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” song.

The Story Behind "Blue Eyes"

With lyrics provided by Gary Osborne, and written with Frank Sinatra in mind, Elton even contributed a phrase. Following Elton’s lead, Gary reverted to his method from “A Single Man” sessions, of penning words that attach themselves directly to the melody.

It was the last song recorded for the album. It was nearly abandoned after six takes, it was difficulty getting acceptable vocals because Elton sang in a lower-than-usual key.

“Blue Eyes” earned a Grammy nomination and climbs to the Top 10 in countries like England, Australia, Canada, Italy, Israel or Belgium.

16 Feb 2008

The Eltonite's Day (VII): today... the one and only... Jera!!!

Hi Jera. Welcome to the “The One” Week. Nice to “meet” you. This album could always count on you to be one of his strongest defenders, specially the first single “The One”... and some time you said about it: “For personal reasons, it’s one of the best Elton’s singles ever”. Seems to have powerful reasons to say that... so, no one but you to dedicate this week’s interview. Thanks for the acceptation, I am so happy you did it!!

But first... Could you tell us, please, who are you and where are you from?
I am Jesse and I am from Finland, and that's why my english isn't the best quality...

Right. When did you became an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?
I wasn't ever listened any artist, only movie soundtracks and Wrestling-themes (not anymore 'though...). I was listening random movie music, loaded from web, and suddenly Elton's "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and "Circle Of Life" came, and I was stunned. I heard them many years ago, but never gave me any special attention to them. So I listened it all over again, again and again and I thought: "Wow.. Such a great musician...". Few weeks later, I saw Elton's collection: "Love Songs" with midprice tag.. so I bought it. My first thoughts were, how great songs are: "Sacrifice", "The One", "Candle In The Wind" etc. And The Lion King tracks too, of course. After "Love Songs", I bought "Greatest Hits 1970-2002" and... That was the beginning.

Wow!! What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? Have you even been front row? And also, could you tell us if you ever have been in touch with him?

I've never seen him live… When I started being his fan in 2005, he came in Helsinki and Turku on November, but I didn’t have any many, so… The only thing I’ve been in some way “in touch with him”, was when I wrote him a letter on December, back in 2006 and was it on January when he answered me: "Thank You For Your Letter, Great English!Elton x". It was funny when he wrote “great english!”,because I said “Ps. sorry for my bad english”. He has such a great sense of humor!

Great. Which is your Elton's item that you really appreciate, for being hard to get or for the happiness you've got to have it?
Well his autograph must be one of those.. It’s really special for me, like the "Made In England – interview" disc too!

Fantastic! And how is being an eltonite in Finland? Which were his number one albums in your country and when began Elton’s success in your country?
I don’t actually know anything about his success here... I could only guess that “Candle In The Wind ’97” was maybe number one back then. But that’s only speculation.

Perfect. You know this is “The One Week”. What do you think about the album? I mean the songs, the lyrics, the artwork design of the album, its success throughout the world... Did Chris Thomas a great job, in your opinion, with the songs?

I think this is one of his best albums and songs, specially the title song, "Simple Life", "The Last Song", "Runaway Train", "When Woman Doesn’t Want You" and "Sweat It Out". Those are great songs, with absolutely great melody and lyrics. The best song is absolutely "The One". So beautiful. Versace did a wonderful job with the cover, and his suits in The One-Tour. Much colours and style, and I like colours very much. Thomas was ok, but promotion could have been bigger and more.

Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?
I’m Still Standing
Circle Of Life
Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting
The One
Crocodile Rock
It's very hard to say only 5.. Those are great, but I’m sure tomorrow I would have a different list. "I’m Still Standing" is my absolute favourite, so a rockin’ great song!

Thank you. Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?
Keep listening Elton’s music and have wonderful times, while listening it!

Oh, once you explained of being the leader of a Morning Assembly, about Elton. And you explained that “Everybody hated me few weeks after that, They just don't like good music!”. Which was the reason? And now, they aprreciated Elton’s music or not, as then?
Well, it is always “battle of classes”, who has best morning assembly, and everyone likes if the assembly is funny, but that was of course more biographical than funny! There was no humour, but it was great in my opinion. Almost all youngsters today listens some hip-hop or heavy metal or something, what I dislike. They dislikes good old music from ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s... And very surprisingly, almost no one knew who Elton was! That was surprise for me. My class did like when I put "Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting" on, so they’re not all bad!

Thank you very much Jesse, really a pleasure to chat with you. Take care.

14 Feb 2008

Unforgettable People (IX): Gianni Versace

Elton and Gianni had been very close friends, speaking to each other twice a week and calling each other "bitch". "He was like a brother, really, we were both very much the same" explained Elton about his friend. Elton always considered that he has three brothers: lyricist Bernie, Watford the manager Graham Taylor and designer Gianni Versace.

Versace's involvement grew from clothing Elton in the mid-eighties to helping design the stage, clothes, album and single cover and merchandise of "The One".

Elton had written and recorded a few instrumentals for Versace's shows too. In 1995 for example, wrote some "lyrics" for them, more than lyrics, we could say exclamations that accompanied the music. "Into The Jungle" was reminded for the "Gee-ah-nee!" exclamation.

But unfortunetly, on July 15th, 1997, Gianni Versace was returning home from a short walk to the News Café, where he purchased magazines. His house was located at 1116 Ocean Avenue, in South Beach, Miami. He walked up the steps to the front gate, he put the key in and was about to turn it, when cutie pie killer Andrew Cunanan approached him. Versace was shot twice - once, point blank in the center of his face, the other in his neck. He fell to the steps, and landed on his right side.

On July 18th, Versace's ashes were flown to Bergamo, Italy, and were taken to the lakeside town of Como, where Versace had a villa. His family held a private service there. The real humdinger funeral was held in Milan, on Tuesday the 24th, at the Roman Catholic Cathedral. This was an A-list event. Guests included Princess Diana, Elton John and his boyfriend David Furnish, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, Naomi Campbell, Luciano Pavorotti, Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld. Sting and Elton sang the 23rd Psalm. Elton, destroyed, was comforted by Diana Princess of Wales.

In short period of time, Elton noticed the death of his friend Lady Diana. Elton, very sad, canceled his appearance on the CBS' "Today Show" program and issued a statement saying that he "will not be making any further public comments to the media concerning the deaths of his two friends (Gianni and Diana)."

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in September 1997, at the Temple of Dendur, New York City, Elton John attended, along with Madonna, Jon Bon Jovi, Whitney Houston or Lisa M. Presley, a memorial service for Gianni singin' an emotional "Live Like Horses".

13 Feb 2008

The Story Behind “Runaway Train”

Anticipating the negotiations of a series of a double-billed concerts with Eric Clapton, Elton asked Bernie to write lyrics for a next duet between the two artists. “A lot of it has to do with the pain of losing” explained Bernie in the “Two in one” interview. Eric had also his personal tragedy after losing his son Conor in a tragical accident.

The song, in Liz Rosenthal’s analysis, “depicts a chaotic underworld of runaway trains Elton and Eric must dodge and the music grows as it evokes their determination to reach a positive end”.

The Story Behind “The Last Song”

Conscious of Elton’s strong feelings, Bernie wrote a song that was acceptable to middle-America and not only a purely gay song. It is a novella in song of an AIDS victim able to die in peace after his reconciliation with his father. “It’s very hard to tell your parents about being gay” and also reminded Elton in a WPLJ (New York) radio interview “I was lucky because my parents (Sheila and stepfather Fred) accepted it very well but in small towns or in big cities, who have had an upbringing of “nobody in the family is homosexual”, there is a certain stigma, a certain shame about “why am I gay”, there’s all those sorts of psychiatric things that go along with it”.

Initially, it had the “Song Of 92” title and was renamed by Elton later. Bernie wrote the song after the death of Freddie Mercury. Elton broke down when he wrote the music and recorded the demo in the studio, crying for Freddie, for his friends and specially, for his father, who died in December 1991.

Elton was the first of lead artists to tackle the topic of AIDS in one song and it marked the first of his American singles to benefit his AIDS Foundation.

12 Feb 2008

The Story Behind "The One"

“I honestly feel this is our best strong work for a long, long time” confessed Elton. “It’s a fusion of Bernie and I being in the same place at the same time, happily and spirituallity”.

The album celebrated the sober and clean return of Elton after a year off from recording and touring. The years of drugs and alcohol were gone and Elton looked younger with his &14.000 hair wave and started wearing dresses designed by his new friend: Gianni Versace. Bernie, for his part, was newly in love with a restaurateur from Los Angeles, who became his third wife: Stephanie Haymes.

Altough the first day of recording, pressure overcame Elton and left the studio after twenty minutes of the starting, he returned the next day and wrote music to the Bernie’s lyrics, most supplied by fax.

As Liz Rosenthal describes in “His Song” book, “The One” sounds “like a love affair everyone would want to have, while illustrating the simple joys of spiritual rebirth”, from the beginning of a relationship, with a promise fullfilled, to the acceptance of a fresh perspective.

“”The One” is a powerful song” explained Elton on the beginning of the 1992-93 World Tour. “The lyrics sort of describe my life-style of the past and present: “Each man is his time is Cain, until he walks along the beach” are two of my favourite Taupin lines because they apply to me, and to him too. We’ve done our walking along the beach now and we’re both happy”.

9 Feb 2008

The Eltonite's Day (VI): Latitude!!!

Hi Latitude. Welcome to the “Thom Bell & Pete Bellote Sessions” Week. Nice to “meet” you and thank you very much for the acceptation. Really it was my intention to interview you because I always loved your comments and thoughts about Elton and I am so happy that you accepted. When I asked you to choose an album from a list, you said “(I would) like (to do) the "Thom Bell Sessions" week, because I love that album hugely”. Well, as you can see I made a pack between one of most eltonite’s hated albums, “Victim Of Love”, with the other one, “The Thom Bell Sessions”, which I think should have been an incredible album. Maybe it’s not a perfect mix but they were near in time and had the same characteristic: working with other producer than Gus Dudgeon.

But first... Could you tell us, please, who are you and where are you from?
My name is Charlene and I am from a small town in Maine, USA.

Ok! When did you become an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?

I was working in a shoe factory in 1991 and playing the radio all day long every day. Then I heard this beautiful song called 'Sacrifice'. I didn't even know who's song it was, but I HAD to find out. Turns out it was Elton John! I knew next to nothing about him or his music. The image that came to my mind was this wild guy with hats and glasses. LOL. So, I kept searching for his songs on the radio and came across 'Candle in the Wind '87'. I loved it!!! Right there I knew I had to buy an album of his. Frankly, at that time, I wasn't into buying albums by anyone at ALL. But, I bought GBYBR, and Greatest Hits. That was just the beginning. As to how his music made (and makes) me feel---it kind of feels like falling in love with a music. The feelings, especially at the beginning, ran very deep into my soul. I still (after over 16 years) get lots more out of his music then any other musician in the world (and his is the only music I buy). It's very hard to explain the feelings and emotions I get from his music.

Right. What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? Have you even been front row? And also, could you tell us if you ever have been in touch with him?

I've been to 13 concerts and have tickets for another one on Feb. 28th (Floor 7th row on the left :D ). The first time I saw him was at Amhearst, Mass. in '93. An E.J/Ray show. I was thrilled beyond belief (and I was way up in the bleachers too). I became so moved that I cried with emotion quite a bit. I haven't ever sat in the front row, but I've walked right up to the stage. It was electric. The only way I have been in touch with him is by letter. I wrote a moving letter to him in '94, which I have a strong feeling that he read, and he sent me back a signed autograph on the 'Blue Eyes' single sleeve that I'd sent.

Great! Which could be a great set list, in your opinion? Is there any song that Elton hasn’t played yet, and you think that he should do it? And you prefer the Elton’s solo tours or better with band? With the same musicians as his current band or you miss someone of the past?

I don't want to go through an entire set list, but I'd like him to remove 'Philadephia Freedom' and 'Daniel' and add 'Chloe' and 'And the House Fell Down'. Another song he has never done live that I would love to hear is 'The Panic in Me' from the El Dorado album. It's impossible to choose between the solo shows and the band because I get different things out of each of those. When he's solo he takes it up a level on the piano, and does songs he'd never do otherwise. With the band, I love instruments, so I love hearing the guitars, bass, drums, etc. I definately miss Ray Cooper and John Jorgenson. One type of concert I haven't even seen that I would like to is with an orchestra.

Wow!!! Which is your Elton's item that you really appreciate, for being hard to get or for the happiness you've got to have it?

I suppose what brings me the most happiness is the music. The albums, concerts, 'b' sides, rarities, cover songs, etc. And it wasn't always easy getting some of that music. Outside of that it's that autograph that I got back in the mail. It almost overwhelmed me to think that he'd read my letter and answered me back with an autograph saying 'To Charlene, with love and thanks. Elton xxx'

Great! Well, you know that is the week of “Thom Bell & Pete Bellote Sessions” with Elton working with other producers and trying news sorts of music… What do you think of Elton doing disco? And why eltonites didn’t pay much attention to the Thom Bell Sessions and, suddenly, became a number one hit in England 20 years later?

For one thing, he didn't release that at the time he recorded it. He thought it was too sweet. He didn't release it 'till somewhere around the 'Sleeping With the Past' time. I'm not surprised it didn't do well at that time. The disco he did on the VOL album really wasn't that good, but this 'sweet disco' of the Thom Belle Sessions was excellent, imo anyway. The song that became the no 1 hit was 'Are You Ready For Love?' Frankly, that is a great song, and apparently hit the right spot at the right time in England. Otherwise I have no idea. It sure made me happy that it did so well though.

Elton was in the Top40 of the US music charts for almost 28 years, since “Your Song” to “Written In The Stars” breaking one of the Elvis Presley records … Why do you think Elton fell to reach the singles charts, if he survived the 70s, the 80s and most part of the 90s? Also, he survived the “Bisexual” confession in 1977… Was really a shock, to the Americans of that time, this confession or the recent marriage to David has something to do with his poor sales?

There's so much diverse music out there now, and people aren't buying music as much. (They download a lot). The ones that do buy lots and lots of music are teens, and they are not likely to buy much of Elton John. I don't think the confession of the recent marriage to David has anything to do with it really. It's mostly these music times I think.

I see... Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?

This is not easy. The first three are fixed. The last two are interchangeable with other favorites, of which I have many many many of.

'Rocket Man'

'Your Song'




Thank you very much. Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

One observation I've made is that us Elton John fans are an intense, avid, passionate lot. We sometimes clash with our passionate opinions, but we must always remember the most important thing---that we are ALL die hard Elton John fans and that's the one common bond. Therefore, we all have great taste in music, even if we disagree on the small particulars. Basically, and in general, I simply love Elton fans. What a great bunch of people. :)

Oh, once you said “(we have) The right to choose for ourselves what to believe in, and it's not always going to be what we relieve” when you talked about religion… that’s really a wonderful phrase… but, and excuse me the question, do you feel uncomfortable when Elton’s talking about Religion? I don't agree with him, but, as I said, he has a definate right to believe what he wants to believe, and his own free will. It's just none of my business what he thinks and believes about religion. For the most part I'm into him for the music, and he is the very very best, to me, as a pianist, singer, songwriter, and performer. And that's what I tend to zone in on.

Thank you very much Charlene, really a pleasure to chat with you. Take care.

8 Feb 2008

Unforgettable People (VIII): Thom Bell

Born 1941 in Kingston, Jamaica, raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thom Bell was one of the prime originators of the Sound of Philadelphia, creating hits with the Delfonics such as "La La La Means I Love You" and "Didn't I Blow Your Mind." He was known as being extremely organized and precise, but more importantly was quite adventurous. He generally came to the studio with a specific sound in mind.

Thom, always an admirer of The Spinners, produced them when he was contracted for productions in Philadelphia for Atlantic Records. He also produced hits for the Stylistics and the Delfonics. Elton contacted Thom Bell throught The Spinners, after visiting the group backstage in London. Only two of the Elton’s songs were used in the Thom Bell’s Sessions: “Nice And Slow” and “Shine On Through”. The recording was on Autumn 1977 at Kay Smith Studio, Seattle Washington.

Thom Bell was the first person who taught Elton about his voice. As Elton remembered “He (Thom) said “listen, you’re not using your voice correctly, you write too high for yourself”. And said “you don’t use your lower register enough, and you don’t breathe properly”. I thought: Oh, fabulous, we’re going to get on very well”.

In the 90s and beyond, Bell worked with artists as diverse as James Ingram ("I Don't Have the Heart"), Angela Winbush, David Byrne and Joss Stone, while continuing to see his hit songs sampled and covered by countless artists.

Bell won the Grammy award in 1975 in the category of "Best Producer of the Year."
He was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006

6 Feb 2008

The Story Behind “Victim Of Love”

His disco debut was originally titled “Thunder In The Night” and the project was proposed by an Elton’s old mate Pete Bellote, after he attended an Elton’s concert in April 1979. Elton agreed to do the album, only doing vocals. He was surprised when he saw his friend in the listed credits of one of Donna Summer’s records. Elton was writing songs from “21 At 33” sessions when he flew to Munich to record his part on the album.

The Elton’s disco attempt was disastrous, reaching only number 31 in the singles music charts but no registering in the British charts. Philip Norman explained in his Elton’s autobiographical book that John Reid, Elton’s manager, “enraged response was another mass sacking of Rocket Records staff, including the managing director” sacked in 1978 for “Ego”’s flop success, restated later, and sacked for second time.

5 Feb 2008

The Story Behind “Are You Ready For Love”

After the success of “Philadelphia Freedom” Elton talked to do a Rythm & Blues album. He loved the sound of The Spinners and The Stylistics. Producer Thom Bell, who helped mold the Philadelphia sound was asked. “Let’s see exactly what he wants to do” remembered Thom. “He said he want to do something he doesn’t done before: he doesn’t want to do anything. I said: Ok. What is it that you don’t want to do? I don’t wanna do anything (again). He said I want you to be the boss of the whole thing. (And said) “I won’t give you any lip”. And he did not change, he stuck to the plan”.

The sessions had nearly been completed when The Spinners were brought in for backing vocals. But Elton was dissapointed when they scrapped half of his vocals on “Are you ready for love” and because he founded “overproduced the album and the orchestration too sweet”.

Finally, singles were released and “Mama Can’t Buy Me Love” earned a Grammy’s nomination for Elton and became a Top 10 hit in the U.S. Although “Are You Ready For Love” wasn’t a chart success, in 2003 was used as the commercial of the soccer campaign in a British Channel and became a number one hit. Elton “Suddenly some disc jockey picked it up and a label called Southern Fried, owned by Fatboy Slim, put it out and became a huge dance and huge commercial success” said elton with satisfaction. “I am so glad for Thom Bell because I really enjoyed those six tracks with him and they still sound great now. It was great to phone him up and find where he was and say, “You’ve got a number 1 single in England, well done!”. Thom’s answer was: “Man that’s amazing. That was 27 years ago. I think we were a little soon, but at least, we let the world catch up to us”.

Elton explained later that Thom convinced him to sing in a lower register.

(transcriptions from “Dream Ticket DVD”)

2 Feb 2008

The Eltonite's Day: Today... Monalisas!!!

Hi Monalisas. Welcome to the “Rock Of The Westies” Week. Nice to “meet” you and thank you very much for the acceptation. You have been a long time eltonite, and a truly eltonite, following him with loyalty. As you know with this album, Elton changed his more commercial direction and recorded a rock album, and even, changed the band. I know you love most the romantic songs by Elton than the others… I am not wrong I suppose…

But first... Could you tell us, please, who are you and where are you from?

I'm Isabel (or Monalisas) and I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina (although I'm living in the US since 1997) with my husband and 2 daughters.

Perfect. When did you became an Eltonite? Remember the first time you heard Elton's music and what moves you to buy his music?

The first time I heard anything from Elton was back in the 70's and the song was Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I heard it on the radio. That song like hypnotized me. I wanted to know more about Elton. My birthday came along and got some money, so went to a record store and bought the only Elton record they had, Caribou! From then on I started collecting all his LP's, cassettes, and cd's. My favorite thing is to share with my friends what I've collected through all these years.

Right. What was it like seeing Elton for the first time and how many concerts have you been? Have you even been front row? And also, could you tell us if you ever have been in touch with him?

Living in South America is not easy for Elton fans. Sadly for us he's only been there twice. So I had to wait for nearly 20 years to finally see him. When the announcement that he was coming to Argentina was made (in 1992) I was sooooooooooo happy. My husband came with me and we had the best time ever, unforgettable. My seats were not that good but it was my first time seeing Elton live, what a wonderful experience.

He was going to come for a second time in 1995. I bought the tickets but unfortunatelly this show was cancelled.

So, my second show was The Red Piano. I loved the whole Vegas experience, although the show was too short and the crowds around me were totally quiet and bored.
My third and last time was here in Arizona for the Peachtree Rd tour. I got rocket tickets (5th row) and was a new and wonderful experience being so close to the stage and sharing the first rows with other rocket members, pretty cool.

I don't have the resources to travel everywhere as other fans do. My family comes first in regards of time and money so I'll just see him again if he plays close to home.

I wrote him a couple letters. I got the surprise of my life when he answered me one of those sending me back 2 cd covers I sent him signed: To Isabel with love, Elton.

Wow!!! Then... which is your Elton's item that you really appreciate, for being hard to get or for the happiness you've got to have it?

I'd say my personalized autographs. I also have tons of bootlegs, dvd's and more than 40 t-shirts. My souvenirs from Vegas are very nice too.

Ok! Argentina was the only place where “Captain Fantastic” song was released as an “A” single… do you know if that was successful in music chart and sales terms? Is Elton very popular in Argentina? And which albums remains as the best sellers?

I can't remember about the chart position of "Captain Fantastic". But I can tell you that song was on the radio a lot when it came out. Elton is very popular in Argentina. He played both nights in one of the biggest football stadiums we have (River Plate) and there were nearly 80.000 people each night.

Great! Well, you know that is the week of “Rock Of The Westies” so, what is your opinion about the changed of the band, about Dee and Nigel being fired, and about the more rockish band?

Being a band "fan" I was very upset when Nigel and Dee were fired. I never really "connected" with the new guys. I was always hoping Elton would hire them back.

Me too… And remember the date when John Lennon, one of your favourites artists, was shot? How do you felt? Which are your thoughts about that sad day?

Actually, I was still living in Argentina at that time. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the news. I was also a huge Beatles fan so was devastated. My dream about The Beatles getting back together someday was shattered. How could a crazy man kill someone as John Lennon? A man who ony talked about peace on earth? I remember crying a lot that day.

Tragic new, yes. And finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton's songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?

This is a tough one, I'm sure I'm leaving tons of other great songs out but here I go:

1- Captain Fantastic and the brown dirt cowboy
2- Don't let the sun go down on me
3- Someone saved my life tonight
4- Belfast/Funeral For a Friend – Love Lies Bleeding
5- I Can't steer my hear clear of you t / Ballad of the boy in the red shoes / Tinderbox

I know, I'm cheating, sorry! I just can't leave some of these favorite songs out.

Don’t worry… thank you very much. Would you want to add some observation or suggestion, or something you want to say to other eltonites?

Can't think of anything right now. Probably don't get angry so much. Some Elton message boards are filled with rude and angry people. We should learn to accept what others think and like, instead of trying to change or impose on them. PEACE!

Oh, once you said “for me Pinky's more of a sentimental thing”… what has this song that don’t have the others?

I love Pinky. It is one of my favorites. I think it has a touch of innocence in it's lyrics. The whole breakfast in bed thing goes so well with that melody. Don't know why, I just love Pinky.

I am agree with you, yes. Thank you Isabel, really a pleasure to chat with you. Take care.