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26 Dec 2007

A Must To Have: Elton's Books (I)

Title: His Song: The Musical Journey Of Elton John
Author: Elizabeth J. Rosenthal
Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Billboard Books; New Ed edition (April 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0823088928
ISBN-13: 978-0823088928
Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 1.1 inches
Available In
My Recommendation: If you are searching only an autobiographical book on the style of "Reg Dwight was born..." and so on, maybe this is not the book you are looking for. More than this, Liz Rosenthal includes exclusive behind the-scenes information we won't find anywhere else: concerts through the years, complete song reviews (a source for this blog, of course) and finally, fascinating anecdotes and untold story behind his flamboyant costumes. With 40 black and white photographs and a complete discography.

Title: The Elton John Scrapbook
Author: Mary Anne Cassatta and Jim Turano
Paperback: 223 pages
Publisher: Citadel (June 1, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0806523220
ISBN-13: 978-0806523224
Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
Available In
My Recommendation: This is an incredible collection of rare photographs and interview material, including fanzines, the greatest and most extensive albums reviews by the only one Jim Turano, elton's duets, memorabilia, trivia, concert highlights and even an extensive chapter on Bernie Taupin.

25 Dec 2007

The Christmas' Lyrics

Calling It Christmas

"On a hill long ago
On a cold winter's night
In a land far away
Three kings saw a light
And from heaven it shone
Like God's
God's own crown
And it guided three kings
Into Bethlehem town

Oh they came bearing gifts
And so said each one
Let's call this day Christmas
From this moment on
We'll be calling it Christmas
In, in honour of him
The child in the manger
Our saviour and king

We've been calling it Christmas
Keeping the faith
Knowing the reason
We're, we're saving the day

We've been calling it Christmas
Down through the years
Spreading joy to the world
When Christmas is here

Oh a simple belief
Was the start of it all
A small child asleep
On a bed made of straw

At the back of an inn
Where, where shepherds and kings
First felt the joy that
This moment would bring

We've been calling it Christmas
Keeping the faith
Knowing the reason
We're, we're saving the day

We've been calling it Christmas
Down through the years
Spreading joy to the world
When Christmas is here

White Christmas

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the tree-tops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write,
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white .

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the tree-tops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleighbells in the snow.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write,
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white"

Rudolph The Red Noised Reindeer

"Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph
join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
'Rudolph with your nose so bright,
won't you guide my sleigh tonight?'

Then all the reindeer loved him
as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer,
you'll go down in history!

24 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "Step Into Christmas"

Because the 1973 was shaping up as an incredible year for Elton, he and Bernie intented to write a song to be a "thank you" card for the great year fans had given them. "Let's do a Christmas record! we thought" explained Elton. "In those days we made records all the time. Bernie absolutely loves Christmas songs, so he was all for it". And he added: "We've never written a song specially tailored to be a single. This time we wrote it last Sunday morning, recorded it on the afternoon, and it'll be out on Friday". The song was recorded at London Trident Studios.

The music recalls Phil Spector and his vocal does have that honey-sweet, chimes-tinged sound that characterized Ronettes' style."We wanted to make an homage to Phil Spector. Part of what made Phil Spector records were the rooms, the musicians and the ambience" justified Elton.

The single dominated holiday airplay on both sides of the Atlantic in December 1973 and years on. The song has been every year in the Hot Adult Contemporary Recurrent chart in the Billbard's Charts and frequently, on the seasonal Christmas albums compilations.

Step Into Christmas Lyrics
Written by Bernie Taupin
Music by Elton John

"Welcome to my Christmas song
I'd like to thank you for the year
So I'm sending you this Christmas card
To say it's nice to have you here
I'd like to sing about all the things
Your eyes and mind can see
So hop aboard the turntable
Oh step into Christmas with me"

"Step Into Christmas
Let's join together
We can watch the snow fall forever and ever
Eat, drink and be merry
Come along with me
Step into Christmas
The admission's free"

"Take care in all you do next year
And keep smiling through the days
If we can help to entertain you
Oh we will find the ways
So merry Christmas one and all
There's no place I'd rather be
Than asking you if you'd oblige
Stepping into Christmas with me"

23 Dec 2007

The Eltonite Day: Today... Always EJ

Hi Always EJ. Nice to “meet” you. I was specially interested in interview you because you are a die hard fan of Elton since the 70s, you have followed him in too many concerts, in the front row, of course, and you lived his golden age era. I am sure you keep in mind great experiences.

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

I am Lucy and I live in Michigan in the USA.

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

I was 11 years old back in 1974......... I remember when I first heard Elton when my cousins would play his records. I just loved his voice and his songs very much from the beginning.

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

I was 13 years old when I saw Elton in concert for the first time in 1976. I remember my mom took me to see him because I begged her and I was so excited!!! I have seen him 51 times so far since then. I have shook his hands many times, exchanged a few words here and there from the stage and outside of a concert venue. I remember one time he asked me if I had a pen....... I froze!! But my biggest moment was when he kissed me after I gave him flowers from the stage!! He thanked me and I said "thank you"!!

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?
Oh this one is hard, I have so many special items that I have acquired. I guess though the autographs from Elton to me personally are the most special to me. I also love my captain Fantastic Pinball machine!! LOL!

Nice! Elton had his golden age era in the 70s, specially in your country, the U.S. Sometime, John Lennon told him: “if you die someday, I will throw my radio out the window”. It was that really? And how was the impact of his bisexual confession in 1976?

I really think so..............Elton is so special. Well I remember for me that confession did not bother me at all, I remember I said oh that means he has more to choose from.

Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton’s songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?

Alright this is it:
Elderberry Wine
Crazy Water
One Horse Town
Grow Some Funk Of Your Own

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

Well, we all are different in our likes and dislikes concerning Elton. I am glad that we are so diverse like Elton. Elton has some of the most wonderful fans.

Oh... and your kids? Are still eltonites or has other teen idols now? How do you manage to get them to Elton’s music?

My older kids love Elton and have seen Elton with me. My daughter has seen him in the front row with me and loves Elton very much, her fave album is Rock Of The Westies. The younger ones... well their fave song is One Horse Town, but have other musical tastes and really do not care about Elton. All of them however, have no choice but to know about Elton in my house. I think they feel he is part of the family!!

Thank you Lucy, really a pleasure to chat with you. Take care.

Thank you!! This was so fun to do!! I appreciate you talking to me!!! Elton Rulz!!

You're welcome!! I love your website

20 Dec 2007

The Hard To Find Lyrics From The "Don't Shoot Me!" Era

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
Lyrics and music by Stevie Wonder

"You are the sunshine of my life
That's why I'll always be around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you'll stay in my heart

I feel like this is the beginning,
Though I've loved you for a million years,
And if I thought our love was ending,
I'd find myself drowning in my own tears

You are the sunshine of my life,
That's why I'll always stay around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you'll stay in my heart

You must have known that I was lonely,
Because you came to my rescue,
And I know that this must be heaven,
How could so much love be inside of you?

You are the sunshine of my life, yeah,
That's why I'll always stay around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you'll stay in my heart

Love has joined us,
Love has joined us,
Let's think sweet love

Lyrics and music by Stevie Wonder

"Very superstitious, writings on the wall,
Very superstitious, ladders bout to fall,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past.

When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands,
Rid me of the problem, do all that you can,
Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin strong,
You don't wanna save me, sad is my song.

When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition ain't the way, yeh, yeh.

Very superstitious, nothin more to say,
Very superstitious, the devils on his way,
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass,
Seven years of bad luck, good things in your past

When you believe in things that you don't understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way, no, no, no

Higher Ground
Lyrics and music by Stevie Wonder

"People keep on learnin
Soldiers keep on warrin
World keep on turnin
Cause it wont be too long

Powers keep on lyin
While your people keep on dyin
World keep on turnin
Cause it wont be too long

Im so darn glad he let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
Im so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin
Till I reach the highest ground

Teachers keep on teachin
Preachers keep on preachin
World keep on turnin
Cause it wont be too long
Oh no

Lovers keep on lovin
Believers keep on believin'
Sleepers just stop sleepin'
Cause it won't be too long
Oh no

I'm so glad that he let me try it again
Cause my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin
I'm so glad that I know more than I knew then
Gonna keep on tryin'
Till I reach my highest ground
No ones gonna bring me down
Oh no
Till I reach my highest ground
Don't you let nobody bring you down
God is gonna show you higher ground
He's the only friend you have around


"Don't Shoot Me!" Music Charts Successes


Top 2 in U.S.A.
Top 1 in Canada
Top 4 in U.K.
Top 4 in Ireland
Top 50 in France
Top 27 in Germany
Top 5 in Switzerland
Top 4 in Italy
Top 4 in Spain
Top 8 in Norway
Top 46 in Japan
Top 7 in SouthAfrica
Top 6 in Australia
Top 2 in New Zeland

Crocodile Rock

Top 1 in U.S.A.
Top 1 in Canada
Top 5 in U.K.
Top 10 in Ireland
Top 17 in France
Top 3 in Germany
Top 6 in Austria
Top 1 in Switzerland
Top 1 in Italy
Top 4 in Spain
Top 3 in Norway
Top 34 in Japan
Top 6 in SouthAfrica
Top 2 in Australia
Top 1 in New Zeland

18 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "Crocodile Rock"

Elton's own music is often a tribute to those he has been influenced by. As a pianist, we could count Winifred Atwell, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis (“the best rock and roll pianist ever” in his words), Little Richard and Leon Russell.

“Crocodile Rock” for example was a bubble-gum rock'n'roll parody, on which he brought together snippets and strains from a multiplicity of sources reminiscent of his childhood, including Billy Halley, Bobby Vee and Eddie Chrocane. Elton's high-pitched “la la la” chorus caused the authors of Pat Boone's 1962 hit “Speedy Gonzales” to file suit, claiming the song infringed on their copyright. And the organ at the beginning of the song pays homage to the farfisa sound of Johnny & The Hurricanes.

“I don't consider myself a rock'n'roll artist” explained Elton in a late interview. “I consider myself now a singer-songwriter who plays the piano, which is probably always I've been”. It's difficult to define Elton's genre. He was an excellent piano player at a young age and he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music when he was just 11. With two A-levels added to his four O-level passes, he could have competed for admittance at several redbrick universities, if not the Royal Academy of Music, but his decision was to leave school in early 1965. He formed a band “Bluesology” and he also sat in on countless sessions by top pop and rhythm and blues acts recording in London in the middle-to-late sixties.

Bernie Taupin, Elton's lyricist, describes their style as a diversity: “To our credit, I don't think that there's anybody who came up at the same time as us who has been more diverse than us. We've tried everything, not always done it well, but at least it's been interesting. We've done country songs, we've done blues songs, we've done pure pop and we've done reggae”.

17 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "Daniel"

"Daniel" is a the grown-up ballad about a dissillusioned Vietnam veteran and was inspired by an article Bernie had read in Newsweek magazine."

Daniel had been the most misinterpreted song that we'd ever written" explained Bernie in the "Two Rooms" tribute project. "The story was about a guy that went back to a small town in Texas, returning from the Vietnam war. They'd launded him when he came home and treated him like a hero. But he just wanted to go home, go back to the farm, and try to get back to the life that he'd led before. I just embellished that and like everything I write, I probably ended up being very esoteric, but it is a song that is important to me, because it was the one thing I said about the Vietnam War. I wanted to write something that was sympathetic to the people that came home".

However, the cryptic lyrics left everything to imagination. One early conjecture, which Elton and Bernie found hilarious, was that it was about a homosexual relationship.Unfortunetly most of the details came in a pay-off last verse which Elton, as sometimes his wont, had arbitrality cut out. "The last verse explained everything but it just made the song too long" replayed Elton to Bernie on that same interview. "Daniel's nobody" told Bernie to "Rolling Stone" newspaper. "I don't have any set idea on who he is. I just started the song with that corny rhyme "plane" and "Spain"".

But guitarrist Davey Johnstone told the story: "Elton had written this song which inmediatily we all loved. And he call me over and said "look at this last verse, I think Taupin's on drugs. He must be taking acid or something". And we looked at this verse, and I can vaguely remember something about a ship's dog named Paul. And I'm like "What the fuck is he talking about?" Suddenly out of nowhere he starts talking about this dog. So Elton just kind of took the page and ripped that bottom part off very slowly and very definetely and said "Well, that's the end of that". And that's why that verse was lost". (EEL #35).

Elton and producer Dick James argued over the prospect of it being a single. James and MCA record company felt it would be a marketing disaster as the album's first release (they chose "Crocodile Rock"). Elton then insisted and James relented, which Elton vowing to pay promotional costs if the song flopped. Daniel at last reached number 4 in the UK charts and number 2 in the US.

15 Dec 2007

Eltonite Day. First Sunday: midnight creeper

Hi midnight creeper. Nice to “see” you. Well, as you might know, you’re the first to start the Eltonite Day. With that iniciative, every Sunday, I would like to make my little homage to the great Eltonites, that fortunetly, are all over the world, and you are one of those.

So... Could you tell us who are you and where are you from?

Ian Hills I was born 29th March 1963 in Carshalton, Surrey, England, I live in Woecester Park (near Epsom) surrey England and I am a fan of AFC Wimbledon and rock music, and my favourite artist is Elton John.

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

My love of music goes back to before I could walk, I was a Beatles fanatic at a very early age and had all their 45's (well they were my Dads but he gave them to me) and I used to play them on my chad valley record player.
The first song to really move me though and turn me onto rock 'n' roll was from the Beatles compilation album "Oldies But Goldies" that song was a cover of the Larry Williams track Bad Boy, previously only available in America until it was put onto this compilation album.
In the 1970's I used to follow the pop charts and tape the top 40 every sunday and buy my favourite record each week. The first record I bought was Jeepster by T.Rex.
So the first Elton John song that I would have heard would have been Your Song, but I don't have any recollection of actually liking the song at the time, I was more into the uptempo songs and T.Rex were my favourites at the time (and I still love them now).
The first Elton John record I bought was Crocodile Rock, but I wasn't a fan just yet.
In 1972 I started to hear albums that my older brother was buying, by rock acts such as Uriah Heep and Black sabbath. But there were albums that really changed my life as far as being a music fan, these were Led Zeppelin II and Honky Chateau by Elton John, both albums I fell in love with instantly. In 1973 I heard Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album and I was a fan, this album was so stunning.

I see... And which is your favourite Album, or the album you may have played the most?

Captain fantastic and The Brown Dirt cowboy is my personal favourite, but I can understand why Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is regarded as his best album

Great. Which was your first Elton concert and how many concerts have you been?

My first Elton John concert was at the Rainbow Theatre in London in May 1977, this was a solo concert with Ray Cooper, my second was the same year at the empire Pool Wembley with China. I have seen about 30 Elton John concerts the last one was at Hove Cricket ground in 2007, the next one will be at Weymouth in Surrey next year.

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?

My records, but I wish my collection was more complete, the rarist Elton John record that I have is Lady Samantha on the Phillips label.

Finally, could you tell me your five favourite Elton’s songs in running order, for my AllSongsList?

2.Between Seventeen & Twenty
3.Blues for Baby My & Me
4.Indian Sunset
5.Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

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

I would just like to say what a great pleasure it has given me over the years listening to the music of elton John and the concerts I have attended, and long may this continue. I hope all Eltonites out there get the same pleasure as I do listenning to his music, and I am sure they do.

Thank you Ian, really a pleasure to chat with you. Take care.

13 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That"

Elton had his annus horribilis in 1987 with what Q magazine described as the "the worst year a pop star has ever been through". Elton's crisis began with a throat operation in Australia to remove nodules, then The Sun miserable campaign against Elton accusing Elton to pay rent boys for sex, and finally lying about Elton's dogs with their oices box being removed. That song, in particular, has all the hallmarks of a man with a brave face putting it on.

Bernie's lyrics relate a bland tale of serial betrayal except for one verse that alludes to things getting out of hand.

A remixed and extended version of the song, by Shep Pettibone, became a danceball hit.

I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

"I've always said that one's enough to love
Now I hear you're bragging one is not enough
Something tells me you're not satisfied
You got plans to make me one of four or five

I guess this kind of thing's just in your blood
But you won't catch me carving up my love
I ain't no puzzle piece that needs to fit
If it takes more than me let's call it quits

`Cause I don't wanna go on with you like that
Don't wanna be a feather in your cap
I just wanna tell you honey I ain't mad
But I don't wanna go on with you like that

It gets so hard sometimes to understand
This vicious circle's getting out of hand
Don't need an extra eye to see
That the fire spreads faster in a breeze

And I don't wanna go on with you like that
Don't wanna be a feather in your cap
I just wanna tell you honey I ain't mad
But I don't wanna go on with you like that
No I don't wanna go on with you like that
One more set of boots on your welcome mat
You'll just have to quit them if you want me back
`Cause I don't wanna go on with you like that

Oh if you wanna spread it around sister that's just fine
But I don't want no second hand feeding me lines
If you wanna hold someone in the middle of the night
Call out the guards, turn out the light

12 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "A Word In Spanish"

"A Word In Spanish" still retains the intelligence of Elton & Bernie's older romantic songs. The song was recorded early in 1988 at James Newton-Howard's house in L.A. and played a spanish-flavored acoustic guitar by Davey Johnstone.

The song referred to an imagined movie scene where Bernie became a would-be lover, but he doesn't know how to tell the affection he feels for his love, so he reminded a film he once saw. Although he didn't understand the word, he mimic the performance for his real life hoping it will work for him too.

A Word In Spanish's lyrics
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

"I don't know why
I just know I do
I just can't explain
In this language that I use
Something leaves me speechless
Each time that you approach
Each time you glide right through me
As if I was a ghost

If I only could tell you
If you only would listen
I've got a line or two to use on you
I've got a romance we could christen

And there's a word in Spanish I don't understand
But I heard it in a film one time spoken by the leading man
He said it with devotion, he sounded so sincere
And the words he spoke in Spanish brought the female lead to tears
A word in Spanish, a word in Spanish

If you can't comprehend
Read it in my eyes
If you don't understand it's love
In a thin disguise
And what it takes to move you
Each time that you resist
Is more than just a pretty face
To prove that I exist

When manners make no difference
And my gifts all lay undone
I trade my accent in on chance
And fall back on a foreign tongue

11 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters (part two)"

In contrast of the mood of the original, this is an upbeat dance number, with a hot solo sax by jazz artist Freddie Hubbard. In this occasion, Bernie decided to give a second chance to New York City.

The 1972 original song is a haunting track as evocative of Spanish Harlem; when Bernie submitted the sequel, Elton knew he had to make it vigorously uptempo, in stark contrast to the original tune.

The new 1988 lyric is a walk to the Big City: Broadway, Swing Street, Lincoln Tunnel, Fifth Avenue. And this new Mona Lisas is older and presumably wiser, even Bernie had learnt to look over the bag people as he walked and observed the City. "New York seemed like the bowels of the hell" were Bernie's feeling the first time he came to the City. "Now, years later, I've experienced New York and there's good sides and bad sides" reminded Bernie.

Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters(Part Two)'s Lyrics
Music by Elton John
Lyrics by Bernie Taupin

"I used to think that New York City
Fell from grace with God
And innocence abroad
Waged a war for the underdog
When the snow falls
And Central Park looks like a Christmas card
I just looked beyond the bagman
And the madness that makes this city hard

I heard a basketball
Somewhere out beyond a chain link fence
Inner city prisoners
Argue for the right of self-defense
But there's a fast break
And every work of art wakes something in the soul
Just focus on the brush strokes
And the bouquets that the dancers hold

Spanish Harlem still sounds good to me
Yeah Mona Lisa's getting older
Standing in the shadow of Miss Liberty
While I walk along the west side
Down through Little Italy
Searching for the city that
That took away the kid in me"

9 Dec 2007

Next To Be Projects: In Development

Gnomeo And Juliet
Elton John appeared in support of "Gnomeo" at the Walt Disney Studios Showcase September 2005 when the studio offered members of the press a sneak peek of its slate through 2008. Elton marked the occasion by playing "Crocodile Rock" on a trademark red piano. But the crews at Walt Disney Feature Animation who were in production on the project had reassigned to other projects. Elton then had taken his project to Miramax Films with an exclusive deal with Elton's Rocket Pictures: "I am very excited about working with Miramax," John said. "'Gnomeo' is an edgy concept, and Miramax is the perfect home to push the envelope in animation." The animated twist on Shakespeare's tragic romance is set in the world of tacky garden gnomes. It will be produced in Britain, with lyricist Tim Rice to collaborate on the songs, and Kate Winslet attached to voice Juliet. U.S. Release Date: TBA, 2008 (Estimated)

Him & Us
This comedy follows the life and entourage of a larger-than-life rock star named "Max Flash" and his entourage of staff/friends. Aging rock star Max Flash is played with style and wit by Anthony Stewart Head. Max is handsome, unbelievably charming, and a bit petulant. He walks around with a little dog in his arms, and grins boyishly at anyone who tries to reign him in. Kim Cattrall plays Freddie Lazarus, his manager, who for 25 years has kept Max's show on the road. Freddie is tired, she's burned out, and she's counting the minutes until his final concert. It opens with Cattrall's character having a panic attack in her doctor's office, and closes with her sitting on a jet with Max and his entourage, trying to figure out how she got there, considering she'd quit in the previous scene. Max, it seems, is a hard guy to say “no” to. The supporting cast is dazzling, with Max's gay valet Sidney (Hugh Sachs) pretty much stealing the show. His flashback to an earlier relationship with a mob hit man includes the show's only man-on-man kiss, a quick smooch in a dark car.

Rocket Man
Elton is penning his life story with long time writing partner Bernie Taupin. The movie will cover Elton's drug and alcohol battles, his marriage to german Renate Blauel, his relationship with partner canadian David Furnish and his friendship with tragic British royal Lady Diana Spencer. The story will be near to "Tommy" opera-rock with Elton's songs not in cronological order but as the argument develops.

8 Dec 2007

Elton John Music In Soundtracks (1997-2007)

Sliding Doors Honky Cat

Dick Crocodile Rock

Almost Famous Tiny Dancer, Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters

Women Talking Dirty Sofa Love

The Country Bears

Mona Lisa Smile
The Heart Of Every Girl

Elizabethtown My Father's Gun

The Movie

Honky Cat

Running With Scissors Bennie And The Jets

It's A Boy Girl Thing Candle In The Wind

The Story Behind "Pinball Wizard"

Director's Ken Russell approached to Elton, when he wasn't even a star, to appear in the opera-rock "Tommy" movie, first as The Uncle Ernie, but Elton was not going to put pleasing and declined the offer. Russell then offered the role of pinball wizard to Rod Stewart but Rod, following Elton's advice, declined the acceptation. Elton reminded the situation: "Rod approached me and said: "they're going to do a film and I said: oh no! not a film now! Bloody hell, what are they going to do next?"" explained Elton "I said to him: I should knock it on the head if I was you".

About a year later, Pete Townshend was still having trouble finding a suitable pinball wizard for the project and approached again to Elton. "I ended up doing pinball wizard and Rod couldn't believe it: "you bastard..."". Rod was angry to learn that Elton had taken the part: "he was really furious and quite rightly so. But Pete has always been a very good supporter and I should do things back for him".

The track was the last recording for nine years by the band featuring Davey, Dee and Nigel. Elton throw in a little of Who's song "I Can't Explain".

Elton enjoyed the film experience. He had to wear giant Doc Marten boots attached by callipers, which allowed him to move as if on stilts.

7 Dec 2007

Elton John Music In Soundtracks (1991-1996)

Peter's Friends I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

Rocky V
The Measure Of A Man

Ferngully Some Other World

Four Weddings And A Funeral But not for me. Crocodile Rock. Chapel Of Love

Breaking The Waves Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

The Story Behind "Friends"

On October 1969, Elton and Bernie signed with Paramount Pictures to write three songs from the Gilbert Lewis film "Friends" before they weren't famous as then it would be. After hearing the "Elton John" album, Lewis' son John approached the pair about scoring the film. The three songs were "Friends", "Michelle's Song" and "Seasons".

They finished the composition process in Augoust 1970, after re-recording some of the songs and, as a result, some of them had different versions in film and soundtrack. Several instrumentals for the project were written by Paul Buckmaster, not Elton. The soundtrack album were completed with some of the "Tumbleweed Connection" outtakes. "I didn't want only three songs on the album and fill it out with garbage" said Elton.

But the songs were written for the film in a strict of sense, in fact, Bernie addmitted not even reading the whole movie script.

"Friends" became a hit in the U.S.; "Seasons" was used in an episode of the The Wonder Years TV serie and "Can I Put You On" became a concert standard in the 1970-1973 period.

6 Dec 2007

Elton John Music In Soundtracks (1970-1990)

"The Games" From Denver to L.A.

"Friends" Friends; The honey roll; Can I put you on; Theme (first kiss) season; Michelle's song

"Tommy" Pinball wizard

"Oh, Heavenly Dog" Return to paradise; Song for guy

"Summer lovers"
Take me down to the ocean

"Ghostbusters II" Love is a cannibal

"Days of thunder" You gotta love someone

The Story Behind "The Muse"

Stephen Thomas Erlewine (reviewer from All Music Guide) found the score such a delightful little score, though the title track "is a solid, if not particularly memorable, exercise in late '90s mid-tempo adult contemporary craftsmanship, but the majority of the album is devoted to the wonderful, lighthearted, orchestrated score from John. It's never deep, but it's nimble, clever, and engaging, even when taken on its own terms, apart from the film".

In the film argument, Albert Brooks is Steven Phillips, a veteran screenwriter who is told he has lost his edge. A fellow writer with a string of successes under his belt (Jeff Bridges) refers Phillips to Sarah (Sharon Stone), a professional muse. The Elton John music is brief, as they were written to fit short part of scenes or to augment transitions scenes and establish shots.

Asked to be involved in the film by friend Sharon Stone, Elton return to his most orchestral and classic roots. The title track, written by Bernie Taupin, lack of inspiration, ironically enough, the bland vocals are all about artistic creativity.

5 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "The Lion King"

"The Lion King" opened so many doors for me in the '90s" exposed Elton in a recent interview. "Up to that point I was just making albums and touring and promoting them, which was OK, but "The Lion King" obviously enabled me to write for animation". And that's it is. In the list of more selling soundtracks album in the U.S., the album became third:

"The Bodyguard," (1992, 11.8 million)
"Titanic" (1997, 10.0 million)
"The Lion King" (1994, 7.7 million)

In 1991 Walt Disney company recruited lyricist Tim Rice to write lyrics for an animated musical about the life of a lion. "Elton was my first choice" said Tim when they asked about who should do the music. "I actually jumped at the chance. John Reid (the manager) told me "If you don't do this, I'll kill you"".

"Circle Of Life" was the first song written for Elton and then, Hans Zimmer added the african sensivility. In the album, Carmen Twillie, who collaborated with Elton in the 21 At 33 sessions, lead the vocals. The song succesfully set the spiritual tone of the movie: the saga of cub Simba began here.

Elton had to do a song called "The Warthog Rhapsody": "That's the end of my career" joked Elton while composing. The song were replaced in the film by "Hakuna Matata" which means "No Worries" in Swahili.

But the most famous song from the album is the Oscar-winner "Can You Feel The Love Tonight", though he had three songs nominated in the best song category. This romantic song suggested a romance between exiled Simba and his childhood friend Nala. Disney first thought was to drop the song from the movie but Elton insisted the song romance should be restored, because he couldn't imagine a Disney film without a love song in it.

"It's probably been the most pleasurable experience of my career" confessed Elton about the experience.

4 Dec 2007

The Story Behind "The Road To El Dorado"

Elton John, Tim Rice and Hans Zimmer teamed again in this non traditional soundtrack enterprise, a collection of songs almost wholly written for the film but able to stand on their own: "I said: Let's make an album with not only the five usual songs on a soundtrack album and the rest being score, but include songs we wrote that didn't make the movie" explained Elton in the presentation of the Dreamworks' film "The Road to El Dorado". Zimmer also collaborated with Elton for the first time co-writing music for "The Panic In Me". In the tradition of classic buddy movies, the film is a comedic tale of friendship and adventure,but didn't had the success Dreamworks company expected and the worlwide sales were poor. Where The Lion King, with its vague African underpinning, felt as if it was designed for the film itself, the music on The Road to El Dorado never quite evokes the South America of the film.

The last song written for the film was single "Someday Out Of The Blue". The song's origin go back to Patrick Leonard composing a chord sequence and rough drum track and giving them to Elton, who said "he kept it in a drawer. So late in the day I gave the track to Tim asking him to write a lyric" said the producer in an interview. But finally, Elton couldn't turn this delightful song into a hit, without breaking the record to turn his 2000's the 31st consecutive year with top 40 hits on The Billboard Hot 100.

The brilliant "Friends Never Say Goodbye", featured the Backstreet Boys on uncredited backing vocals, didn't even reach the singles charts, in another dissapointment in sales terms.