Written by Marielle Michaela
If you’ve heard of Don’t Go Breaking My Heart before, you probably may have heard of Elton John.
His piano skills were over the top, his voice is the definition of soothing and passionate, and his music? Out of this world.
Elton John is a British singer, composer, and pianist that have risen to fame during the 1970s. Throughout his career, he has exemplified a massive amount of talent as a musician, with him being popularly known as the one that incorporated a blend of pop and rock genres into his music. He has released a total of 128 official singles, 57 of those have reached the top 40 hits in the United States. Because of his significant contributions in the music industry, Elton John has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and in the Songwriters Hall of Fame with his long-term songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin, two years prior.
What astonished me is that he taught himself how to play the piano at just the age of four! What a genius.
During the worldwide lock down in April this year, I was looking for something to do and trying to discover hobbies to past the time. That is when I stumbled upon an app called Simply Piano which promises that it will teach you how to play the piano in under a month. It sounds very promising and it persuaded me to purchase the app. Inside it was a huge songbook of songs that you can choose from and so I scrolled and scrolled until I saw Your Song in the list. I haven’t heard of it before so I tried listening to it on YouTube and right on the spot, I was hooked!
The song starts on a very relaxing opening, with Elton striking the piano keys of his infamous piano riff. It is a very soft love ballad which became his breakout hit, with the song having been played over 2,030 times throughout the course of his career.
Recorded in 1972, Crocodile Rock, without a doubt, is the direct representation of the “glam rock” of the 70s. They say that the lyrics take a nostalgic look at early rock ‘n’ roll, dating and youthful independence of that era, and the music has a very retro, jukebox vibe that keeps you on your feet. I listened to the piano only version and it reminded me of a fancy dinner party that has a lounge pianist to play their background music.
What I love about the song is the chorus part where Elton John’s falsetto is dominantly singing “lalalala”. When I first heard it, my mind immediately went to the Muppet show and Elmo’s world, and thankfully it wasn’t all in my mind because he really performed it with the Muppets in the 214th episode of the show in 1977.
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
This must be the most familiar tune you’ll hear from the list and you’ve probably heard it before during your senior prom, or even in the radio during the weekly Jukebox Select. The song is a very popular classic cheesy duet by Elton and Kiki Dee in 1976 that had soared to the top of the UK Singles Charts for six weeks, making this Elton’s first.
It is a very catchy song and you can’t help but mimic the lyrics while bopping your head out. It’s quirky, it’s fun, and it’s very danceable, and as Kiki have said in an interview, “it was pretty informal”.
Aside from his music, I love how Elton John creates a highly entertaining stage persona by giving very fun concerts, with him wearing outlandish costumes and big eye shades. In fact, when he was asked why he wore those, he just said that he wanted something to attract the audience whenever he was on stage. He was unlike other performers that run and dance around, he was just stuck in front of his grand piano, so he wears it so he may appear flashier on stage.
His music still continues to entertain a lot of people to this day. His way of creating songs that are very soft and soothing was what really attracted me to discover and uncover his massive song book. He also produces songs with lyrics that are very understandable, with him using simple words yet when put down together, it creates a symbolic structure with a very strong message.
A genius musician and an icon, indeed!
Here’s a playlist of my favorite Elton John songs. Enjoy!
- Can You Feel the Love Tonight
- Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
- Crocodile Rock
- Tiny Dancer
- Your Song
- Rocket Man
- Something About The Way You Look Tonight
- I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues
- True Love
- Never Too Old (To Love Somebody)
See you in my next post!
Marielle Michaela <3