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Music / Sleeping with the Past

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You're proud to love him, it's a foolish sign
You're a broken heart at the scene of the crime
When the shades are drawn
And the light of the moon is banned
And the stars up above
Walk the heavens hand in hand
There's a shady place
At the end of the working day
Where young lovers go
And this hot little trio plays
"Club at the End of the Street"

Sleeping with the Past is the twenty-second studio album recorded by English pop rock musician Elton John. It was released through Rocket Records in the United Kingdom, and MCA Records in the United States, on 29 August 1989.

Believing they were on to something following Reg Strikes Back, Elton and writing partner Bernie Taupin drew some inspiration from Billy Joel, and decided to tap into some R&B for their next album. He was also attempting to finally sober up after the wakeup call that was his 1987 throat surgery.

He would admit later that he barely got through recording sober, and quickly went off the rails again. He collapsed on-stage during the first week of this album's promotional tour.

This was worsened by MCA not supporting the new album in the United States. Though the album hit #1 in the United Kingdom (his first chart-topper there since Caribou in 1974), it only reached #23 on the Billboard 200 album chart. It still went Platinum in the US, and triple-Platinum in the UK.

Despite this, his songs did better initially in the US. The album spawned four singles: "Healing Hands", "Sacrifice", "Club at the End of the Street", and "Whispers". The first three were all hits in the US. But it would take an early 1990 re-release of "Healing Hands" and "Sacrifice" together in the UK for them to be propelled to #1 there, becoming his first solo #1 single in his home country.note 

Falling off the wagon after the album's production would reverse some of Elton's personal triumphs since his throat surgery. He would go to rehab in 1990, hoping to end his substance abuse problems once and for all before they ended him.


Side One
  1. "Durban Deep" (5:32)
  2. "Healing Hands" (4:23)
  3. "Whispers" (5:28)
  4. "Club at the End of the Street" (4:49)
  5. "Sleeping with the Past" (4:58)

Side Two

  1. "Stone's Throw from Hurtin'" (4:55)
  2. "Sacrifice" (5:07)
  3. "I Never Knew Her Name" (3:31)
  4. "Amazes Me" (4:39)
  5. "Blue Avenue" (4:21)

Extra tracks from the 1998 remaster

  1. "Dancing in the End Zone" 3:53
  2. "Love Is a Cannibal" 3:52

"Cold cold heart, hard troped by you:"

  • Animated Music Video: "Club at the End of the Street" was animated, using Elton's look from "Sacrifice", because at the time he was taking part in the benefits for AIDS patient Ryan White.
  • Face on the Cover: Elton makes an appearance on the album cover, and would do the same for the single for "Sacrifice".
  • Title Track: "Sleeping with the Past"