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Trivia / Elton John

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  • Big Name Fan: He is apparently a fan of Alice in Chains and was quite eager to deliver guest piano work for the title track to Black Gives Way to Blue when Jerry Cantrell contacted him about it.
  • Breakthrough Hit: His Self-Titled Album and its single "Your Song". Not to mention Goodbye Yellow Brick Road that is still his artistically and commercially most succesful record.
  • Career Resurrection: He had one with the 1983 album Too Low for Zero.
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  • Creator Breakdown: The Blue Moves album and many songs Bernie Taupin wrote lyrics to from 1976-78 reflect Taupin's breakdown after his first marriage collapsed and he spiraled into cocaine and alcohol abuse, and Elton was burnt out from fame and substance abuse (and Elton outed himself).
  • Edited for Syndication: The first CD release of Blue Moves, originally a double album, cut four songs so that the entire album could be released on a single CD. A complete version would eventually be released a few years later.
  • He Also Did: Probably not a lot of fans realize that he did a duet with Australian country singer Catherine Britt titled "Where We Both Say Goodbye". The song came and went without much recognition.
    • He and Bernie wrote songs for Kiki Dee, Ringo Starr and Rod Stewart during his peak period in The '70s.
    • Pre-fame, he sang on soundalike budget compilations for department stores, and played piano on various sessions, including the piano part on The Hollies' hit, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother".
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    • His work as chairman of Watford Football Club, which began in 1973, also counts, as does his charity work for AIDS relief.
  • Leslie Nielsen Syndrome: In a non-acting sense, yes. Elton started out with an image and music more in keeping with the "singer-songwriters" of The '70s like James Taylor, Jim Croce or Randy Newman. He wore regular clothes, hair and glasses, sang mid-tempo, often acoustical pieces heavy on orchestration, and released theatrical and ambitious albums like Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across The Water. His Self-Titled Album showed him draped in darkness with a sullen look on his face, and the most showmanship he exhibited on stage (usually as a piano-bass-drums trio with Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson) was kicking the piano stool and playing while standing up, Jerry Lee Lewis-style. Gradually, the glitz and camp (and a more commercial pop-rock style with electric guitars, synthesizers, brass sections, etc.) crept in, with more humor and showmanship, and Elton took to wearing crazy costumes, huge platform shoes and goofy eyewear by 1972 or 1973. Interestingly enough, his reviews became less favorable as he gained more fame. He only really toned down the flamboyancy (relatively speaking) by the beginning of The '90s, though traces of the glam period can still be found.
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  • Missing Episode: Bernie Taupin wrote a third verse for "Daniel" explaining the reason the title character was injured, why the narrator missed him, and so on: he was a veteran of The Vietnam War. However, Elton cut it because he felt the song was too long, and unfortunately, neither Elton nor Bernie recalls it.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Performing at Rush Limbaugh's fourth wedding for a cool 1 million dollars.
    • Not to mention he got backdraft over doing this. Though after performing, Elton said he found a new friend in Rush and his new wife and said that he'd gladly invite him over for dinner any time.
      • Go-Karting with Bowser: Elton, at least by Word of God, seems to believe (his occasional beef with celebrities aside) in trying to mend fences rather than fuel rivalries, and often forms unlikely friendships with celebrities accused of (or guilty of) homophobia (Limbaugh, Eminem, Axl Rose, etc.) to demonstrate this. Often it does lead to backdraft from gay rights advocates.
  • New Sound Album: Several of his albums may count.
    • Honky Chateau saw Elton abandon much of the dramatic singer-songwriter style of his previous albums for one with a more rock-based style and sound, de-emphasising the orchestral backdrops using his live backing band on all of the tracks for the first time rather than use session musicians.
    • Rock of the Westies found Elton using a harder group sound with strong R&B, funk, disco and Blues Rock influences, retaining only guitarist Davey Johnstone and percussionist Ray Cooper from the classic band and expanding to a seven-piece group.
    • A Single Man used stronger Soft Rock influences, with Bernie Taupin entirely replaced as full-time lyricist by Gary Osbourne.
    • Victim of Love saw Elton dabble full-time into disco music at the end of disco's popularity; Elton only provided lead vocals while Pete Bellotte wrote or co-wrote all of the songs (aside from a discofied cover of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode".
    • Too Low for Zero saw Bernie's full-time return (along with Elton's classic band from The '70s), but used 1980's pop production values and more synthesizers.
    • The synthesizers/1980's production saw heavier use on Ice On Fire, which also saw most of Elton's classic band laid off (again) in favor of a new band. Strong '80's funk/soul influences also appeared.
    • Made in England, while AOR/MOR in places, showed Elton return more to his 1970's style, with more dramatic orchestral parts (care of Paul Buckmaster, who arranged the orchestral parts of his early-1970's albums).
    • The Big Picture showed full AOR/MOR influence with heavily synthesized arrangements.
    • Songs from the West Coast saw Elton used a more stripped-down sound even more retro than on Made in England, entirely recorded on analog tape and returning Elton to his singer-songwriter roots.
    • The Diving Board was the most pared-down album in years, with an emphasis on piano, bass and drums (with minimal additions) and more of an intimate feel.
  • Odd Friendship: Has had many over the course of his career, from Eminem, Axl Rose, Rush Limbaugh, and Billie Jean King to Miley Cyrus, Groucho Marx, Mary J. Blige, and Madonna. Various members of England's Royal Family might also count.
  • Old Shame: The '80s, in particular from 1984-1990, were arguably the nadir of Elton's personal life, thanks his self-destructive behavior, personal conduct and vocal problems which left him a baritone after surgery. He felt his vices had also affected the quality of his albums at the time (though he felt that had he not stayed busy, he might have died from his issues). He also felt that he could have spent more time in the decade campaigning and speaking out for AIDS awareness, particularly as his friends and lovers died of the disease, and he felt fortunate to have eluded being HIV-positive at the time. He founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, two years after his rehabilitation, to make up for it.
  • Production Posse: The combination of Elton, lyricist Bernie Taupin, his backing band of Davey Johnstone (guitar), the late Dee Murray (bass), Nigel Olsson (drums) and sometimes Ray Cooper (percussion), with production by the late Gus Dudgeon and Paul Buckmaster or Del Newman conducting orchestral parts, was arguably collectively responsible for the classic Elton John sound of 1972-1975, and has partially if not fully been involved with Elton ever since. Davey and Nigel have stayed as part of Elton's backing band since 2001, while Bernie has stayed (with few exceptions) as Elton's full-time lyricist since 1983.
  • Shrug of God: A notable amount of people have questioned why one of Elton's eyebrows seems to move so oddly whenever he sings. (He and David Furnish even brought it up in the commentary for "Tantrums and Tiaras".) Even he doesn't know why this happens, but he does know that it drives him crazy.
    • Neither he nor Bernie Taupin have any idea what "Take Me to the Pilot" means.
  • Too Soon: "Candle in the Wind 1997" pointedly avoided one particular line from the original ("Even when you died the press still hounded you") which would've hit very close to home regarding the paparazzi following Princess Diana the night of her fatal crash (and the wall-to-wall coverage of her death). If you knew the original, though, the implications were still there.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Auditioned for vocalist of King Crimson and Gentle Giant before he was famous.
    • He also made some demos of Nick Drake's songs, being very impressed with Drake's songwriting but eventually started composing his own material.
    • He, Rod Stewart and Freddie Mercury were considering making a band together. Things didn't quite work in their favor for that.
    • Elton was to record a hip-hop-flavored album in 2006 with friend Eminem's production crew assisting him. The death of another one of Eminem's friends and associates, rapper Proof, put an end to those plans. Elton ended up recording the more 1970s-retro Captain Fantastic sequel The Captain & the Kid instead.

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