Elton John: Fifty Years On: The Complete Guide to the Musical Genius of Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Elton John: Fifty Years On: The Complete Guide to the Musical Genius of Elton John and Bernie Taupin

by Stephen Spignesi, Michael Lewis


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A great companion to ME, Elton's official autobiography!

Elton John is as big as they come…

the albums • the songs • the concerts • the musicals • the charities • the accolades • the costumes • the glasses • the music!

We can count on one hand the musical legends equal to Elton John (the Beatles and the Rolling Stones each get a finger).

Elton John: Fifty Years On looks at the impact songwriting partners Elton John and Bernie Taupin have had on popular music and culture, and also discusses every song on all thirty albums, plus his work on Broadway, in movies, and elsewhere.
  • Part 1 is a collection of essays and interviews with musicians and music writers chatting about Elton and Bernie.
  • Part 2 is a bullet-pointed look at every released song, complete with insights, trivia, and meanings, including musical insights—like Elton’s favorite chord progressions, or the most notable melodies in his discography.

Did you know?
  • Elton and Bernie’s revision of “Candle in the Wind” (known as “Goodbye England’s Rose”), a tribute to Princess Diana after her untimely death, is the biggest-selling single in the UK and the second-biggest selling single in music history (after Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”).
  • “Tiny Dancer” may or may not be about Bernie Taupin’s wife, Maxine…quotes from Elton and Bernie contradict each other.
  • The biggest music stars in the world routinely show up at Elton John concerts to sing duets with the Rocket Man, including Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, George Michael, Bruce Hornsby, Lionel Richie, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Adams, Demi Lovato, Shawn Mendes, and many more, as well as Elton’s legendary “dual” shows with Billy Joel!
  • The background vocals for the song “White Powder White Lady” on the 21 at 33 album are sung by the Eagles.
  • The background vocals for the song “Cage the Songbird” on the Blue Moves album are sung by Graham Nash and David Crosby. (Stephen Stills must have been busy?)

Elton John: Fifty Years On was written for ultimate Elton John fans. A browsing book, a reading book, a treasure trove of facts, trivia, insights, and commentary, it’s the perfect companion to Elton leaving the Yellow Brick Road.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781642933277
Publisher: Post Hill Press
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,246,166
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Stephen Spignesi is a lecturer, bestselling author of more than sixty books, and world authority on the work of Stephen King, The Beatles, the Titanic and the US presidents. He is a retired Practitioner in Residence from the University of New Haven and his biography of John F. Kennedy Jr., J.F.K. Jr., was a New York Times bestseller. Spignesi appeared in the A&E Biography of Stephen King, the ITV biography of Robin Williams, and the E! biography of the Kennedys. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Michael Lewis is a long-time book editor, and author of twelve books including The 100 Best Beatles Songs (with Stephen Spignesi), A Guy Walks Into a Bar, and Outdated Advertising. He lives in Westwood, New Jersey, USA.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Teacher, I Need You 13

Part I The Music

1 The Albums and The Songs

1 Empty Sky (1969) 19

2 Elton John (1970) 23

3 Tumbleweed Connection (1970) 27

4 Madman Across the Water (1971) 31

5 Honky Chateau (1972) 36

6 Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973) 40

7 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) 44

8 Caribou (1974) 52

9 Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975) 56

10 Rock of the Westies (1975) 62

11 Blue Moves (1976) 66

12 A Single Man (1978) 73

13 Victim of Love (1979) 76

14 21 at 33 (1980) 78

15 The Fox (1981) 81

16 Jump Up! (1982) 86

17 Too Low for Zero (1983) 90

18 Breaking Hearts (1984) 95

19 Ice on Fire (1985) 98

20 Leather Jackets (1986) 102

21 Reg Strikes Back (1988) 106

22 Sleeping with the Past (1989) 111

23 The One (1992) 116

24 Made in England (1995) 120

25 The Big Picture (1997) 125

26 Songs from the West Coast (2001) 130

27 Peachtree Road (2004) 137

28 The Captain & the Kid (2006) 141

29 The Diving Board (2013) 145

30 Wonderful Crazy Night (2016) 151

2 Elton John Songs Not on the Thirty Studio Albums 157

3 Elton John's Forty Biggest Billboard Hot 100 Singles 167

4 One-of-a-Kind Albums 171

5 Greatest Hits Compilations 175

6 Notable Movie and TV Appearances 185

7 Rocketman: A Look at the 2019 Elton John Movie 187

8 Rock of the Besties: The Best of Elton and Bernie 197

Part II Essays And Interviews

9 This Essay Has No Title (Just Words and a Soundtrack) Bev Vincent 203

10 Candles in the Wind Kevin Quigley 209

11 The Greatest Build of All Time? Tyson Blue 215

12 E-L-T-O-N Richard Christian Matheson 221

13 Why We Love Elton John and What He Stands For Samantha Lewis Sydney Lewis 225

14 An Interview with David Bodoh Founder and Webmaster of Eltonography.com 231

15 The Unlikely Friendship of Elton John and Eminem Andrew J. Rausch 237

16 We Stan a Queen: A Gay Dude's Perspective into the Unlikely Friendship between Elton John and Eminem Kevin Quigley 245

17 My Favorite Elton John Album Is Anthony Northrup 249

18 Jim Cole's Elton John "Desert Island" Album James Cole 253

Select Bibliography 257

About the Authors 259

Acknowledgments 261

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