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#ThrowbackThursday: Elton John “Bennie and the Jets”

Image via DJM/MCA/Universal Music Group
  – Image via DJM/MCA/Universal Music Group

For this week’s #ThrowbackThursday, we decided to republish Sean Smith’s “Bennie and The Jets” focused piece from March 6th 2014. Naturally, this is because of yesterday’s widely reported announcement that Elton John will be retiring from touring. following one final “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.”

 

 “I’m not going to be touring and traveling the world. My priorities have changed. I have young children.”

Before he finishes, however, the 70 year old singer will spend three years  saying goodbye to his fans on the aforementioned “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour, which will span  300-dates.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t still be creative,” he said. “But I won’t travel any more…I don’t want to go out with a whimper. I want to go out with a bang…It’ll be the most produced, fantastic show I’ve ever done.”

 

by Sean Smith

A few weeks back the legendary Elton John released a new video for his 1973 song “Harmony.” The video features never before seen footage from his 1973-74 tour and also a meeting between John and Stevie Wonder. The release of the video is an effort to promote the reissue of Elton John’s 1973 breakthrough album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. We thought we’d do our part to honor the occasion by using this week’s #ThrowbackThursday to introduce the album to our  audience, and explain why it inspired tribute covers from acts that span the genres of Pop, Rock, Country, R&B and Hip Hop.

If you buy the album when it is released on March 25th, you’ll be able to learn about Goodbye Yellow Brick Road through an abundance of specialized material that will surly take you back to  Elton’s  breakthrough journey The newly remastered version of Goodbye will be released on CD, vinyl, limited-edition yellow vinyl, and in a box set featuring a recording of Live At Hammersmith 1973 on CD, a DVD of Bryan Forbes’ 1973 film Elton John and Bernie Taupin Say Goodbye to Norma Jean and Other Things. It will also feature a 100-page illustrated hardback book that is packed with rare photos, memorabilia and a new essay containing interviews with Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The Deluxe Edition and box set versions will also include nine new covers of songs off of Goodbye performed by popular artists of today like Ed Sheeran, Fall Out Boy, Hunter Hayes, Imelda May, Miguel featuring Wale, The Band Perry, and Zac Brown Band.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is considered by many to be one of Elton John’s best. The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003 and contains a number of noteworthy songs, including “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and even the Marilyn Monroe tribute “Candle in the Wind.” The latter of which would receive a second life when the English born Elton John rewrote the lyrics in 1997 to honor the late Princess of Wales, Diana. Amongst all of those classics,  to especially highlight the fourth single off of the Goodbye album, “Bennie and the Jets.”

If it were up to Elton John “Bennie and the Jets” would have never been released as a single in 1974. Although it would go in to be the album’s highest charting single, he thought the song would not be successful because in his words it was “one of the oddest songs we ever recorded.” But the song was embraced by the public and it went on to reach the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Part of that acceptance came from a wider audience than John was used to reaching. “Bennie And The Jets” became very popular with R&B fans, as it reached the #15 spot on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart and helped  land John a musical guest appearance on the iconic Soul Train television program.

And so with the re-release of Elton John’s 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road happening later this month, this week’s #ThrowbackThursday  remembers the fourth single from that album “Bennie and the Jets.” Enjoy!

Bennie And The Jets 

From: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Performed On Soul Train 

Don Cornelius Productions

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