Elton John All The Songs was published earlier in April. We catch up with its authors, Rolling Stone journalists Romuald Ollivier and Olivier Roubin in Nantes, France, to tell us how they approached the ambitious task of documenting the story of every Elton John song. To coincide with the book’s launch the authors and publisher Hachette are offering one English-language copy of this bible of Elton songs signed by the authors. Head over to eltonjohn.world and read the competition terms to be in with a chance to win it!
Competition rules: Email email@example.com no later than 31 May 2023 with your answer to this question: How many pages is Elton John All The Songs? Is it 300 pages, 600 pages, 900 pages or 1,200 pages? Good luck!
Pour tous les fans francophones, la version originale française de ce fantastique livre est intitulée ELTON JOHN, LA TOTALE
Une véritable bible pleine de pépites que tout fan se doit de posséder!
Interesting episode! What a piece of work that book is! I haven’t really had the time to delve into it more deeply but what I’ve read so far is very well researched thoug there are several songs missing, not only The Rumour but also The Goaldiggers Song or the Lestat-musical (that contains one of my favourite Elton/Bernie-songs Right Before My Eyes – I’m still sad it never got a proper recording by Elton who did piano demos for all the other songs, there’s only a live version of it).
A few thoughts on the songs chosen for the program: ‘Daniel’ to me is a hauntingly beautiful song and I’m sad Elton doesn’t play it on his Farewell-Tour (though he played it in Liverpool). Shortly before RSD he finally released the lyrics he cut from the song 50 years ago on his website and our Eltonites-community on Instagram wholeheartedly agreed that he was very wrong to cut that. Elton’s voice does give the song some extra depth though I always think you could also hear that he was seriously ill while recording the album but that’s probably my own interpretation.
‘Tiny Dancer’ always raises the question in me why Elton chose to change the lyrics around when playing it live. But that’s a mystery that will never be solved I guess. Maybe it’s got something to do with Maxine being the centre of the song and how that relationship between her and Bernie ended. I mean, nowadays Bernie tends to deny it was about her at all.
‘I’m Still Standing’ being an anthem for everyone who has come through times of hardship is probably enhanced by its use in the ‘Rocketman’-Film where it’s place as the song that Elton sings coming out of rehab. Of course there is a lot of irony in that notion as Elton was at the height of his drug and drink-addiction, even getting completely wasted while filming the video which LED to him stripping naked and breaking John Reid’s nose. Still, the song has a universal feeling of optimism and survival to it that will never cease to appeal to everyone needing a cheer up.
Thanks btw for clearing up how the lyrics to ‘Big Dipper’ came together. 😉