For the best-selling artist of the 1970s, “Your Song” was the first step onto a yellow brick road toward music immortality for Elton John. Before 300 million records sold, nine #1 hit singles, or six GRAMMY Awards, Elton and longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin scribbled some lyrics down and wrote the music for “Your Song.”
Elton’s first hit might be his most recognizable outside of “Candle in the Wind 1997,” re-written as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales. “Your Song” wasn’t even a #1 single, having peaked at #8 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Elton’s first #1 wouldn’t come for another three years, when “Crocodile Rock” reached the top of the charts on February 3, 1973 and stayed there for three weeks.
The first time we hear and endear ourselves with a musician tends to stick with us and, for many, “Your Song” was that moment between us and Elton John. He wasn’t such a showmen yet. His attire didn’t incite a second look. He was still a performer finding his stride. It was just Elton, a piano, and his voice. And we loved it.
Here are 5 things you didn’t know about “Your Song” by Elton John.
“Your Song” was written at breakfast over eggs
Traditional British breakfast (Photo Illustration by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)
The songwriting partnership between Elton and Taupin began in 1967, with the latter moving into Elton and his mother’s flat.
One morning, while eating some scrambled eggs for breakfast, Taupin penned the lyrics to “Your Song.” The original lyrics allegedly have coffee stains on them, as well.
Three Dog Night recorded it first
Before Elton recorded and released “Your Song” on his self-titled album, he lent the song to Three Dog Night for their album It Ain’t Easy on March 31, 1970, less than two weeks before the release of Elton John.
John Lennon thinks “Your Song”
was the first new sound since The Beatles
In a 1975 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon expressed his excitement after hearing “Your Song” for the first time.
“I remember hearing Elton John’s ‘Your Song,’ heard it in America — it was one of Elton’s first big hits — and remember thinking, ‘Great, that’s the first new thing that’s happened since we (The Beatles) happened.’ It was a step forward. There was something about his vocal that was an improvement on all of the English vocals until then. I was pleased with it.”
Best thing since The Beatles! Lennon was never one for humility. He did say The Beatles were more popular than Jesus, after all.
♫ And this one’s from Apu ♫
Guest starring on The Simpsons became a huge deal for celebrities as the show became increasingly popular, especially for musicians. Heck, each member of The Beatles (except for John Lennon, obviously) has been animated for a spot of TV’s longest running prime time television show.
Elton had his first appearance during season 10, episode 14 on February 14, 1999. The Valentine’s Day love story of “I’m With Cupid” was punctuated by Elton’s performance of “Your Song” for Apu and Manjula on the Kwik-E-Mart roof.
You can watch the clip over at simpsonsworld.com.
A cover has been watched more than Elton’s original
It’s safe to say that no cover of “Your Song” is more popular than Elton’s original, but if we’re judging purely on views from YouTube, another musician from the UK holds the crown.
Ellie Goulding covered Elton’s “Your Song” — beautifully in our opinion — and her video has a slightly higher view count than the original. As of posting, the count stands at 48,970,633 for Ellie and 48,793,376 for Elton.