Elton John


Elton John

Crédito: The Rochet Man

Elton John nasceu em 25 de Março de 1947, tendo recebido o nome de Reginald Kenneth Dwight. Aos quatro anos começou a aprender a tocar piano e aos onze venceu um concurso, entrando para a Academia Real de Música da Inglaterra, onde esteve 6 anos. Em 1961 entrou para sua primeira banda, chamada Bluesology. Passou a dividir seu tempo entre tocar com a banda, tocar sozinho num hotel e procurar uma editora discográfica. Mais tarde a banda passou a ser liderada por Long John Baldry. De seguida, Reginald foi-se frustrando com o controlo de Long John sobre a banda e começou a procurar por outros grupos.

As coisas não correram bem até encontrar um anúncio da editora Liberty Records. Mesmo não tendo sido aprovado, recebeu umas letras que Bernie Taupin havia entregue à editora, em resposta ao mesmo anúncio visto por Reginald. Compôs então músicas para as letras de Bernie, e começaram a trocar correspondência. Quando os dois finalmente se conheceram, seis meses depois, Reginald já tinha mudado seu nome para Elton John, tirando o primeiro nome do saxofonista da Bluesology, Elton Dean, e o segundo nome do Long John Baldry.

Elton e Bernie foram então contratados por Dick James, para gravar músicas na Dick James Music, no ano de 1968. Então tudo começou a acontecer muito depressa. Bernie enviava letras para Elton, que compunha as músicas, às vezes em menos de meia hora. Neste início de parceria, escreveram músicas para outros cantores, enquanto que Elton gravava versões de sucessos de outros artistas. Em Junho de 1969, chegava às lojas o primeiro disco de Elton John, chamado Empty Sky, que apesar de ter recebido elogios, não vendeu muito.

Já o segundo disco, auto-intitulado Elton John, teve participação do produtor Gus Dudgeon e do arranjador Paul Buckmaster, o que os ajudou e ter mais popularidade. Em 1970 Elton começou a tocar nos Estados Unidos e a sua apresentação no Troubadour em Los Angeles marcou sua ascensão. No fim desse ano já estava entre os dez primeiros lugares com o seu primeiro sucesso, Your Song.

Em Agosto de 1971 actuou em Portugal, no Festival de Vilar de Mouros, o qual constituíu o primeiro grande evento pop-rock do país. A actuação baseou-se em canções do seu álbum "Elton John".

O que veio a seguir foi uma sucessão rápida de lançamentos. Em 1971, foram lançados Tumbleweed Connection, um disco de tributo ao oeste americano, 17-11-70, disco gravado ao vivo, a trilha sonora do filme Friends e, finalmente, Madman Across the Water. Este último teve algum de sucesso, mas Elton John só chegou ao topo com o seu disco de 1972, Honky Château, que foi gravado juntamente com os músicos que o acompanhavam nos espectáculos: o baixista Dee Murray, o baterista Nigel Olson e o guitarrista Davey Johnstone. Deste disco saíram dois singles de sucesso, Rocket Man e Honky Cat, e Honky Château tornou-se no seu primeiro álbum a alcançar o topo das tabelas nos Estados Unidos, ficando cinco semanas no primeiro lugar.

Entre os anos de 1972 e 1976, Elton John e Bernie Taupin transformaram-se numa máquina de fazer sucessos praticamente incontrolável. Rocket Man começou uma sequência de dezasseis Top 20, que durou quatro anos. Destas 16 músicas - que incluíam Crocodile Rock, Daniel, Bennie and the Jets, The Bitch is Back e Philadelphia Freedom - só uma não chegou ao Top 10: Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting. Além disso, Honky Château iniciou uma sequência de sete álbuns que alcançaram o número um das tabelas: Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player e Goodbye Yellow Brick Road de 1973, Caribou e Greatest Hits de 1974 e finalmente Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy e Rock of the Westies, de 1975. Todos eles foram discos de platina.

Em 1973, Elton fundou a Rocket, uma editora distribuída pela MCA, para produzir e assinar trabalhos de artistas como Neil Sekada e Kiki Dee. Elton não era um artista da Rocket, preferindo continuar com a MCA, com um contrato-recorde de oito milhões de dólares, em 1974. Ainda em 1974, participou no single Whatever Gets You Throught the Night, de John Lennon. Graças a esta música teve a oportunidade de cantar com John Lennon no Madison Square Garden no Dia de Ação de Graças em 1974, a última vez em que John Lennon subiu aoalco. No ano seguinte, Capitain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy tornou-se no primeiro álbum a entrar nas tabelas americanas directamente para o número um. Depois do seu lançamento, Elton renovou a sua banda, tendo então Davey Johnstone, Caleb Quaye, Roger Pope, Ray Cooper e o baixista Kenny Passarelli. Rock of the Westies foi o primeiro álbum com esta formação.

Em meados dos anos 70, os shows de Elton eram muito populares, assim como os seus singles e discos, e ele continuou a gravar e fazer shows a um ritmo rápido até 1976. Neste ano, ele revelou em entrevista à revista Rolling Stone que era bi-sexual. Mais tarde admitiu que esta confissão era um meio-termo, pois tinha medo de admitir que era homosexual. Muitos fãs reagiram mal à sua bi-sexualidade e o seu público começou a diminuir no final dos anos 70. A diminuição nas suas vendas também foi provocada pelo seu cansaço.

Depois de 1976, Elton diminuiu drasticamente sua agenda de shows, anunciando que iria deixar de se actuar em 1977 e começou a gravar um disco por ano. O seu relacionamento com Bernie tornou-se tenso após o lançamento do disco duplo Blue Moves, e o letrista começou a trabalhar com outros artistas. Elton voltou ao mundo da música com o disco A Single Man, que foi feito com Gary Osborne, mas este trabalho não gerou nenhum single de muito sucesso na época, embota inclua uma música que é uma das mais marcantes até hoje: Song for Guy. Neste mesmo ano ele retomou os shows, primeiro improvisando na tournê Live Stiffs, e então numa tournê em 1979, acompanhado apenas do percussionista Ray Cooper. Mama Can't Buy You Love, uma música gravada com o produtor Thom Bell em 1977, o levou de volta ao Top 10 em 1979, mas o disco Victim of Love, do mesmo ano, foi um fiasco comercial.

Elton uniu-se novamente a Bernie em 1980, lançando o disco 21 at 33, que trazia o sucesso Little Jeannie. Durante os três anos seguintes, Elton manteve sua popularidade, mas os seus singles não conseguiram chegar ao Top 10, mas mesmo assim, chegaram ao Top 40. Em 1981, ele assinou com a Geffen Records, e seu segundo álbum, Jump Up!, foi disco de ouro, graças às músicas Blue Eyes e Empty Garden, o seu tributo a John Lennon.

Mas foi em 1983, com Too Low for Zero, que se iniciava sua última sequência de grandes sucessos, primeiro com I'm Still Standing e em seguida com I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues. Pelo resto dos anos 80, todos os seus lançamentos tornaram-se discos de ouro, e a maioria trazia pelo menos um novo sucesso, como Sad Songs em 1984, do disco Braking Hearts, Nikita em 1985, do disco Ice on Fire, uma regravação de Candle in the Wind em 1987 com a orquestra sinfônica de Melbourne, I Don't Want to Go on with You Like That em 1988, do disco Reg Strikes Back, e Sacrifice em 1989, do disco Sleeping with the Past.

Enquanto a sua carreira continuava com sucesso, a sua vida pessoal estava perturbada. Desde meados dos anos 70 que Elton John era viciado em cocaína e álcool, e a situação piorou durante os anos 80. Em 1984, num acto que surpreendeu toda a gente, casou-se com a engenheira Renate Blauel. O casal manteve-se junto durante quatro anos, mesmo que Elton tenha admitido ser homossexual antes de se casar. Em 1986 sofreu uma cirurgia de garganta durante uma tournê, mas mesmo depois de recuperar continuou a abusar da cocaína e do álcool.

Depois de quebrar o recorde de esgotar por cinco vezes o Madison Square Garden em 1988, Elton leiloou todas as suas roupas, lembranças e a sua colecção de discos. O leilão foi uma viragem simbólica. Nos dois anos seguintes, Elton lutou contra o vício e a bulimia, ao mesmo tempo que se submetia a uma cirurgia de reimplante capilar.

Em 1990 foi lançada a coletânea The Very Best of Elton John, que vendeu muito bem em todo o mundo. No ano seguinte estava livre das drogas e da bebida, e em 1992 fundou a Elton John AIDS Foundation, e anunciou que iria doar todos os royalties das vendas de seus singles à pesquisa contra a AIDS.

No mesmo ano, Elton retornou aos estúdios para lançar o disco The One. Chegando a número oito nas paradas americanas e recebendo um disco de platina duplo, disco que se tornou no de maior sucesso desde Blue Moves, provocando um renascimento na carreira de Elton. Ele e Taupin assinaram um contrato-recorde com a Warner/Chappell Music, estimado em 39 milhões de dólares. Ainda em 1992, Elton lançou um CD de duetos, onde cantou ao lado de artistas como Leonard Cohen, Ru Paul e George Michael. O seu trabalho com George Michael, uma regravação magistral de Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, chegou ao topo das tabelas no mundo inteiro.

Em 1994, Elton John trabalhou com o letrista Tim Rice em músicas para o filme d e desenhos animados da Disney, O Rei Leão. O disco com as músicas, que trazia versões gravadas pelo elenco do filme e algumas versões gravadas por Elton, foi o mais vendido daquele ano. Uma das músicas, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, ganhou o Oscar de Melhor Música Original, assim como o Grammy de Melhor Performance Vocal Pop Masculina. O disco ainda ganhou o Oscar de Melhor Trilha Sonora. Outra música de grande sucesso saída deste disco é Circle of Life, que no ano de 2003 ganhou uma regravação na ocasião do lançamento de O Rei Leão em DVD.

O disco de 1995, Made in England, continuou a dar fôlego ao seu retorno e chegou a terceiro lugar nas paradas inglesas e à décima terceira posição nos Estados Unidos. O seu maior sucesso foi a música Believe. Nos Estados Unidos, ele recebeu disco de platina pelo álbum. Em 1997, The Big Picture trouxe músicas bem mais pop, e chegou ao Top 10 com a música Something About the Way You Look Tonight. Entretanto, o seu sucesso foi encoberto pela resposta de Elton à trágica morte da princesa Diana. Como tributo à amiga, ele regravou Candle in the Wind (originalmente dedicada a Marilyn Monroe), com a letra reescrita por Bernie Taupin. A primeira (e única) apresentação da música foi no funeral de Diana, e todos os lucros gerados com a venda do single lançado em seguida foram destinados às obras de caridade favoritas de Diana. Candle in the Wind 1997 tornou-se no single de vendas mais rápidas tanto nos Estados Unidos como na Inglaterra e entrou facilmente nas listas como número 1, tornando esta música no maior sucesso de toda a carreira de Elton.

Em seu projecto seguinte, Elton uniu-se novamente a Tim Rice para escrever músicas para um musical da Broadway, uma adaptação da história de Aida. Foi lançado então um disco onde as músicas deste musical foram interpretadas por artistas pop famosos, como Sting, Spice Girls e Lenny Kravitz. Este disco foi lançado em 1999, recebendo o disco de ouro no final do ano.

Em 1999 fez a trilha sonora do filme A Musa. Esta trilha é basicamente instrumental, estilo clássico, com apenas uma música "pop", com letra de Bernie Taupin. Em 2000 Elton mais uma vez juntou-se a Tim Rice para mais uma trilha sonora. Desta vez a obra a ser musicada foi o longa-metragem em desenho animado O Caminho para o El Dorado.

Ainda em 2000, Elton John fez um especial pela CBS, cantando alguns de seus sucessos no Madison Square Garden, e lançando o disco One Night Only com algumas das músicas do show. Pouco tempo depois foi lançado um DVD com o espectáculo.

Em Outubro de 2001 lançou o disco Songs from the West Coast, que foi aclamado pela crítica como um retorno ao velho estilo dos anos 70, lembrando muito o disco Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, com o piano sobressaindo em todas as músicas. Deste trabalho saíram os singles I Want Love, This Train Don't Stop there Anymore e Original Sin.

Em 2002, Elton John regravou Your Song juntamente com o tenor Alessandro Safina, para ajudar numa campanha de caridade. No final de 2002 foi lançada a coletânea Greatest Hits 1970-2002, uma compilação de todos os seus grandes sucessos que teve boas vendas.


BORN: March 25, 1947, Pinner, Middlesex, England

On the basis of the charts alone the most popular artist of the '70s, Elton John (b. Reginald Kenneth Dwight, March 25, 1947, Pinner, Middlesex, England), is a master showman whose electrifying performances and nonstop stream of hit records have made him an international superstar of the highest caliber. But the charts also tell another, even more impressive story: Beginning with his first American hit "Your Song" in 1970, the singer/pianist has so far amassed an astounding total of over 50 top 40 hits in his still-fruitful career. In 1993, he surpassed Elvis Presley for the most consecutive years of top 40 hits on Billboard's Hot 100, and became the only artist in pop history to have reached the top 30 for 24 uninterrupted years; since then, incredibly, he's done it every year as well. With his status as a hot artist still very much intact, John looks likely to break many more records--in both senses of the word--before he finally hangs up his (formerly platform) rock 'n' roll shoes and heads off to the Great Player Piano in the sky.

Young Reggie Dwight began playing piano at an early age and studied at the Royal Academy of Music before making his move into rock 'n' roll in the mid-'60s. He began playing with an R&B group called Bluesology in 1964, backing American R&B artists such as Major Lance, Patti LaBelle & the Blue Belles, and Billy Stewart before working full-time behind lanky U.K. singer Long John Baldry. In June, 1967, he answered a Liberty Records advertisement seeking talent he'd seen in England's New Musical Express; the roundabout result was a songwriting partnership at music publisher Dick James Music with lyricist Bernie Taupin, who'd responded to the same ad, that would last into the '90s. Initially assigned to write songs for the likes of Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck--which they attempted to do, but were unsuccessful--the pair were told by a company executive to stop trying to write "hits" and simply write music they themselves liked. "We basically went home and started writing what we felt like writing," Taupin later told writer Michael Amicone, "and those songs became the nucleus of our first album, Empty Sky."

In the U.S., 1969's Empty Sky would not see release until 1975, short months after Elton John's Greatest Hits had concluded its 10-week run as America's No. 1 album. Instead, the domestic debut of Elton John--a moniker Dwight had constructed by combining the names of Long John Baldry and Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean--would be 1970's Elton John. To help launch the album, the singer had flown to Los Angeles to give a now-legendary show at the Troubadour. "People just went crazy," John later recalled to British DJ Andy Peebles, "and a guy called Robert Hilburn from the Los Angeles Times gave me the rave review of all time, and it spread across America and I became an overnight sensation." Bolstered by the top 10 success of "Your Song," the album indeed soared to the top 5 and spent a year on the charts; by the end of 1971, no fewer than four other Elton John albums had been released--Tumbleweed Connection, Friends (a film soundtrack recorded in 1970), 11-17-70 (a live New York City concert that had been broadcast on WPLJ-FM), and Madman Across The Water. All entered the top 40; all but the concert set were certified gold.

John and Taupin were a brilliant team; the pianist was a captivating singer with a powerful voice, able to wring nuances out of even the most vague of Taupin's image-laden lyrics. John excelled as a balladeer, particularly when emoting on such surrealistic songs as "Levon"--which, some suggested, with its odd storyline about a man who "wears his war wound like a crown" and "calls his child Jesus," needed whatever help could be brought to it. From 1972's top 10 hit "Rocket Man," through 1976's "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word," the singer produced a nonstop series of 16 top 20 singles, 12 of which had entered the top 5. John's commercial enormity was unprecedented; in the same period, three of his albums (Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy, Elton John's Greatest Hits, and Rock Of The Westies) entered the album charts at No. 1, giving him a grand total of seven No. 1 albums in only a three-year span.

If lyricist Taupin needed any reassurance about the value of his contributions to John's songs, it came immediately after 1976's Blue Moves--the last album on which he'd work full-time with the singer until 1983's Too Low For Zero, and also the last top 10 Elton John album for 16 years. Beginning with 1978's A Single Man, the singer began collaborating with other lyricists including Gary Osborne, Tom Robinson, Judie Tzuke, and Tim Rice. Coinciding with that period was a noticeable drop in the popularity of his singles; where the singer had previously typically charted in the single digit-range, beginning with 1978's "Ego," which peaked at No. 34, double-digits were more often the rule rather than the exception.

The singer spent much of the late '70s and mid-'80s appearing in a variety of new contexts. He released the three-song EP The Thom Bell Sessions, produced and arranged by Philly soul specialist Thom Bell, in 1979; its "Mama Can't Buy You Love" was one of the John's few top 10 hits of the period. Scant months later he appeared on the extremely curious "disco album" Victim Of Love, which featured a cover of "Johnny B. Goode" and a plethora of non-originals by producer Pete Bellotte; the album sold poorly and is generally considered a failed experiment. Additionally, he appeared on Dionne & Friends' 1985 No. 1 hit "That's What Friends Are For" with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder, and sang on Jennifer Rush's top 40 hit "Flames Of Paradise" in 1987.

By the mid-'80s, Elton John began a three-stage comeback of sorts: 1) He began hitting the top 10 again with singles such as 1986's "Nikita," "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That," and a remake of "Candle In The Wind"; 2) He returned to MCA Records, after being at Geffen for seven years; and 3) Critics, who in recent years had often tended to dismiss him as a talented but ultimately lightweight sales phenomenon, began looking fondly at him, perhaps realizing his artistic consistency was much more of a phenomenon than the number of units he shipped. Beginning with 1987's Live In Australia With The Melbourne Symphony Orch, his MCA albums took on a renewed sales vigor, and by 1989's Sleeping With The Past, he scored his first all-new platinum album in 11 years. And with 1992's The One, again platinum, John had his first top 10 album since 1976's Blue Moves. Perhaps helping spur that success along was 1991's Two Rooms: Songs Of Elton John & Bernie Taupin, a special tribute album to the songs of John and Taupin that featured top-line guest stars such as Eric Clapton, Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, and Sting, among others.

Within four years, the singer and his reactivated Rocket Records label would move to PolyGram's Island Records division; the first product of that shift came via 1995's well-received Made In England. An exciting, generous artist whose fan base seems on the increase even in the '90s, Elton John is one of pop music's true giants.

Written by Dave DiMartino


In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early '70s. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers with equal aplomb. He could dip into soul, disco and country, as well as classic pop balladry and even progressive rock. His versatility, combined with his effortless melodic skills, dynamic charisma and flamboyant stage shows made him the most popular recording artist of the '70s. Unlike many pop stars, John was able to sustain his popularity, charting a Top 40 single every single year from 1970 to 1996.

During that time, he had temporary slumps in creativity and sales, as he fell out of favor with critics, had fights with his lyricist Bernie Taupin, and battled various addictions and public scandals. But through it all, John remained a remarkably popular artist and many of his songs -- including "Your Song," "Rocket Man," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" -- became contemporary pop standards.

The son of a former Royal Air Force trumpeter, Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947. Dwight began playing piano at the age of four, and when he was 11, he won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. After studying for six years, he left school with the intention of breaking into the music business. In 1961, he joined his first band, Bluesology, and divided his time between playing with the group, giving solo concerts at a local hotel, and running errands for a London publishing house. By 1965, Bluesology were backing touring American soul and R&B musicians like Major Lance, Doris Troy and the Bluebells.

In 1966, Bluesology became Long John Baldry's supporting band, and began touring cabarets throughout England. Dwight became frustrated with Baldry's control of the band and began searching for other groups to join. He failed his lead vocalist auditions both King Crimson and Gentle Giant before responding to an advertisement by Liberty Records. Though he failed his Liberty audition, he was given a stack of lyrics Bernie Taupin, who had also replied to the ad, had left with the label. Dwight wrote music for Taupin's lyrics and began corresponding with him through mail. By the time the two met six months later, Dwight had changed his name to Elton John, taking his first name from Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean and his last from John Baldry.

John and Taupin were hired by Dick James to become staff songwriters at his fledgling DJM in 1968. The pair collaborated at a rapid rate, with Taupin submitting batches of lyrics -- he often wrote a song an hour -- every few weeks. John would then write music without changing the words, sometimes completing the songs in under a half hour. Over the next two years, the duo wrote songs for pop singers like Roger Cook and Lulu. In the meantime, John recorded cover versions of current hits for budget labels to be sold in supermarkets.

By the summer of 1968, he had begun recording singles for release under his own name. Usually, these songs were more rock and radio-oriented than the tunes he and Taupin were giving to other vocalists, yet neither of his early singles for Phillips, "I've Been Loving You Too Long" and "Lady Samantha," sold well. In June of 1969, he released his debut album for DJM, Empty Sky, which received fair reviews, but no sales.

For his second album, John and Taupin hired producer Gus Dudgeon and arranger Paul Buckmaster, who contributed grandiose string charts to Elton John. Released in the summer of 1970, Elton John began to make inroads in America, where it was appeared on MCA's Uni subsidiary. In August, he gave his first American concert at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, which received enthusiastic reviews, as well as praise from Quincy Jones and Leon Russell. Throughout the fall, Elton John continued to climb the charts on the strength of the Top 10 single, "Your Song."

John followed it quickly in February 1971 with the concept album Tumbleweed Connection, which received heavy airplay on album-oriented radio in the US, helping it climb into the Top 10. The rapid release of Tumbleweed Connection established a pattern of frequent releases that John maintained throughout his career. In 1971, he released the live 11-17-70 and the Friends soundtrack, before releasing Madman Across the Water late in the year. Madman Across the Water was successful, but John achieved stardom with the followup, 1972's Honky Chateau. Recorded with his touring band -- bassist Dee Murray, drummer Nigel Olsson and guitarist Davey Johnstone -- and featuring the hit singles "Rocket Man" and "Honky Cat," Honky Chateau became his first American number one album, spending five weeks at the top of the charts.

Between 1972 and 1976, Elton John and Bernie Taupin's hit-making machine was virtually unstoppable. "Rocket Man" began a four-year streak of 16 Top 20 hits in a row; out of those 16 -- including "Crocodile Rock," "Daniel," "Bennie and the Jets," "The Bitch Is Back" and "Philadelphia Freedom" -- only one, the FM hit "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," failed to reach the Top Ten. Honky Chateau began a streak of seven consecutive number one albums -- Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973), Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973), Caribou (1974), Greatest Hits (1974), Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975), Rock of the Westies (1975) -- that all went platinum. John founded Rocket, a record label distributed by MCA, in 1973 in order to sign and produce acts like Neil Sedaka and Kiki Dee.

John didn't become a Rocket recording artist himself, choosing to stay with MCA for a record-breaking eight million dollar contract in 1974. Later in 1974, he co-wrote John Lennon's number one comeback single, "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," and he persuaded Lennon to join him onstage at Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving Day 1974; it would prove to be Lennon's last live performance. The following year, Captain Fantastic became the first album to enter the American charts at number one. After its release, he revamped his band, which now featured Johnstone, Quaye, Roger Pope, Ray Cooper and bassist Kenny Passarelli; Rock of the Westies was the first album to feature this lineup.

Throughout the mid-'70s, John's concerts were enormously popular, as were his singles and albums, and he continued to record and perform at a rapid pace until 1976. That year, he revealed in an interview in Rolling Stone that he was bisexual; he would later admit that the confession was a compromise, since he was afraid to reveal that he was homosexual. Many fans reacted negatively to John's bisexuality, and his audience began to shrink somewhat in the late '70s. The decline in his record sales was also due to his exhaustion. After 1976, John cut his performance schedule drastically, announcing that he was retiring from live performances in 1977 and started recording only one album a year.

His relationship with Taupin became strained following the release of 1976's double-album Blue Moves, and the lyricist began working with other musicians. John returned in 1978 with A Single Man, which was written with Gary Osborne; the record produced no Top 20 singles. That year, he returned to live performances, first by jamming at the Live Stiffs package tour, then by launching a comeback tour in 1979 accompanied only by percussionist Ray Cooper. "Mama Can't Buy You Love," a song he recorded with Phillie soul producer Thom Bell in 1t977, returned him to the Top Ten in 1979, but that year's Victim of Love was a commercial disappointment.


Elton John Bails On Portugese Bigwig Gig
(LAUNCH, 09/15/2000 3:00 PM)
By Craig Rosen

(9/15/00, 3 p.m. ET) - Elton John has gotten himself into hot water with some fans in Portugal. According to published reports, John was scheduled to play a show at the Estoril Casino near Lisbon on Wednesday (September 13) for an audience loaded with Portuguese power mongers, including high-ranking government ministers, editors from some of the more influential newspapers, and the presidents of some of the nation's banks. However, he walked out of the venue about a half-hour before showtime and disappeared. A casino spokesperson said John didn't tell anyone there was a problem --rather, "He said he was going out to get some air but then he jumped into his car and went to the airport to catch his private jet. He never said goodbye or anything to anyone."

The spokesperson admitted that many of the 1,250 ticket holders were still in the casino's dining room just before the concert was supposed to start. The BBC speculated that John left because he thought the room wouldn't fill up, but with tickets costing more than $200, many were less than amused by what the casino called "a tantrum." The casino spokesperson added that legal action against John is being contemplated. A spokesperson for the singer was unaware of the incident and declined comment.


(9/19/00, 1 p.m. ET) - Elton John has issued a statement on his official website (eltonjohn.com) that somewhat explains his mysterious disappearance before a scheduled September 13 performance in Portugal (LAUNCH, 9/15)."Elton John is sorry that he was unable to perform his concert in Lisbon on the night of Wednesday 13th September, but is looking forward to performing the show for his Portuguese fans on 3rd November-- when it is expected that the show will be able to start at the scheduled time and take place in a smoke-free environment."

According to published reports, John was scheduled to play a show at the Estoril Casino near Lisbon on Wednesday (September 13) for an audience loaded with Portuguese power mongers, including high-ranking government ministers, editors from some of the more influential newspapers, and the presidents of some of the nation's banks. However, he walked out of the venue about a half-hour before show time and disappeared.


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