Elton John ("Cyftlt") Elton John and Tim Rice
The son of a former R.A.F. trumpeter, Elton John was born
Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25.03.1947. Dwight began
John and Taupin were hired by Dick James to become staff songwriters at his fledgling DJM in 1968. 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.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 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,
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 1977, returned him to the
John reunited with Taupin for 1980's 21 at 33, which featured the Top 10 single "Little Jeannie."
Over the next three years, John remained a popular concert artist, but his singles
failed to break the Top 10, even if they reached the Top 40. In 1981, he signed with
Geffen Records and his second album, Jump Up! became a gold album on the strength
Following a record-breaking five-date stint at Madison Square Garden in 1988, John auctioned off all of his theatrical costumes, thousands of pieces of memorabilia and his extensive record collection through Sotheby's. The audction was a symbolic turning point. Over the next two years, John battled both his drug addiction and bullimia, undergoing hair replacement surgery at the same time. By 1991, he was sober and the following year, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation; he also announced that he would donate all royalties from his single sales to AIDS research.
In 1992, John returned to active recording with The One. Peaking at number eight
on the US charts and going double platinum, the album became his most successful
record since Blue Moves, and sparked a career renaissance for John. He and Taupin
signed a record-breaking publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music in 1992 for an