Elton John: Ballad King and Boogie-Man (1/2) | NDR.de – News

Broadcast: Urban Pop – musical discussion with Peter Urban | 05/03/2022 | 2:00 p.m. | by Peter Urban and Ocke Bandixen

76 minutes
| Available until 02/05/2023

Elton John has been giving the world his tunes for over 50 years: Your Song, Candle in the wind, Tiny Dancer, Sorry seems to be the hardest word – the list has grown steadily since the early 70s and continues to this day.

The shrill bespectacled superstar was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, a shy only child. Her musical talent and sharp hearing were discovered at an early age, and her grandmother in particular encouraged her. As a child, he received a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. At the same time, supported by his stepfather, he performs in pubs and secures the public of this harsh school.

After further years of training with the group “Bluesology”, as an accompanist and studio musician, he finally meets the lyricist Bernie Taupin – a decisive turning point in his life.

Because the two shy teenagers immediately hit it off: Elton John, as he was now called, inspired Taupin’s lyrical stories, he sometimes invented melodies in just a few minutes, and many classics were born.

The second album, entitled “Elton John”, made the breakthrough, several spectacular performances in the mythical club “Troubadour” in Los Angeles convinced more than one. The star Elton John was born.

Albums, major tours and numerous hits follow one another in a few years. The costumes and stage performances became more and more spectacular, but also hid the loneliness, the growing drug problems and the insecurities of the ultimately rather shy people behind the flashy costumes.

Peter Urban remembers the first appearances in which he saw Elton John. In an interview with Ocke Bandixen, he traces the surprising career of the singer and pianist and explains the very different sources of his music.


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Peter’s playlist for Elton John (1&2)

Empty Sky (1969): Pigeon Skyline

Elton John (1970): Your Song, Take Me to the Pilot, First Episode in Hienton, Frontier Song, The Greatest Discovery, The King Must Die

Tumbleweed Connection (1970): Ballad of a Well-Known Gun, Step Down in Time, Country Comfort, Amoreena, Talking Old Soldiers, Burning the Mission

Crazy Across Water (1971): Tiny dancer, Levon, Madman Across Water

Honky Chateau (1972): Honky cat, Mellow, Rocket man, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Pianist (1973): Daniel

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973): Candle in the wind, Bennie and the Jets, Goodbye yellow brick road, Gray seal, I saw this film too, Saturday night is fine (for the fights)

Caribou (1974): Don’t let the sun go down on me

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975): Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Bitter Fingers, Someone Saved My Life Today, (Gotta Get One) Meal Ticket, Writing, Curtains

Rock of the Westies (1975): I Feel Like a Bullet (In Robert Ford’s Gun)

Blue Moves (1976): Tonight, Songbird Cage, Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

A Single Man (1978): Georgia, song for Guy

21 to 33 (1980): Little Jeannie, White lady white powder

The Fox (1981): Just like Belgium, Elton’s Song

to jump! (1982): Empty Garden

Too Low for Zero (1983): Cold as Christmas, I’m still up, I guess that’s why they call it the blues, One more arrow

Breaking Hearts (1984): Breaking hearts (not what it used to be anymore)

Ice on Fire (1985): Nikita

Reg Strikes Back (1988): One Word In Spanish, I Don’t Want To Go On With You Like This

Sleeping with the Past (1989): Healing Hands, Sacrifice

The One (1992): Simple life, The one, Runaway train

Duets (1993): A Woman’s Needs (with Tammy Wynette), Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (with George Michael)

Made in England (1995): Believe, Made in England, Blessed

Songs from the West Coast (2001): The Emperor’s New Clothes, I Want Love, Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes, That Train Doesn’t Stop There Anymore

The Captain and the Kid (2006): Postcards by Richard Nixon, would’t you any other way (NYC), Tinderbox, Old 67, The captain and the kid

Elton John/Leon Russell – The Union (2010): Eight Hundred Dollar Shoes, Hey Ahab, Jimmie Rodgers’ Dream, There’s No Tomorrow, A Dream Come True, I Should Have Sent Roses, When love is dying, never too old (to hold someone)

The Diving Board (2013): Oscar Wilde Goes Out, A Town Called Jubilee, Homecoming, Mexican Vacation, The Diving Board

Wonderful Crazy Night (2016): Wonderful Crazy Night, In Your Name, The Open Chord

The Lockdown Sessions (2021): Finish line (with Stevie Wonder), I won’t miss you (with Glen Campbell)

LIVE ALBUM: 17-11-70 (1971)


The Lion King (1994)

Music from the American Epic Sessions (2017): 2 Fingers of Whiskey


Candle in the Wind 1997

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