Here’s your ticket to some of the best (or, perhaps, most infamous) 7″ singles ever released! No adapter is required, although in my opinion the device pictured below is right up there with Pringles as one of the best inventions of the 20th century.
The Analog Kid loves trivia, and I love to play trivia games: Trivial Pursuit, NTN (you barflys know what I’m talking about), you name it. I especially love music trivia (duh), and a few years ago our group of friends was asked the following question in a live trivia contest:
“Name Elton John’s first five U.S. #1 singles.”
Everyone immediately stared at me, knowing that a question like this was right in my wheelhouse. Of course, that didn’t stop my pals from throwing out answers of their own.
“Rocket Man!” #6.
“Daniel!” #2– so close!
“Candle In The Wind!” (At that point, I took time out to explain that “Candle In The Wind” wasn’t even released as a single in the U.S. until the Live In Australia album in 1987, and even then it only got to #6. Sheesh!)
“Honky Cat!” #8.
“Tiny Dancer!” Ugh. Too many viewings of Friends and Almost Famous, apparently. C’mon, people, it didn’t even make the Top 40!
After much thought, I eventually came up with my list. One of the songs I wrote down on the answer slip was “Island Girl,” a submission that many of my trivia-buff buddies scoffed at. I’ll admit that “Island Girl” isn’t often thought of as one of Elton and Bernie’s shining moments, but I loved the 45 as a kid and was 99.9% sure it had reached #1. After considerable debate, we eventually turned in my answer– which, happily, turned out to be completely correct. The trivia cause was not lost!
Note: “Island Girl” was Elton’s fifth #1 single, and I have intentionally withheld the names of the first four so that my dear readers might have the opportunity to figure it out for themselves. If you have a guess, let me know in the comments section!
The b-side of that “Island Girl” 45 that I loved so much was “Sugar On The Floor,” a lovely ballad written by Elton protege Kiki Dee. Of course, Elton & Kiki would notch their own number one single the very next year with the karaoke classic “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart.”
And yes, I still love “Island Girl.” What’s not to love about a song that chronicles the New York City exploits of a possibly transvestite Jamaican-born prostitute? Confession: when I was eight, the image of the “Island Girl” in my head looked a lot like this:
Now that I’m older and wiser, this image seems a tad more accurate:
Elton and RuPaul would go on to record their own rendition of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” for Elton’s 1993 album Duets. That version was a Top 10 hit in the U.K., and also topped out at #3 on the U.S. Dance charts. Whoa– it’s the circle of life!
Elton John: Island Girl [U.S. 7″]
A-side: “Island Girl” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
B-side: “Sugar On The Floor” (Kiki Dee)
MCA Records, 1975
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Elton John: “Rocket Man” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)
Elton John: “Honky Cat” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
Both taken from the album Honky Chateau
Uni Records, 1972
Elton John: “Daniel” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
From the album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player
MCA Records, 1973
Elton John With The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: “Candle in The Wind” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
From the album Live In Australia
MCA Records, 1987
Candle In The Wind [Single Edit] [Live]
Elton John: “Tiny Dancer” (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
From the album Madman Across The Water
MCA Records, 1971
Elton John & Kiki Dee: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (Ann Orson/Carte Blanche, aka Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
Rocket Records, 1976
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart [With Kiki Dee]
Elton John & RuPaul: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (Ann Orson/Carte Blanche, aka Elton John/Bernie Taupin)
From the album Duets
MCA Records, 1993
Elton John: “The Circle Of Life” (Elton John/Tim Rice)
From the album The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Walt Disney Records, 1993
I’d have to throw out Bennie and the Jets and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I’d throw in Philadelphia Freedom and then maybe jump ahead to I’m Still Standing (not that I liked it). How about Crocodile Rock or his remake of Pinball Wizard? I’m reaching now.