Elton John's Big Break
The year was 1970. John’s first album, Empty Sky, had been released in the U.K. but had gone nowhere. His label, supportive of him in fits and starts, eventually laid out for a decent producer and some lush orchestrations for his second album, which was self-titled and came out that spring. Today, we know Elton John as a lasting and flamboyant star; put that aside for right now and remember that back then, no one was thinking in those terms about the plainly talented but pudgy and somewhat morose 22-year-old they were working with at the time.
That’s when something interesting happened. Late in the year, some radio DJs checked out the B-side of the “Pilot” single, which was a throwaway track from the Elton John album. They began to play it. This was not typical at the time. The B-side was a forlorn-sounding piano-based track.
The first words of the song went, “It’s a little bit funny / This feeling inside …”
From “Not the Man They Think He Is At Home” by Bill Wyman for Vulture; Photo by Jack Robinson
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