Greg Brown

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Happy birthday, Bernie Taupin!!

Happy Birthday to Elton John‘s longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin!  Taupin, who first teamed up with Elton in 1967, wrote the lyrics to such instant classics as “Bennie And The Jets,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Daniel,” “Border Song,” “Take Me To The Pilot,” “Country Comfort,” “Rocket Man,” “Mona Lisa And Mad Hatters,” “Burn Down The Mission,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” “Candle In the Wind,” “The Bitch Is Back,” “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” “I’m Still Standing,” “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny),” “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Your Song,” and many others.

Out now is Elton John’s latest single and the theme to his new biopic Rocketman. The song, which was written by Elton and Taupin, is sung by Elton in a duet with the movie’s star Taron Egerton, who portrays Elton. The soundtrack to Rocketman is set for release on Friday (May 24th) with the film opening one week later on May 31st.

In 2013 Elton and Taupin were presented with the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Annual Induction and Awards in Manhattan. Elton recalled how the pair — who have often been called the “Lennon & McCartney of the ’70s” — first teamed up: “I went into Liberty Records in London when I was in a band called Bluesology, and I was getting fed up with playing cabaret, and I thought what can I do — maybe I can write songs. So I went to Liberty Records, saw a guy called Ray Williams, I said, listen, ‘I can’t write lyrics, but I’m sure I can write melody.’ And he said, ‘I’ve got a pile of lyrics on the desk from a guy from Lancashire called Bernie Taupin, take those away.’ You can’t get more ridiculous than that. And I took them away and I started writing to them. And I’ve always. . . really, it’s always been the lyrics first.” (Pulse)

Elton says that although the end results of their collaborations are still of the same quality, the way they go about writing now is much different: “The process has changed, they (the lyrics) used to be hand written, in the late ’60s and early ’70s, then they were type-written when we got to Honky Chateau, and now, of course, they’re faxed. And the way that things have changed is that, Bernie, when he first started out, just wrote a page of lyrics and I would divide them into verse (and) chorus. And now, of course, because he’s made albums himself, and he’s become much more musical, he tends to write in the form of verse, chorus, bridge, whatever.” (Pulse)