It’s Friday and I’m been back to work for four days and I need a vacation already. I’m just kidding — sorta.
Last weekend, we saw Madonna in Las Vegas and I dedicated my “Peeps’ Friday ’80s Flashbacks” to her. So, this week, I’m dedicating all three of my favorites from the 1980s to Sir Elton John that I saw in concert last Friday night.
Since Elton first charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the 1970s, he has hit the Top 40 a total of 57 times. His most prolific decade on the charts was in the 1970s when he scored 25 hits. Of those Top 40 hits, 16 of them reached the Top 10, and 6 topped the charts.
In the 1980s, Elton charted with 21 Top 40 hits. Six of those reached the Top 10.
“EMPTY GARDEN (HEY HEY JOHNNY)”
Choosing just three of my favorite Elton John songs is a difficult thing to do, so it’s a good thing that I do this each week and I’ll have other opportunities to share more.
My first selection today is one that didn’t reach the Top Ten. Elton recorded “Empty Garden” for his friend, John Lennon of the Beatles, that was shot and killed back in December, 1980.
It was released in early 1982 and reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
“SAD SONGS (SAY SO MUCH)”
In the 1980s, Elton started the decade off with the #3 hit, “Little Jeannie” in 1980, but it would be 1983 before he charted with his next Top Ten, “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”, which peaked at #4.
In the summer of 1984, Elton reached #5 with the first release from the album, “Breaking Hearts” and it was the only one from that album to reach the top ten.
In the 1980s, Elton did not have a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, but he did reach #2 in 1988 with “I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That”.
As the decade came to a close, Elton was climbing the charts with the second release from the “Sleeping With The Past” album. The first single, “Healing Hands” only reached #13. The follow-up, “Sacrifice” peaked at #18 in January 1990, and the third and final release from that album, “Club At The End of The Street” only reached #28.
BEYOND THE 1980s
In the 1990s, with the exception of the huge success with “The Lion King” soundtrack, radio continued to cool toward Elton.
He charted with 11 Top 40 hits. Of those, only four reached the Top Ten.
He did achieve two #1 songs in the 1990s, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”, a duet with George Michael, in 1991, and “Something About The Way You Look Tonight/Candle In The Wind 1997”, a tribute to the late Princess Diana. That single not only topped the American charts, it also sold 11 million singles in the U.S.
What’s wrong with radio these days? Sadly, no Madonna and no Elton. He has not scored a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 this decade.
The closest was #49 in 2000 with “Someday Out of The Blue” from the “El Dorado” soundtrack. However, he has scored Top Ten hits on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.