Friday, August 22, 2014

"Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)" by Elton John

Song#:  0955
Date:  03/20/1982
Debut:  79
Peak:  13
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  Although the decade started out well for John with the #3 "Little Jeannie," subsequent singles were minor chart entries at best and his last album "The Fox" even failed to reach gold status. His next LP, "Jump Up!," didn't really revive his career but thanks to this tribute song (see below), the album performed a bit better and got him back to gold status.

ReduxReview:  John didn't have many good songs around this time, but this one is a standout from the period. Not only is it a heartfelt tribute, but it's just a good overall tune. This is a song that I've appreciated more as I've gotten older. I liked it back then, but was perhaps a little too young to fully take in the lyrics. The arrangement is a little dated, but the sentiment still shines through.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Elton was good friends with John Lennon and both had worked together on record and in concert. After Lennon's murder, Elton was reluctant to do any type of tribute song. But when Elton's writing partner Bernie Taupin presented the lyrics to "Empty Garden," Elton felt differently and was inspired to write the music and record the song. It has been said that the empty garden of the song refers to Madison Square Garden, the location of Lennon's last concert appearance in 1974. Lennon was a guest on stage during an Elton John concert. The pair performed three songs including Lennon's only US #1 solo single, "Whatever Gets You Through the Night." On that recording, Elton provided backing vocals and piano. In the studio, Elton bet Lennon that it would be a #1 single and if it did, Lennon would have to appear at one of Elton's concerts to perform the song. Hence, the appearance at Madison Square Garden - it was to settle a bet.


No comments:

Post a Comment