‘Your Song’ Isn’t One of Elton John’s Biggest Hit Songs
“Your Song” by Elton John is often considered not just one of his greatest songs, but one of the greatest songs ever written. It’s hard not to see why – few musicians have captured the beauty of youthful romance as well as John and co-writer Bernie Taupin did in that song. Despite its beauty and popularity, “Your Song” was not a major hit for the singer. Here are John’s most popular songs as measured by the Billboard Hot 100.
5. ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” was originally recorded for John’s 1974 album Caribou. Although the album produce a couple of hits, it’s usually not as highly regarded as John’s previous album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. While “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” initially did well on the charts, it proved to be a bit of a sleeping giant. In the 1990s, John recorded a new version of it with George Michael for the album Duets, which also featured collaborations with other celebrities like Little Richard, Gladys Knight, and Leonard Cohen. The duet version of the song took John and Michael to the top of the charts and began a wave of 1970s nostalgia that lasted for the rest of the decade and into the early 2000s.
4. ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” a duet with Kiki Dee, isn’t always remembered as one of John’s best songs, but it was certainly one of his biggest. The song exemplifies the sort of kitschy, bouncy music that was popular on U.S. radio at the time. It would later be introduced to a new generation through the Disney film Chicken Little. This might not be one of John’s most sophisticated songs, but it certainly features a memorable hook.
3. ‘Philadelphia Freedom’
Here’s the best song ever written about tennis. “Philadelphia Freedom” was composed as a tribute to tennis player Billie Jean King and her team, the Philadelphia Freedoms. John and Taupin were able to take that simple phrase and turn it into one of their most iconic hits. Here’s a song that deserves to be used as a sports anthem as often as “We Will Rock You” or “We Are the Champions.”
2. ‘That’s What Friends Are For’
The 1980s gave us a number of lasting, star-studded charity singles, the most famous of which are “We Are the World” and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” “That’s What Friends Are For” is another charity single from the same era that hasn’t had staying power. The song boasts the singing voices of John, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, and Gladys Knight. Although “That’s What Friends Are For” is not particularly well-remembered today, it has more star power than just about any other song.
1. ‘Candle in the Wind 1997’/’Something About the Way You Look Tonight’
The tragic and untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales inspired mourning the world over. John was a close friend of the princess and released two ballads about her passing – “Candle in the Wind 1997” (a rewrite of an earlier song about Marilyn Monroe) and “Something About the Way You Look Tonight.” The two heartbreaking songs were released as a double A-side single and became John’s biggest hits. With these songs, he used his musical talent to help the world grieve.