Song of the Day : Your Song – Elton John
Well we’re glad somebody finally stood up and said something. Elton John, famous the world over for crafting a number of great songs of our time (“Your Song”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Candle In The Wind”, “Circle Of Life”… oh yeah and “Bennie And The Jets”) recently told a British magazine:
“Songwriters today are pretty awful, which is why everything sounds the same. Contemporary pop isn’t very inspiring.”
Oh no he di’nt!
Yes he did. And he didn’t stop there.
Elton John proved himself as more than just a pop sensation. A singer-songwriter, the man worked himself to the bone with the help of friend/band mate/lyricist Bernie Taupin. Calling today’s pop singers nothing more than mere conjecture, he makes the case that this generation’s pop-acts are predisposed and at the mercy of singles designed by talent-show producers.
“I’m not a fan of talent shows. I probably wouldn’t have lasted if I’d gone on one. I was asked to judge ‘American Idol’. I couldn’t do it because I won’t slag anyone off. Also I don’t want to be on television. It’s become boring, arse-paralysingly brain crippling.”
Woah there, John. We can handle you bringing the pop-music scene to its knees, but leave our television alone!
So what does it take to become a genuine musician these days? According to John:
“…the only way to sustain a career is to pay your dues in small … clubs. I was in a band at 17, became a songwriter with Bernie Taupin and wasn’t successful until we’d had six years of hard graft and disappointment, as well as great times. TV vaults you to superstardom and then you have to back it up, which is hard. (British ‘X Factor’ winners) Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke are at the mercy of the next song they can get.”
This week marks the debut of Elton John’s latest album The Union. It is a collaboration with his musical hero Leon Russell.
[Written back in the 70’s, but recently adapted from Billboard]