Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Elton John - "Candle in the Wind"

Candle In the Wind (Live) - Live In Australia

(Debuted November 7, 1987, Peaked #6, 20 Weeks on the Chart)

"Candle in the Wind" wasn't a new Elton John song when he released it as a single in 1987. Originally a part of his 1973 double LP Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, it was one of several tracks from the album that failed to get tagged as a single in the U.S. despite being a standout track. The problem was than John was putting out so much music, his record company was limited when it came to singles,. Despite that, the tribute to Marilyn Monroe was still popular as an album track and lived on through repeated radio airplay.  

In 1986, John gave a concert in Melbourne, Australia that was recorded for posterity as the LP Live in Australia With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. At the time, John was scheduled for throat surgery in January '87 and was unsure if he'd ever perform again. Fortunately, it worked out for him and he was able to enjoy a career resurgence afterward. And what better song to bring him back than a golden oldie that had served him well for nearly 15 years? It became his first Top 10 in two years.

John wasn't finished with the tune, either. After the untimely death of Princess Diana in 1997, he and co-writer Bernie Taupin reworked the lyrics into a tribute to her called "Candle in the Wind 1997." John performed that song at her funeral, and the single became one of the best-selling records of all time, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks. Not bad for a song that was originally written out of nostalgia on the 10 anniversary of a screen star's death.

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