Friday, January 27, 2017

Song #148: "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"--Elton John (1975)

Released on my eighth birthday, June 23, 1975, today we salute my all-time favorite Elton John song.

It comes from the monumental release, "Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy", a concept album about the early years of John and longtime music collaborator Bernie Taupin, back in Great Britain in the late 1960's. Today's song is the lone radio hit from the album, and it made some history back in the Summer of 1975.

At 6:45 in length, MCA Records was, as was always the case, planning to release an edited version for radio, as stations just wouldn't play a song this long. John absolutely refused, and, surprisingly, he won, and when you went to Woolco or Woolworth at Azalea Mall to buy the 45 RPM record for 86 cents, you got the whole version, and you heard it all on WLEE.

Now, some stations did find a way to edit out the expletive in the second verse (it was an issue back then, certainly wouldn't be today), but otherwise, it was presented in its entirety. And my favorite part is, by far, the bridge through the end fade. You can feel someone rising from the ashes of considering suicide (which John did in the late 1960's) to rediscovering themselves again and moving forward.

Imagine for a moment popular music without Elton John. Wow.

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