Photo Courtesy of Chicago Tribune| Elton John performs “Tiny Dancer” at the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, in New York.
Cooper Parson ’20
As Elton John’s career is coming to a close, it’s time to look back on the legacy he is leaving behind.
Elton John has just recently announced his retirement after a final three-year-long worldwide tour.
Elton John is one of the best-selling music artists in the world, and when you listen to his music it isn’t hard to see why.
John’s career was at its peak through the 1970’s and 80’s. During these years he released albums like “Elton John”, “Honky Château”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Captain Fantastic”, “Caribou”, “Madman Across the Water”, and “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player”.
However, the reason Elton John is such a renowned artist is not just because of his large body of work. John is so respected because of his lasting impact on the music industry and how his music impacts people.
John elevated rock and pop to new levels when he was in his prime. His showmanship and outlandish style drove the glam-rock craze of the 70’s, and his use of the piano in pop and rock were revolutionary.
One of the most electrifying live acts of his time, John was known for doing handstands on the piano and kicking over his bench, Jerry Lee Lewis style.
Most are not aware that while Elton John does compose all of his music, he doesn’t write the lyrics to any of his songs. Bernie Taupin is responsible for almost all of John’s work.
Taupin is Elton John’s lyricist, the two have worked together since 1967 and are arguably the greatest songwriting duo of all time.
They met each other mostly by accident John just happened to get Taupin’s lyrics in 1967, and they hit it off ever since.
John’s work stretches beyond just composing his own songs. He has also composed for movies. Including, The Lion King.
It is hard to believe that even today he is still making new music with Taupin. It’s not often that artists that got their start in the early 70’s are able to remain relevant in pop-culture today.
Recently, a number of artists came together and put on a televised tribute concert. John’s impact on today’s artists becomes obvious when stars like Lady Gaga, John Legend, Sam Smith, and Ed Sheeran are performing his songs.
While Elton John is retiring as a touring artist, he said he would continue to make music.
His influence on music will live on forever and he will always be known as one of the most influential artists ever. Elton John is a living legend.