A 1970’s Time Capsule
Be sure to visit my News and Noteworthy post today as well.
The A to Z Challenge has dueling decades going on. Check out the 1980s theme from a fellow blogger HERE
How can I write about such an iconic personality and do him justice? I humbly give it a try. Did you know that Sir Elton John for 31 consecutive years (1970–2000) had at least one song in the Billboard Hot 100? That is pure genius. Elton John was born Reginald Dwight in 1947, and raised in the Pinner area of London. He learned to play piano at an early age. In 1967 he formed a partnership with lyricist, Bernie Taupin. That partnership would span more than five decades and produce 30 albums.
In 1970, his first hit single, Your Song from his second album is an all time favorite.
Growing up in the 1970s, the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is what I remember most.
Released in October 1973, this album gained instant critical acclaim and topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, remaining at number one for two months. It contained the US number 1 “Bennie and the Jets”, along with other hits, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Candle in the Wind” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”
In 1974, a collaboration with John Lennon took place, resulting in Lennon appearing on Elton John’s single cover of the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, the B-side of which was Lennon’s “One Day at a Time.” In return, Elton John was featured on “Whatever Gets You thru the Night” on Lennon’s Walls and Bridges album. Later that year in what would be Lennon’s last major live performance, the pair performed these two number 1 hits along with the Beatles classic “I Saw Her Standing There” at Madison Square Garden in New York. Lennon made the rare stage appearance with Elton John and his band to keep the promise he made that he would appear on stage with him if “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” became a US number one single.
The period of years 1970–1976 is Elton John’s most commercially successful and critically acclaimed period. Within only a three-year span, between 1972 and 1975, Elton John saw seven consecutive albums reach number one in the US, which had not been accomplished before.
Throughout his career, Elton John has received numerous awards and accolades:
- Six Grammy Awards,
- Five Brit Awards – winning two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the first Brits Icon in 2013 for his “lasting impact on British culture”,
- An Academy Award,
- A Golden Globe Award,
- A Tony Award,
- A Disney Legend award,
- The Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.
- In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him Number 49 on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era.
- In 2013, Billboard ranked him the most successful male solo artist on “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists” (third overall behind the Beatles and Madonna).
- He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994,
- He was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame,
- A fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
- Named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996,
- Made a Knight Bachelor by Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services” in 1998.
A Royal favorite, Elton John has performed at a number of royal events, such as the funeral of Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in 1997, the Party at the Palace in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.
Elton John has also used his celebrity status for good in the world. He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation and a year later began hosting the annual Academy Award Party, which has since become one of the highest-profile Oscar parties in the Hollywood film industry. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over US$200 million.
Elton John truly made an impact on the world and much of this was in the 1970s.
A to Z on the Music Charts
Everything is beautiful by Ray Stevens reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on May 30, 1970 where it remained for two weeks.
A to Z At the Movies
The number one movie of 1973 and number 3 for the decade, the Exorcist scared the living daylights out of movie goers and made Linda Blair a household name. Critically, it was presented with ten Academy Award nominations, two of which won (Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Sound). The other eight nominations included: Best Picture, Best Actress (Ellen Burstyn), Best Supporting Actor (Jason Miller), Best Supporting Actress (Linda Blair), Best Director, Best Cinematography (Owen Roizman), Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, and Best Film Editing. Until The Silence of the Lambs (1991), the film was the only horror film to be nominated for Best Picture in Academy Award history.
All images in this article are in the public domain. For any YouTube clips embedded in my posts, I am not the uploader.