50 years ago, a first number one for Elton John

50 years ago, a first number one for Elton John< /p> UPDATE DAY

1973 was a very good year for Elton John. Eight months before launching the gigantic Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, the British artist offered the opus Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player on which we find the hits Crocodile Rock and Daniel. 

Launched on January 23, 1973 in the United Kingdom and three days later in North America, this album, his sixth in career, has just celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player set the stage for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on which we find the title track and the huge Bennie and the Jets , Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting and Candle in the Wind.

Upon returning to Château d'Hérouville, France, where he recorded Honky Château, Elton John was puzzled. After five albums, things were not progressing to his liking. He wasn't sure if he wanted to continue and the next album might be his last chance.

Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player, which lasts 43 minutes, was a huge success. It reached number one on the charts in Australia, Canada, Italy, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Success< /p>

The Simple Crocodile Rockwas number 1 in Canada and the United States. It was the first time an Elton John song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in Uncle Sam Country and also in Canada. This song, like all the others on this album, written by the duo of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, was released a few months before the release of the opus Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player.

In a 2012 interview with Esquire magazine, Bernie Taupin said that Crocodile Rock was a fun song he wrote, even though it wasn't. It's not something he would want to listen to. Music lovers loved it enormously and it is still one of the songs he sings in concert 50 years later.

Crocodile Rock was inspired by the hit song Eagle Rockfrom the Australian group Daddy Cool which sold a million copies in the land of kangaroos. Elton John had heard this song during a show of the group in 1972 and he had been impressed. 


Daniel< /em>, the second extract, also reached the top of the Canadian charts and the second rank on the side of our American neighbors. Bernie Taupin said he wrote the lyrics to this song after reading an article in Time magazine. A short text which pointed out that the soldiers returning from the Vietnam War were simple people who were mostly embarrassed by the adulation and animosity displayed towards them. “I wrote this song from the point of view of a young man who sees his big brother leaving in order to escape this situation. I chose Spain (Spain) because it rhymed with plane (plane)”, he indicated in an interview published on the UDiscoverMusic site in February 2022.

Amusing detail, the title of the album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player comes from a sentence launched by Groucho Marx who had invited the pianist-singer to a party at his home in Los Angeles . The story goes that the American actor and comedian introduced him as John Elton and pointed at him with his index and middle fingers as if it were a gun. Elton John reportedly raised his hands saying “Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player”.