Flashback: Elton John Sings ‘Your Song’ Across the Decades

(Source: Rolling Stone)

by Andy Greene

Elton John has more famous songs than just about any other man on the planet, but somehow  his very first hit, “Your Song,” has proved to be his most enduring composition.  The song exploded onto radio in 1970 and really hasn’t left. “I wrote it when I  was 17, hence the extraordinary virginal sentiments,” Bernie Taupin said. “It’s  a gem. It’s like a good dog, always there . . . I’ve heard it sung a million  times.”

He’s exaggerating only slightly. Elton has performed “Your Song” at nearly  every one of his concerts over the past 43 years. It’s often the final encore,  though he opens many of his solo acoustic shows with it. Setlist.FM says he’s  played it 1,861 times, but the real number is surely well over 2,000. Assuming  it’s only 2,000 times, that means he’s spent five and a half days of his life  singing “Your Song.”

Here’s an incredible video montage of Elton performing the song from 1970  through the late 1990s. It’s great fun to watch his hair begin to thin, get  covered up by hats, go gray, and then magically come back fuller and browner  than ever. The costumes become more and more elaborate, until they disappear  completely in the Nineties. His voice also deepens, particular after major  throat problems in 1986, but he never half-asses the  performance.

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