Don't Go Breaking My Heart
|"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"|
|Single by Elton John with Kiki Dee|
|Released||21 June 1976|
|Writer(s)||Ann Orson (Elton John)
Carte Blanche (Bernie Taupin)
|Elton John chronology|
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" is a duet by Elton John and Kiki Dee. It was written by Elton John with Bernie Taupin under the pseudonyms "Ann Orson" and "Carte Blanche" (a pun on the expression "an horse and cart, blanche"), respectively, and intended as an affectionate pastiche of the Tamla Motown style, notably the various duets recorded by Marvin Gaye and singers such as Tammi Terrell and Kim Weston. It is not to be confused with the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song of the same title recorded in 1965 by Dionne Warwick for the album Here I Am.
John and Taupin originally intended to record the song with Dusty Springfield, but ultimately withdrew the offer; Dusty's partner Sue Cameron later said this was because she was too ill at the time.
Like many of John's singles from the 1970s, it was never included on an original album (although it was recorded during the Blue Moves sessions), but was subsequently released as the third single on album Duets, in early 1994.
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" was the first No. 1 single in the UK for both John and Kiki Dee, topping the chart for six weeks in mid 1976. John would not enjoy a solo British chart-topper until "Sacrifice" in 1990. It also became his sixth No. 1 single in the US, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks and spent one week on the Easy Listening chart. Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1976. In the U.S. it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. After this duet with Dee, John failed to have another #1 single, without sharing the top song with other credited artists, until his 1997 smash Candle In The Wind 1997. This 21-year "Kiki jinx" included two intervening #1 hits in America for John: "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne & Friends in 1986; and, a 1992 re-make of John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" with George Michael credited as a duet.
The B-side, "Snow Queen", was supposedly inspired by Cher, with John's improvising of past Sonny & Cher hits "I Got You Babe", and "The Beat Goes On" as well as the solo Cher song "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" during the fadeout of the song.
In 1978, John guest starred on The Muppet Show and performed the track with Miss Piggy. In 1985, John and Dee performed the track to the crowd at Wembley Stadium during John's set at Live Aid (where Dee sang backup). In 1987, John appeared with Minnie Mouse on the NBC series Totally Minnie miming to the track. He performed the track with Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) at the 2001 British Comedy awards. He also performed it with the Spice Girls on his ITV tribute programme An Audience with... Elton John.
The song can be found on Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II (1977), Greatest Hits 1976–1986, the 1995 UK CD of Rock of the Westies includes it as a bonus track (the US edition did not, however). In 2002, it also appeared on John's 2-disc greatest hits album, Elton John's Greatest Hits 1970-2002. A demo version of the song was recorded by John as a solo artist. This version has not been released commercially.
- Kiki Dee – vocals
- James Newton Howard – electric piano, orchestral arrangements
- Davey Johnstone – electric guitars
- Elton John – piano, vocals
- Kenny Passarelli – bass
- Roger Pope – drums
Charts and certifications
Year end charts
Sales and certifications
Kenny Loggins and Irene Cara version
Kenny Loggins and Irene Cara covered the song for the soundtrack album Fletch. This version was released as a single in November 13, 1984 and reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart and top 10 on the UK and US Dance Chart.
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- "British single certifications – Elton John/Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 16 June 2014. Enter Don't Go Breaking My Heart in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
- "American single certifications – John, Elton and Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 22 November 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
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