Don't Go Breaking My Heart
|"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"|
|Single by Elton John with Kiki Dee|
|Released||21 June 1976|
|Label||The Rocket Record Company
MCA Records (US/Canada)
|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 (both born in the same year, 1947). 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. Writers, John and Taupin received the 1981 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
Like many of Elton 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 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 Elton 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. 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 Elton'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, Elton 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, Elton appeared with Minnie Mouse on the NBC series Totally Minnie performing 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’s promotional film has been cited among the cheapest music videos ever produced. The circumstances behind its conception were detailed on an episode of Pop-Up Video. The video's director was found in the midst of filming a Rod Stewart television special. He was pulled aside, located an unused soundstage, hastily dressed it to give the appearance of a recording studio, set up three cameras, and had the two singers pretend to record their vocals. Shot in a single take while being told to "improvise", Elton John and Kiki Dee often missed their cues and John's attempt to lead Dee in a very haphazard dance sequence caught his companion off guard.
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 Elton 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
- In 1993, Elton John re-recorded the song with RuPaul for the album Duets. This version was released as a single in February 1994 and reached the top 10 in the UK and the top 5 on the US Dance Chart.
- Lister, David (28 May 1994). "Pop ballads bite back in lyrical fashion". The Independent (London, England: Newspaper Publishing).
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 128.
- "American certifications – Go Breaking My Heart". Recording Industry Association of America.
- Pakinkis, Tom (28 June 2013). "Elton, Sheeran and Andre join million-sellers club in the UK". Music Week (London, England: Intent Media). Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Lane, Daniel (27 June 2013). "Daft Punk's Get Lucky becomes one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all-time!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, New South Wales, Australia: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 978-0-6461-1917-5.
- "Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
- "Ultratop.be – Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
- "RPM Top Singles, August 21, 1976". RPM, Vol. 25 No. 21 (Canada: Library and Archives Canada). Retrieved 16 June 2014.
- "Nederlandse Top 40 – Elton John & Kiki Dee search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
- "Lescharts.com – Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (in French). Les classement single.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
- "Italiancharts.com – Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Top Digital Download.
- "Charts.org.nz – Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Top 40 Singles.
- "Norwegiancharts.com – Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". VG-lista.
- "Swedishcharts.com – Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Singles Top 60.
- "Elton John & Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart.
- "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
- "Elton John Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Elton John.
- Hunter, Nigel, ed. (1977). "Top 100 Singles 1976". BPI YearBook 1977 (2nd ed.). British Phonographic Industry. pp. 216–18. ISBN 0-9061-5400-6.
- "Canadian single certifications – Elton John – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Music Canada. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "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 Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
- "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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