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.
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.
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.
In 2013, 37 years after its original release, the single reached 1 million in the UK single sales.
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.
Charts and certifications
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.
- In 2004, a cover of the song by actress Anne Hathaway and singer-songwriter Jesse McCartney was included on the soundtrack of the film Ella Enchanted.
- In 2006, British celebrity/former glamour model Katie Price and her husband at the time, musician Peter Andre covered the song on his album A Whole New World.
- In 2010, the song was performed on the second season of the TV series Glee by the characters of Finn Hudson (played by Cory Monteith) and Rachel Berry (played by Lea Michele).
- The song was featured in the Season 4 episode of The Big Bang Theory titled The Toast Derivation in a scene where Zack, Penny's ex-boyfriend, and Barry Kripke, one of Sheldon's colleagues, sing the song on a karaoke machine when Sheldon tries to make them his new "friends".
- Wu-Tang Clan member Ol' Dirty Bastard recorded a cover of the song with Macy Gray before his death in 2004. It appears on his posthumous album A Son Unique.
- On the episode of Full House, Derek Boyd and Lisa Leeper sing the cover while Joey Gladstone plays the piano.
- On Moody's Point, Misty and the one-thumb janitor sings the cover while Spaulding was walking away and Moody and Sternum kissing.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 128.
- "American certifications – Go Breaking My Heart". Recording Industry Association of America.
- "Kent Music Report National Top 100 Singles, No 120". Kent Music Report. 11 October 1976. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- "Canadian single certifications – Elton John – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Music Canada. Retrieved 22 November 2012.
- "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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