Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

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"Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word"
Single by Elton John
from the album Blue Moves
B-side "Shoulder Holster"
Released 1 November 1976
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded Eastern Sound, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 1976
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:48
Label The Rocket Record Company
MCA Records (US/Canada)
Writer(s) Elton John
Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
(1976)
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
(1976)
"Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)"
(1977)

"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It was recorded by Elton John and released in 1976, both as a single and as part of the Blue Moves album. It was John's second single released by The Rocket Record Company. The song is a mournful ballad about a romantic relationship which is falling apart. The song is in the key of G melodic minor.[1]

The song also appeared the following year on Greatest Hits Volume II, though for copyright reasons it no longer appears on the current version of that album. It now appears on Greatest Hits 1976–1986, The Very Best of Elton John and in Greatest Hits 1970–2002, as well as a number of other compilations.

In 2012, the Australian electron pop duo Pnau, signed by Elton John to his own management company, Rocket Music,[2] produced a remix album of eight Elton tracks. The lead single of this album was Sad, which sampled Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.

The song is also featured prominently in the 1977 movie Slap Shot.

Commercial performance and certifications[edit]

Commercial performance[edit]

The song was a Top 20 hit, reaching No. 11 in the United Kingdom and No. 6 in the United States. In addition, the song went to No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart. In the US, it was certified Gold on 25 January 1977 by the RIAA.[3]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[4] Gold 75,000^
United States (RIAA)[5] Gold 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Other versions[edit]

"Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" has been covered by a wide variety of artists from country to R&B. It has been recorded as a duet, in Spanish, and has even featured Elton John himself on a couple of versions.

Dottie West recorded the song for her 1981 release Wild West.

Italian singer Mina covered the song on the album Rane supreme, in 1987.

In 1991 Joe Cocker covered the song on the Elton John/Bernie Taupin tribute album, Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.

In 1994, country singers Suzy Bogguss and Chet Atkins covered the song on their 1994 Simpatico. It was released as a single but failed to chart. A year later, Argentine singer/songwriter, Pedro Aznar, covered the song in Spanish with the translated title, "Ya no hay forma de pedir perdón", for the album David y Goliath.

In the same year, Anne Haigis covered the song, in German (Nacht aus Glas).

Another cover, using more of a dance/techno backing track, was created by Scatman John.

In 1997, the song was featured on Steven Houghton's self-titled album.

In 1998, Jimmy Scott covered the song on his "Holding Back The Years" album (the back cover lists the song as "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest").

In 2002, the boy band Blue recorded the song with Elton John (who received a featured artist credit). This version was produced by multi-platinum producer Ray Ruffin and was a hit throughout Europe and went to No. 1 in the UK, where it received a Silver sales certification and sold 315,000 copies.

Ana Bettz did a cover of the song for her 2003 debut album, Freedom, and it was also released as a one-track-only promotional single.[6]

In 2004, three more versions were released. First, Ray Charles and Elton John recorded this song as a "duet" in Charles's 2004 posthumous release Genius Loves Company. According to the album's liner notes, the song's recording marked the last session of the "Genius" project and one of the last (if not the very last) recorded vocal performance by the music legend. Then, Mary J. Blige covered the song for the soundtrack to the film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Finally, Kenny G recorded it with Richard Marx for his covers/duets album, At Last...The Duets Album.

In 2006, former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken covered the song on his album, A Thousand Different Ways, and X Factor winner Leona Lewis's recording of the song was a B-side to her No. 1 debut single, "A Moment Like This".

In 2006, saxophonist Michael Lington covered the song from his renditions album "A Song for You."[7][8] Tose Proeski covered the song during his concerts and on his 2011 album so Ljubav Ot Tose.

Sarah Darling covered the song in 2011 for her second studio album Angels & Devils, released by Black River Music Group.

Kim Wilde and her father Marty Wilde performed this song at the AIDS benefit concert Live AIDS on Wembley 1 April 1987. Twenty years later in 2007, they recorded a version of the song for Marty Wilde's greatest hits album "Born to rock'n'roll", which he released to celebrate his 50th anniversary in the music business.

In 2012, part of the song, which is the "so sad" lyric, alongside with elements of previous hits was merged into Elton John's new single "Sad", which had its first play on Magic 105.4 on 9 July 2012. The single was the lead single for his eight-track remix compilation Good Morning to the Night in collaboration with Australian remixer Pnau, which came out on 16 July 2012.

Blue & Elton John version[edit]

"Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word"
Single by Blue featuring Elton John
from the album One Love
B-side "Sweet Thing"
Released 9 December 2002
Format CD single, audio cassette
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 3:41 (album version)
3.29 (radio edit)
Label Universal
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Stargate
Blue singles chronology
"One Love"
(2002)
"Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word"
(2002)
"U Make Me Wanna"
(2003)

The song was covered in 2002 by English boy band Blue for their second studio album, One Love (2002). The song was recorded as a collaboration with Elton John, and was the second single from the album. It peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart on 15 December 2002.

Tracklisting[edit]

UK CD1
  1. "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (Radio Edit) – 3:31
  2. "Lonely This Christmas" – 2:08
  3. "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (Ruffin Ready Soul Mix) – 3:51
  4. "Recording Studio Footage" – 3:30
UK CD2
  1. "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (Radio Edit) – 3:31
  2. "Album Medley" – 5:44
  3. "Sweet Thing" – 3:38
  4. "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (Video) – 3:31
UK Cassette
  1. "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (Radio Edit) – 3:31
  2. "Album Medley" – 5:44
  3. "Sweet Thing" – 3:38

Charts and certifications[edit]

Preceded by
"After the Lovin'" by Engelbert Humperdinck
Billboard Easy Listening Singles No. 1 single (Elton John version)
18 December 1976
Succeeded by
"Torn Between Two Lovers" by Mary MacGregor
Preceded by
"Lose Yourself" by Eminem
Dutch Singles Chart (Blue version)
8 February 2003 – 8 March 2003 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Anyone of Us (Stupid Mistake)" by Gareth Gates
Preceded by
"Lose Yourself" by Eminem
UK No.1 single (Blue version)
15 December 2002 – 21 December 2002 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Sound of the Underground" by Girls Aloud

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stephenson, Ken (2002). What to Listen for in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis, p.41. ISBN 978-0-300-09239-4.
  2. ^ HI! Magazine » Review: Elton John vs. Pnau – Good morning to the night
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 128. 
  4. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Elton John – Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word". Music Canada. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "American single certifications – John, Elton – Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 22 November 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  6. ^ Ana Bettz – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word. Discogs.com.
  7. ^ "A Song for You overview". Allmusic.com. 
  8. ^ "Michael Lington – A Song for You". SmoothViews.com. 
  9. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart.
  10. ^ "December 2002/ Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  11. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  12. ^ "Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  13. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  15. ^ "Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word Hitlisten.nu" (in Danish). Tracklisten. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  16. ^ "Hits of the World – Eurochart Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 5 April 2003. p. 49. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Lescharts.com – Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  18. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ – Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  19. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Blue – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 6, 2003" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  21. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word". VG-lista. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  23. ^ Romanian Top 100 at the Wayback Machine (archived February 18, 2005)
  24. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" Canciones Top 50.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  26. ^ "Blue feat. Elton John – Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 July 2010.
  27. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2003". Ultratop & Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Blue feat. Elton John; 'Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word')". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  29. ^ "British single certifications – Blue ft Elton John – Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 November 2012.  Enter Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go

External links[edit]