|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player|
|Released||26 March 1973|
|Format||Vinyl record (7")|
Château d'Hérouville, France
|Writer(s)||Elton John, Bernie Taupin|
|Elton John singles chronology|
"Daniel" is a song and ballad by Elton John. It appeared on the 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player. It was written by John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin. In the United Kingdom, the song reached no. 4 in the official chart. In the US the song reached No. 2 on the pop charts (only held from number one by "My Love" by Paul McCartney & Wings) and No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts for two weeks in the spring of 1973. In the United States, it was certified Gold on 13 September 1995 by the RIAA. In Canada, it became his second No. 1 single, following "Crocodile Rock" earlier in the year, holding the position for two weeks in the RPM 100 national singles chart. Writers John and Taupin received the 1973 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.
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"Daniel" is the story of two visually impaired brothers. The narrator is already missing his brother Daniel, who is leaving town for his favorite place, Spain. The narrator thinks he has seen Daniel on the plane, but it is actually "the clouds in (his) eyes". According to the song, of all of Daniel's scars that won't heal, he has literally lost his sight, but spiritually sees more than his narrator/brother. The narrator still looks up having "faith of the sky" in Daniel.
Bernie Taupin wrote "Daniel" after reading an article in either Time or Newsweek about a Vietnam War veteran who had been wounded, and wanted to get away from the attention he was receiving when he went back home. A verse in the original draft was cut from the final version, which has led to some speculation on the contents.
"'Daniel' had been the most misinterpreted song that we'd ever written," explained Taupin, in the Two Rooms tribute project. "The story was about a guy that went back to a small town in Texas, returning from the Vietnam War. They'd lauded him when he came home and treated him like a hero. But, he just wanted to go home, go back to the farm, and try to get back to the life that he'd led before. I wanted to write something that was sympathetic to the people that came home."
- Elton John – Fender Rhodes electric piano, "flute" Mellotron, vocals
- Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar, banjo
- Dee Murray – bass
- Nigel Olsson – drums, maracas
- Ken Scott – ARP synthesizer
- Grammy Awards
|1974||"Daniel"||Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male||Nominated|
"Daniel" was covered on the 1991 album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin by Wilson Phillips. It reached number seven on the US Adult Contemporary chart as an album cut.
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- List of number-one adult contemporary singles of 1973 (U.S.)
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"Little Willy" by The Sweet
|Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
2 June – 9 June 1973
"Frankenstein" by Edgar Winter
"You Are the Sunshine of My Life" by Stevie Wonder
|Adult Contemporary chart number-one single
12 May – 19 May 1973
"And I Love You So" by Perry Como