Healing Hands (song)

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"Healing Hands"
Ejohn healinghands.jpg
Single by Elton John
from the album Sleeping with the Past
A-side "Sacrifice"
(second release)
B-side "Dancing in the End Zone"
(first release)
Released 1989 (first release)
1990 (second release)
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 4:21
Label Rocket (UK)
Songwriter(s) Elton John
Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Chris Thomas[2]
Elton John singles chronology
"String Module Error: Match not found"
"Healing Hands"
"Through the Storm" (with Aretha Franklin)
"Healing Hands"

"Healing Hands" was the final Billboard Hot 100 hit single of the 1980s for Elton John, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and recorded on his million-selling 1989 album Sleeping with the Past. The single was released during the late-summer of 1989, and was a top-twenty hit in the US. It was paired as a double A-side single with "Sacrifice", which became Elton's first solo number 1 single in the UK.[3] The song was inspired by the Four Tops song "Reach Out, I'll Be There".[4] Produced by Chris Thomas, it was the first of three singles released from the album, with the follow-ups being "Sacrifice" and "Club at the End of the Street".

"Healing Hands" did moderately well as a single in the United States, climbing to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart the week of October 21, 1989 (dislodging Madonna's "Cherish" from the #1 position). The song failed to make the UK Top 40 on its initial release, as did the follow-up, "Sacrifice". However, after Steve Wright of BBC Radio One added "Sacrifice" to his station's playlist, "Sacrifice" was re-released in the UK as a double A-side with "Healing Hands". The double A-side record topped the UK chart for five weeks starting June 23, 1990, becoming the first solo #1 UK hit of Elton John's career.

Technical details[edit]

Musically, the song is complex,[citation needed] with the intro and verses in the key of B flat, and the chorus in the key of D. An instrumental solo, in the related minor key of g (minor), serves as a bridge. Rob Stevens also sang the song on his debut album, Little Heart for Love.


  • Elton John: keyboards, lead and harmony vocals
  • Guy Babylon: keyboards
  • Davey Johnstone: guitar, backing vocals
  • Fred Mandel: keyboards
  • Romeo Williams: bass guitar
  • Jonathan Moffett: drums
  • Marlena Jeter: backing vocals
  • Natalie Jackson: backing vocals
  • Mortonette Jenkins: backing vocals
  • Peter Iversen: Fairlight and Audiofile programming


  1. ^ "Elton John – Sacrifice / Healing Hands". Discogs. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Healing Hands". All Music. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  3. ^ McAleer, Dave (2001). The Book of Hit Singles: Top 20 Charts from 1954 to the Present Day. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 302. 
  4. ^ Cassata, Mary Anne (2002). The Elton John Scrapbook. Citadel Press. p. 38. 
  • "Healing Hands", The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits by Wesley Hyatt, p. 352, Billboard Books (1999).

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Cherish" by Madonna
Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single
October 21, 1989
Succeeded by
"Don't Know Much" by Linda Ronstadt featuring Aaron Neville