Sacrifice (song)

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"Sacrifice"
EltonJohnSacrifice7InchSingleCover.jpg
Single by Elton John
from the album Sleeping with the Past
A-side"Healing Hands" (second release)
B-side"Love Is a Cannibal" (first release)
Released
  • October 1989 (first release)
  • May 1990 (second release)
GenreSoft rock[1]
Length5:07
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Chris Thomas
Elton John singles chronology
"Healing Hands"
(1989)
"Sacrifice"
(1989)
"Club at the End of the Street"
(1990)
Music video
"Sacrifice" on YouTube

"Sacrifice" is a ballad performed by musician Elton John. The song was written by John and his collaborator Bernie Taupin. The song appears on the 1989 album Sleeping with the Past. It was first released in October 1989, then in 1990, and was the second single from the album. It achieved success, particularly in France and the United Kingdom, becoming his first solo chart-topper in both nations.

Overview[edit]

Background and writing[edit]

"Sacrifice" is inspired both by the Aretha Franklin song "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" and described as a Percy Sledge song by Elton John[according to whom?]. The song is beloved by both John and Bernie Taupin and deemed a bookend of sorts to their first hit "Your Song". Taupin has said he is surprised he wrote it, and said in an interview, "I think 'Sacrifice' is one of the best songs we've written." The song is not a typical love song, but rather a song about a breakup of a marriage where the loss of the relationship is "no sacrifice".

Although the single was successful, John did not tour Europe in both 1989–1990 to support the Sleeping with the Past album (with the exception of one appearance in Knebworth Park on 30 June 1990) touring only in the US and Australia. The 1989 European tour was, instead, in support of the Reg Strikes Back album, with no material representing Sleeping with the Past. In all shows that were done to support Sleeping with the Past in 1989–1990, Elton played this song solo on his Roland RD-1000 Digital Piano.

Music video[edit]

The video, which follows the song's lyrics, portrays a man and woman having problems in their relationship after being married. After the woman goes her separate way, the man raises their daughter alone. The video was directed by Alek Keshishian, and starred Chris Isaak and Yasmeen Ghauri.

The version used in the promo video is slightly sped up compared to the album version. The result is a higher pitched vocal and shorter length time. The video was filmed in Los Angeles in 1989, and was the second video made after Elton rejected a version from Ken Russell.

Chart performance[edit]

Sacrifice was initially released as a single in 1989, but stalled at number 55 in the UK and at number 18 in the US in March 1990. In mid-1990 English DJ Steve Wright began playing the song on BBC Radio 1, soon followed by many more radio DJs. The song was then re-released as a double A-side single, along with "Healing Hands", and reached number one in the UK in June 1990. Thus, it became John's first solo number-one single in the UK Singles Chart, remaining on the top spot for five weeks. With this re-release, Elton John also got his first number one in France and stayed on the chart for 26 weeks.

Track listings[edit]

First release

12" single – UK
  1. "Sacrifice" – 5:07
  2. "Love Is a Cannibal" (From the Columbia Motion Picture Ghostbusters II) – 3:53
CD single – US
  1. "Sacrifice" – 5:07
  2. "Love Is a Cannibal" (from the Columbia Motion Picture Ghostbusters II) – 3:53
  3. "Durban Deep"

Second release

UK single
  1. "Sacrifice" – 5:07
  2. "Healing Hands" – 4:22

Personnel[edit]

Charts and sales[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kirkl, Justin (29 May 2019). "Neither 'Rocket Man' Nor 'Tiny Dancer' Is Elton John's Best Song". Esquire. Retrieved 8 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  3. ^ "Elton John Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Elton John – Sacrifice". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Ultratop.be – Elton John – Sacrifice" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 9210." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 6674." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  8. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 25. 23 June 1990. p. IV. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Lescharts.com – Elton John – Sacrifice" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Elton John – Sacrifice". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Sacrifice". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 9, 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Elton John – Sacrifice" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  14. ^ "Charts.nz – Elton John – Sacrifice". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Elton John – Sacrifice". VG-lista. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  16. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Elton John – Sacrifice". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  17. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Elton John Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  19. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  20. ^ a b "1990 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  21. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1990" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  22. ^ "Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of 1990". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 of 1990" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 7 no. 51. 22 December 1990. p. 60. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 15 January 2020 – via American Radio History.
  24. ^ "Single top 100 over 1990" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  25. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1990" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  26. ^ "1990 Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. 2 March 1991. p. 41.
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Elton John – Sacrifice". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 July 2020.

External links[edit]