Something About the Way You Look Tonight

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"Something About the Way You Look Tonight"
Something About the Way You Look Tonight.jpeg
Single by Elton John
from the album The Big Picture
B-side
  • "I Know Why I'm in Love"
  • "No Valentines"
  • "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (single edit)
Released8 September 1997 (1997-09-08)
Recorded13 January 1997[1]
Length
  • 3:59 (single edit)
  • 5:13 (album version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Chris Thomas
Elton John singles chronology
"Live Like Horses"
(1996)
"Something About the Way You Look Tonight"
(1997)
"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" / "Candle in the Wind 1997"
(1997)
"Something About the Way You Look Tonight"/"Candle in the Wind 1997"
Something About the Way You Look Tonight & Candle in the Wind 1997.jpg
Single by Elton John
from the album The Big Picture
A-side"Candle in the Wind 1997"
B-side"You Can Make History (Young Again)"
Released13 September 1997 (1997-09-13)
Length
  • 3:59 ("Something About the Way You Look Tonight")
  • 4:09 ("Candle in the Wind 1997")
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Chris Thomas
Elton John singles chronology
"Something About the Way You Look Tonight"
(1997)
"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" / "Candle in the Wind 1997"
(1997)
"Recover Your Soul"
(1998)

"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" is a song by English musician Elton John, taken from his 25th studio album, The Big Picture. It was written by John and Bernie Taupin, and produced by Chris Thomas. It was released as the album's first single on 8 September 1997 by Mercury Records and the Rocket Record Company.

Five days after the song's solo release, it was issued as a double A-side single with "Candle in the Wind 1997". That single and its video were dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died that year, with proceeds from the sale of the single going towards Diana's charities.[2] According to the Recording Industry Association of America, with certified sales, this double A-side is "the best-selling single of all time".[3][4] The Guinness World Records 2009 states that the song is "the biggest-selling single since UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s, having accumulated worldwide sales of 33 million copies".[5]

Music video[edit]

The video for the song was directed by Tim Royes and features Elton singing and playing piano to an empty theatre, as well as actors and actresses from the UK television programme This Life, as well as supermodels Kate Moss and Sophie Dahl appearing in a fashion show. Many consider it as one of Elton John's best videos. John has publicly revealed (through his "warts and all" documentary Tantrums and Tiaras) that he finds videos "fucking loathsome" and after the videos from his album The Big Picture refrained from appearing in his own videos unless they were cameo appearances.

Sales and chart positions[edit]

In the UK alone, the double A-side single with "Candle in the Wind 1997" sold over 4,930,000 copies (8× Platinum), making the song the best-selling single ever in UK history.[6] It remained for five weeks at the number-one position. In the US, the double A-side single spent 14 weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The best-selling single in Billboard history and the only single ever certified Diamond in the US, the single sold over 11 million copies in the US.[7][8]

On the US adult contemporary chart, however, "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" and "Candle in the Wind 1997" charted separately; while the tribute to Princess Diana peaked at number 2 on this chart,[9] "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" spent 10 weeks at number 1 in late 1997 and early 1998. This double-sided single holds the record for the fewest weeks in a chart year from a year-end number-one single, with as few as eight. (In 1998, it had 34 more total weeks, however it was number 8 in the year-end list of 1998.)

After this song, John was unable to reach the top spot of the US adult contemporary chart for 24 years until his collaboration with Ed Sheeran, titled "Merry Christmas" reached at number one for five weeks.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Billboard magazine said the song is a "grandly executed ballad that washes John's larger-than-life performance in cinematic strings and whooping, choir-styled backing vocals. An instant fave for die-hards, this single will bring kids at top 40 to the table after a few spins."[11] Music & Media wrote that "this single proves that Elton John's composing and performing skills are as good as ever. A ballad, boasting a classy string arrangement by Anne Dudley of Art Of Noise fame, it's vaguely reminiscent of another John/Taupin composition, 1973's Candle In The Wind, but it's too original to be called a ripoff."[12]

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

The following chart entries are for "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" as a solo single.

Release history[edit]

Region Version Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United States Solo release 26 August 1997 Contemporary hit radio Rocket [28]
United Kingdom 8 September 1997
  • CD
  • cassette
[29]
Double A-side 13 September 1997 [30]
United States 23 September 1997
  • 7-inch vinyl
  • CD
  • cassette
Rocket [31]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Diamond Moments: Elton 60 Live at Madison Square Garden Retrieved 7 January 2018
  2. ^ "17 Years Ago, Elton John's 'Candle In the Wind 1997' Started Its 14-Week No. 1 Run". No. 11 October 2014. Billboard. 11 August 2015.
  3. ^ "RIAA News Room – The American Recording Industry Announces its Artists of the Century". Recording Industry Association of America website. Recording Industry Association of America. 10 November 1999. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2017. 'Candle In The Wind 1997' soon surpassed Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas' to become the best-selling single of all time. (certified sales)
  4. ^ Elton John: Biography | Rolling Stone Music Rolling Stone "Candle in the Wind 1997," easily became the all-time highest-certified single".
  5. ^ Guinness Book of Records, 2007 Edition, page 187
  6. ^ "Pride special: Celebrating the biggest selling singles by LGBT artists". Official Charts Company. 25 June 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Elton John: Biography – Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  8. ^ "The American Recording Industry Announces its Artists of the Century". Record Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Adult Contemporary chart for the week of 9/27/1997". Billboard. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  10. ^ Trust, Gary (27 December 2021). "Ed Sheeran & Elton John's 'Merry Christmas' Jingles to No. 1 on Adult Contemporary Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  11. ^ Flick, Larry; Reece, Doug (30 August 1997). "Singles: Pop". Billboard. 35: 86.
  12. ^ "Airborne" (PDF). Music & Media. 6 September 1997. p. 18. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Elton John – Something About the Way You Look Tonight". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Elton John – Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3396." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 3404." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Elton John – Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (18.9. '97 – 25.9. '97)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 19 September 1997. p. 22. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 14, no. 40. 4 October 1997. p. 15. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Elton John – Something About the Way You Look Tonight" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  21. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 978-84-8048-639-2.
  22. ^ "Elton John Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  23. ^ "RPM '97 Year-End Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 15 December 1997. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  24. ^ "Romanian Top 100 Singles Airplay – Top of the Year 1997" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Archived from the original on 22 January 2005. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  25. ^ "1997 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 109, no. 52. 27 December 1997. p. YE-82. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  26. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of '98". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 14 December 1998. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  27. ^ "1998 The Year in Music". Billboard. Vol. 110, no. 52. 26 December 1998. p. YE-95. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  28. ^ "New Releases". Radio & Records. No. 1211. 22 August 1997. p. 35.
  29. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 6 September 1997. p. 53. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
  30. ^ Jones, Alan (20 September 1997). "The Official UK Charts" (PDF). Music Week. p. 21. Retrieved 21 August 2021. ...topping the chart [...] a day after the single was released.
  31. ^ Sandiford-Waller, Theda (20 September 1997). "Hot 100 Singles Spotlight". Billboard. Vol. 109, no. 38. p. 89. On Sept. 23, 'Candle In The Wind 1997' will be made available to retail as the B-side to 'Something About The Way You Look Tonight.'

External links[edit]