Tiny Dancer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Tiny Dancer"
Elton John Tiny Dancer.jpg
Single by Elton John
from the album Madman Across the Water
B-side "Razor Face"
Released 7 February 1972 (1972-02-07)
Format 7-inch single
Recorded 9 August 1971
Studio Trident, London
Genre Pop
Length 6:12
Label Uni
Songwriter(s)
  • Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Levon"
(1971)
"Tiny Dancer"
(1972)
"Rocket Man"
(1972)
Audio sample
Audio
"Tiny Dancer" on YouTube

"Tiny Dancer" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It appears on John's fourth album, Madman Across the Water, and was released as a single in 1972. In the U.S. it was certified Gold on 19 May 2005, and Platinum on 19 August 2011 by the Recording Industry Association of America.[1] In the UK, "Tiny Dancer" has been certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales of 200,000 copies, despite never being released as an official single.[2] The song was popularized after being featured in the 2000 film Almost Famous.[3]

Background and writing[edit]

The song's lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin to capture the spirit of California in 1970 encapsulated by the many beautiful women he met there. The song was dedicated to Maxine Feibelman—Taupin's first wife—on the album Madman Across the Water.[4][5]

History[edit]

The song features piano-based accompaniment during verses. The arrangement start features pedal steel guitar, light percussion, Paul Buckmaster's strings and a very quiet choir.

Due to the song lacking a hook, "Tiny Dancer" was initially a non-starter as a single in the US, reaching only #41 on the U.S. pop chart, and was not even released as a single in the UK. The song fared better in Canada, where John had much of his early commercial breakthrough success, peaking at #19. It was also a hit in Australia, peaking at #13. Eventually, the song slowly became one of John's most popular songs even in the territories that initially failed to embrace it, and the full-length version is now a fixture on North American, UK and Australian adult contemporary and rock radio stations.

It was ranked No. 387 on the 2010 List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[6]

Music video[edit]

In May 2017, an official music video for "Tiny Dancer" premiered at the Cannes Film Festival as a winner of Elton John: The Cut, a competition organized in partnership with AKQA, Pulse Films, and YouTube in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of his songwriting relationship with Bernie Taupin. The competition called upon independent filmmakers to submit treatments for music videos for one of three Elton John songs from the 1970s, with each song falling within a specific concept category. "Tiny Dancer" was designated for the live-action category, with the competition won by Max Welland. The video was filmed in Los Angeles, and features scenes of various residents driving around the city.[7][8]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
position
Australia 13
Canadian RPM Top Singles[9] 19
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary[10] 20
UK 70
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 41
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary[11] 35
U.S. Cash Box Top 100[12] 29

Other versions[edit]

"Tiny Dancer" has been covered by Lani Hall in the 1970s, by the Red Hot Chili Peppers with John Frusciante on vocals since the early 1990s, and by Dave Grohl on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn.[13][14]

In 2002, Ben Folds covered "Tiny Dancer" for his live album, Ben Folds Live. The song was later released as a promo single.

Country music artist Tim McGraw covered the song on his 2002 album Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors. McGraw also performed the song, with Elton John, at the American Music Awards.

In 2009, DJ Ironik and Chipmunk created a remix of the song, featuring John singing the chorus, which peaked at No.3 in the UK Singles Chart.[15]

A version featuring Mary Black, Paddy Casey and Declan O'Rourke was recorded in Galway, Ireland in 2012 as a charity single. This version reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart.[16][17]

Florence and the Machine covered the song on the 2018 tribute album Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.[18]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1971, Elton John performed the song on the first series of The Old Grey Whistle Test. The performance has been released as part of The Old Grey Whistle Test - Volumes 1-3 Box Set.[19]

It featured in the rock film Almost Famous in the year 2000 in a scene where the cast sing the song while on a bus.[3]

Joseph Gordon-Levitt performed the song in a lip-syncing competition against Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Merchant on Fallon's Late Night show.[20]

A brief parody version of the song was broadcast on Saturday Night Live (Season 39, Episode 17, 5 April 2014), in which Kate McKinnon appeared as Angela Merkel and sang, to the tune of "Tiny Dancer," "Hold me closer, German Chancellor"[21]

The UK based department store chain John Lewis, use the song on their August 2015 insurance advert.[22]

Donald Trump has used the song during his 2016 presidential rallies as his entrance and exit song.[23]

In his 2017 single, "Castle on the Hill", Ed Sheeran references the song.[24]

On her 2017 studio album Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey referenced the song on her track "Tomorrow Never Came" featuring Sean Ono Lennon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA: Elton John". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 1, 2016. 
  2. ^ Jones, Alan (28 August 2015). "Official Charts Analysis: Jess Glynne follows singles success with No.1 album". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved 29 August 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ a b "Tiny Dancer by Elton John Songfacts". www.songfacts.com. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  4. ^ "Bernie Taupin :: Discography". berniejtaupin.com. Archived from the original on 21 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Tiny Dancer by Elton John", 24 July 2012.
  6. ^ "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". 4 July 2011. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "WATCH: Elton John and Bernie Taupin's 'Tiny Dancer,' 'Rocket Man' and 'Bennie and the Jets' Just Got New Music Videos". People.com. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "Elton John Premieres Three Music Videos for His '70s Classics". Out Magazine. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 122. 
  12. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 4/08/72". tropicalglen.com. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  13. ^ "Lani Hall's 'Tiny Dancer' - Discover the Original Song". WhoSampled. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  14. ^ "Tiny Dancer — Dave Grohl - Last.fm". Last.fm. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  15. ^ McAlpine, Fraser (April 24, 2009). "DJ Ironik ft. Chipmunk & Elton John - 'Tiny Dancer'". BBC Online. Retrieved March 28, 2018. 
  16. ^ "Video: Elton heads galaxy of stars backing Lily-Mae's cancer fight - Independent.ie". Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  17. ^ "Tiny Dancer - A Song for Lily-Mae" Archived 27 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine., November 2012
  18. ^ Variety Staff (March 15, 2018). "Two Elton John Tribute Albums — With Mary J. Blige, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, More — Coming in April". Variety. Retrieved March 14, 2018. 
  19. ^ The Old Grey Whistle Test (DVD). Warner Home Video. 2003. 
  20. ^ "Lip Sync Battle with Joseph Gordon Levitt, Stephen Merchant and Jimmy Fallon" on YouTube, 24 September 2013
  21. ^ Kate McKinnon and Colin Jost (April 5, 2014). Weekend Update: Angela Merkel on being the Peace Keeper. NBC. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Elton's 'Tiny Dancer' Used in Advert for John Lewis Home Insurance". The Official Site of Elton John. 24 August 2015. Archived from the original on 20 August 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  23. ^ Millward, David (April 27, 2016). "Trump wants Elton John to perform at his inauguration". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill". Genius. Retrieved 6 January 2017. 

External links[edit]