Victim of Love (album)

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Victim of Love
Album Victim of Love.jpg
Studio album by Elton John
Released 13 October 1979
Recorded August 1979
Genre Disco
Length 35:45
Label MCA (US)
Rocket (UK)
Producer Pete Bellotte
Elton John chronology
The Thom Bell Sessions
(1979)The Thom Bell Sessions1979
Victim of Love
Lady Samantha
(1980)Lady Samantha1980
Singles from Victim of Love
  1. "Victim of Love"
    Released: September 1979
  2. "Johnny B. Goode"
    Released: December 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 1.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[2]
Robert Christgau (C-)[3]

Victim of Love, released in 1979, is the thirteenth official album release for Elton John. It is a disco album, released shortly after the peak of disco's popularity. It was not critically or commercially well-received, and is Elton John's third lowest charting album to date in the US, after 1986's Leather Jackets and 1985's Ice on Fire.

The title track of the album, however, was moderately successful as a single. It reached No. 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and No. 46 in Canada. It also peaked at No. 11 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart.[4]


At under 36 minutes, the album is the shortest of Elton John's career, and is atypical of his recording career in several respects. He neither wrote the songs nor played piano or keyboards, only providing the vocals. It was his first album without any of his original band members, which would not happen again until his 2010 collaboration with Leon Russell, The Union. As of 2012, it is also one of only two studio albums (along with A Single Man) without lyricist Bernie Taupin. Apart from an appearance on the Australian television series Countdown (he was also a comedy regular on the show during the 1980s), John did little marketing for Victim of Love. He did not tour to promote the album, and has never played any of its songs live.[5] It is also the only studio album in John's discography from which none of the songs has been performed on stage.

"Strangers", the B-side of the single of the album's title track, appeared as a bonus track on the 1998 Mercury reissue of John's previous album, A Single Man, because it was recorded during those sessions.

When the album was released as a CD in the 1980s, the track breaks were incorrect. The first 45 seconds of "Spotlight" was part of the previous track, and similar errors occurred in other tracks. In 2003, the album was reissued in a digitally remastered format, with those problems corrected.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Johnny B. Goode" (Chuck Berry) – 8:06
  2. "Warm Love in a Cold World" (Pete Bellotte, Stefan Wisnet, Gunther Moll) – 4:30 (3:22 on older pressings)
  3. "Born Bad" (Bellotte, Geoff Bastow) – 5:16 (6:20 on older pressings)

Side two[edit]

  1. "Thunder in the Night" (Bellotte, Michael Hofmann) – 4:40
  2. "Spotlight" (Bellotte, Wisnet, Moll) – 4:24
  3. "Street Boogie" (Bellotte, Wisnet, Moll) – 3:56
  4. "Victim of Love" (Bellotte, Sylvester Levay, Jerry Rix) – 4:52 (5:02 on older pressings)


Song Format
"Strangers" "Victim of Love" 7" (US/UK)


  • Elton John – lead and backing vocals
  • Thor Baldursson – keyboards, arrangements
  • Tim Cansfield – rhythm guitar
  • Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
  • Roy Davies – keyboards
  • Keith Forsey – drums
  • Steve Lukather – guitar solo on "Warm Love in a Cold World"
  • Michael McDonald – background vocals on "Victim of Love"
  • Marcus Miller – bass
  • Lenny Pickett – saxophone on "Johnny B. Goode"
  • Patrick Simmons – background vocals on "Victim of Love"
  • Craig Snyder – lead guitar
  • Stephanie Spruill – background vocals
  • Julia Tillman Waters – background vocals
  • Maxine Willard Waters – background vocals


  • Produced by Pete Bellotte
  • Engineer and Mixdown – Peter Luedmann
  • Assistant Engineers – Hans Menzel and Carolyn Tapp
  • Technical Engineer – Roman Olearczuk
  • Recorded at Musicland, Munich and Rusk Sound Studios, Hollywood.
  • Mastered by Brian Gardner at Allen Zentz Mastering (Hollywood).
  • Contractor – Trevor Veitch
  • Production Coordination – Jerry Simpson
  • Project Coordination – Joe Black
  • Photography – David P. Bailey
  • Design – Jubilee Graphics

Chart history[edit]

Chart (1979) Peak
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[6] 20
Canadian Albums (RPM100 Albums)[7] 28
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[8] 44
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[9] 18
UK Albums (OCC)[10] 41
US Billboard 200[11] 35


  1. ^ Victim of Love at AllMusic
  2. ^ [1] Archived 15 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "CG: elton john". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  4. ^ RPM Adult Contemporary, December 29, 1979
  5. ^ Elton John setlists by album
  6. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 32, No. 10, December 01 1979". Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  8. ^ " – Elton John – Victim of Love". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  9. ^ " – Elton John – Victim of Love". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Elton John | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  11. ^ "Victim of Love - Elton John - Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 28 September 2013.