Song: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John & Kiki Dee
Reached #1: August 7, 1976 (his sixth, 4 weeks)
Previously: Day 4
Everything about this song was a little… off…
It was written by Elton John and his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin… but under the names Ann Orson and Carte Blanche (read that out loud, there’s a pun there) (it’s a weak one).
It was meant as a “lighthearted” take on the classic Motown duets, so – of course – Elton reached into his Rocket Records stable for a singer who used to sing for Motown Records. That’s how Kiki Dee got the gig…
The music video screams “cheap!”, and you don’t know the half of it. It was shot in one take on a soundstage that was mocked up to look like a recording studio. As you watch, you can see all of the mistakes that would’ve been edited out if this wasn’t meant to be more than a quickly-dashed off promo film (they really weren’t called “music videos” then).
And, most interestingly, it was Elton John’s first #1 in his home country. Five previous singles had gone to #1 in the USA, but the UK didn’t warm to him as readily. At that, it would take a little longer for Elton to get a solo #1 in the UK… a short 14 more years, when 1990’s “Sacrifice” hit the top of the UK pops.
Most recently, Sir Elton performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (insert your own joke here), and released a remix album with Aussie dance-rockers Pnau. A full album of new music, The Diving Board, drops in February 2013.
Tomorrow, a singer who spent years trying to live down his first #1 single…
Other songs that reached #1 on August 7:
1965 – “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am” by Herman’s Hermits (their second, 1 week)
1971 – “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart” by the Bee Gees (their first, 4 weeks)
2004 – “Slow Motion” by Juvenile feat. Soulja Slim (his first, 2 weeks)