Elton John: An Influenced Contemporary Pop/Rock Artist

1498 words - 6 pages

Ser Elton John has been one of the most iconic and successful British pop stars since the 1970’s. His music is based from his own life experiences as well as those of his country and of his time. Elton John is known for his passion and vivacity for his career, his fortitude to fight AIDS, his homosexuality and his importance to the evolution of the British and the American pop/rock genre.
Elton john has been claimed “the Liberace of rock and roll” (8) for his spectacular show of music, imagery, outward flamboyancy and artistic passion. Originally born Reginald (Reggie) Kenneth Dwight, Elton Hercules John started his first band at 14 (2) and has continued to set a foundation for American pop music for 53 years. Elton’s music is distinctive in its ability to draw attention of listeners with his original combination of sound (2). The songs written both by Elton and lyricist, Bernie Taupin (3) were premeditated to give both a rhythm and undertones of sentimental value. The decline of rock and roll in America allowed for Elton john to succeed.
As a contemporary pop/rock artist, Elton John was the by-product of early artists such as Buddy Holly, The Beatles, Little Richard and Bob Dylan (10). Music within this genre usually exudes a more traditional rock and roll sound but is lyrically developed to be catchy, uplifting and relatable. The “British invasion” refers to the explosion of British cultural influence via pop music --also known as Britpop-- in America in the late 1950s and 60s. The slow declination of rock and roll in America gave Britpop an advantage to success; America was awed by the new British bands delivering a new sound and style, and very quickly integrated it into their culture. (1) Americans jumped on the bandwagon that was Britpop, and very soon bands like the Beatles and the Bee Gees were household names. Frank Hoffman wrote, “The most positive result of the British invasion was it’s role in clearing away the music deadwood which had found a home on American charts. (10)” The revised version of “Candle in the Wind” sung in 1997 by Elton John as a tribute to the late princess Diana at her funeral, is still to this day the best selling physical soft rock/pop single of all time. (13)
Elton’s studio career started in 1967 when both he and Bernie Taupin answered a “talent wanted add” posted by Liberty Records. After being introduced, Taupin and John corresponded through letters to write their music. Taupin would write lyrics and John would compose them into a song. Elton’s international career boomed with the release of “Your Song” in 1970. The song was composed by Elton and Bernie in their late teen years and based on the candor of young love; Bernie Taupin states when explaining the lyrics that “It’s like the perennial ballad ‘your Song,’ which has got to be one of the most naïve and childish lyrics in the entire repertoire of music, but I think the reason it still stands up is because it was real at the time. That was exactly what I...

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