Elton John’s Farewell Tour: Can you name all 9 of his No. 1 (U.S.) hits?

Earlier this week, Elton John announced he would embark on his final global tour, a farewell to performing. The 70-year-old wants to focus more on his family, the “next important chapter in his life.”

He’s calling it the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. It kicks off Sept. 8, 2018, and will run through 2021 — so there will likely be opportunities to see Sir Elton more than once.

The music legend is as big a 70s icon as he is an 80s icon. He even had smash hits in the 90s. But can you identify all his No. 1 U.S. singles? For me, there were a few surprises.

For example: “Rocket Man” didn’t go No. 1. It peaked at No. 6 on the U.S. charts. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” didn’t go No. 1 either. And neither did “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” or “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” although that’s not completely true for the former as you’ll soon see.

Elton’s first American chart-topper came in 1972 with the smash “Crocodile Rock,” an ode to all the songs of the 1960s he loved.

He didn’t have to wait too long for his next American Top 40 chart-topper. Just two years later, he hit No. 1 with “Bennie and the Jets.” Goodness, what a fantastic song.

Elton’s next two No. 1s came back-to-back: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” (surprised!?) and “Philadelphia Freedom.”

His next No. 1 was the most surprising to me — the song “Island Girl” from 1975. Sure, Elton was at the height of his chart-topping powers. Just didn’t expect this to be one of his chart-toppers.

Elton John’s sixth No. 1 was the smash duet with Kiki Dee, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

It was ten years before Elton hit the top of the charts again. This time, it was part of a quartet featuring Elton, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick, “That’s What Friends Are For.” It turned out to be the biggest hit of 1986, and it was the rare tune featuring Elton not written by Elton and Bernie Taupin.

Five years later, Elton was back atop the American charts with a remake of his 1970s smash, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” this time a duet between Elton and George Michael. And I’ll freely admit I’ve always preferred this version.

And then Elton’s final and perhaps most famous No. 1 came after the death of Lady Diana in 1997. It was his remake of his own “Candle In The Wind.” Originally written about Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jean Baker, (hence the “Goodbye Norma Jean” line) Elton altered his opening line to be “Goodbye England’s Rose.”

And that’s it. Do you plan to go see Elton on his farewell tour?

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We all knew “Pride” by U2 was about MLK Jr., but this Queen hit was, too

Please forgive the tardiness of this post, but I’m dealing with what I think is the flu. It really kicked my tail Monday night, and I’m only getting up and around Tuesday night. Unfortunately, I’m starting to go downhill again, so this post might not be finished until Wednesday or Thursday.

Monday was the day we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Relative to music, there are lots of speculations on what his favorite song was. However, I had always heard that it was “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” from the late, great Dr. Billy Taylor. I grew up with Taylor’s music from my dad’s jazz collection. His work was always among my favorite:

Alas, this is a blog about 80s music, and when it comes to MLK, there’s one song that sticks out: “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” by U2. Bono was inspired by a book called “Let The Trumpet Sound: A Life Of Martin Luther King Jr.,” and that track became the band’s big breakout chart hit in America, peaking at No. 33.

In my opinion, it’s U2’s best song despite the one lyrical mistake, referring to King’s assassination. It wasn’t “Early morning, April 4.” It was early evening.

Anyway, as I was researching the background of “Pride,” I learned that another 80s rock song is supposedly about Dr. King as well, and it’s another favorite of mine. I had no idea before today that Queen’s “One Vision” is about King.

A quick bit of chartology on the song: It was included on the album “A Kind Of Magic,” but many folks knew it as the opening number from the “Iron Eagle” soundtrack. The song didn’t get past No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100, and it might be best known for Freddie’s attempt at vocal randomness at the end of the track when he sang, “Fried chicken.”

Some questions may never be answered, but all accounts I’ve seen suggest that Mercury was just having fun during the recording, and they kept it. Roger Taylor has confirmed the tie between the song and Dr. King on video, specifically a documentary called “Queen: Days Of Our Lives.”

Man, this video reminds me how awesome Freddie Mercury was.