Everyone and their mother knows that England’s Elton John has been one of the biggest Rock stars on the planet for a long, long time. He is BILLBOARD’s third-biggest artist of all-time, and for more than 30 years, Elton John charted at least one song on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 every year between 1970 and 2002, and between 1971’s “Your Song,” his first Top 40 hit on the Hot 100, through his most-recent, 1999’s “Written In The Stars” (with LeAnn Rimes), he has had over 50 Top 40 hits, including nine No. 1 songs.
Out of the wealth of Classic Rock gems like “Your Song,” “Candle In The Wind,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me,” my favorite Elton John song is prolly among the songs least likely to be a favorite for most: “Blue Eyes,” from his 1982 album, JUMP UP!
Though JUMP UP! was certified as a Silver album in the U.K. and a Gold album here in the U.S., it was not a critically well-received album. It did, however, give Elton two memorable global hits, “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Garden)” (Elton’s moving tribute to John Lennon), and the wonderful “Blue Eyes.”
Elton John had some well-known musicians on “Blue Eyes,” including Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro and longtime bassist for Elton John, Dee Murray (both passed away in 1992), and Academy Award-nominated film composer James Newton Howard (MAJOR LEAGUE, PRETTY WOMAN, THE FUGITIVE, THE SIXTH SENSE, the first two films of THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy, THE HUNGER GAMES films). SIDE NOTE: James Newton Howard scored the music for a number of films directed by gifted TV and film legend Garry Marshall, who passed away yesterday (7.19.2016) at the age of 81.
“Blue Eyes” debuted on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 on July 10, 1982, wedged at No. 82 between future No. 1 song, “Who Can It Be Now?” by Men At Work, and “Someday, Someway,” the one and only hit (but what a hit!) by the very talented Marshall Crenshaw. “Blue Eyes” would go on to spend three weeks at No. 12 in October 1982 and ranked at No. 62 for all of 1982. Elton John was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1983 for “Blue Eyes.”
Around the globe, there was also a bunch of love for “Blue Eyes,” as it reached the Top 10 in the U.K., Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland and Switzerland. Speaking of Australia, the music video for “Blue Eyes” was filmed there, at Sydney’s famed Bondi to Bronte walk. The song and the video were both dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor.
To borrow from Elton himself, it’s a little bit funny how “Blue Eyes” didn’t start out to be my favorite Elton John song. Truth be told, I wasn’t really a big fan of it when the song was popular. But, it grew on me. Over the years, it’s lovely piano simplicity has been a comfort, like many other songs by Elton. Today, I can’t imagine my life without it, and I’m awful proud to call it my favorite Elton John song…
“And I am home again…”