Elton John disclosed that he never witnessed any love between his parents. The singer said that his mother had terrible mood swings while his father had a bad temper, and the couple often argued about their son, John. John’s parents tried to make the marriage work, but they divorced when the musician was thirteen. You would think that John would grow up with a negative perception of love, but instead, he ended up becoming a renowned songwriter whose love songs are revered. The singer has recorded over 460 songs, and here are the five best Elton John love songs.
5. You Gotta Love Someone
It is believed that the song was prompted by John’s love interest at the time, Hugh Williams. The two had been dating and enjoying all that life had to offer until Williams grew tired of indulging in alcohol. He called John and said he would go into rehab, a decision that angered John. The musician came to his senses after being holed up in a rented room in London, snorting away cocaine and drinking himself to a stupor. John knew that if the trend continued, he would overdose, yet he was not ready to die. Therefore, he went to Williams in America, and the two met with a counselor. Each listed what they liked and hated about each other. Williams disclosed that John was an alcoholic, bulimic, sex addict, and co-dependent. By the end of July 1990, John enrolled in the nearest rehab facility he could find and recorded “ You Gotta Love Someone,” which was released as a single in October 1990 as part of the soundtrack, “ Days of Thunder.” The lyrics reveal his struggle to be a better person and encourage listeners that before giving up, one has to love someone.
4. Your Song
It is incredible that “ Your Song” would not have been sung by John if Three Dog Night released their record. According to Smooth Radio, when John was 17, he was a warm-up act for Three Dog Night, but even after they recorded it, they decided to shelve it, allowing John to perform it himself. The lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin and John at John’s mother’s kitchen table and the song came together on a piece of paper. Although Taupin believes John was inspired by a love interest but never revealed any name, John has been defensive, insisting it was not written with anyone in mind. He instead said the lyrics were by a teenager whose outlook on love was new and naïve. Regardless, it remains one of the best love songs he ever performed.
3. Can You Feel the Love Tonight
“Can You Feel The Love Tonight” is a classic, and the movie “The Lion King,” helped popularize it. According to Cheatsheet, when Disney approached John regarding writing music for them, he insisted that one of the songs had to be a music ballad that could potentially become a radio hit. As a result, he composed “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” only for it to be left out of the film. John demanded it to be put back in the film. The passion that the musician had for this love song was quite extraordinary. Even after composing it, he still was particular about the characters who could sing it. John was enraged when he found out that Pumbaa and Timon were meant to sing the song. John said he did not want a meerkat-warthog duo singing his love song. Therefore, they did away with the recording of Ernie Sabella and Nathan Lane. As a love song, it is appropriately played when Simba and Nala are spending time together after their reunion. In the remake of “The Lion King,” the song even gets better, with Beyonce and Donald Glover giving it a beautiful rendition. The song went ahead to bag John a Grammy Award, Academy Award, and a spot on Billboard Hot 100.
2. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
When Taupin wrote the lyrics, as usual, thanks to the collaborative relationship he had entered into with John, he counted on John to deliver the message with his distinctive voice. However, this song proved to be hard for John due to the limitation of his vocal range. His frustrations led him to record over and over, and sometimes he would be so mad that he would remain transfixed, staring at the control room. John even got several other vocalists to back him up but ditched most of them because they lacked harmony. He then released the song in 1974 as the first single of “Caribou.” It was covered by so many artists but only George Michael, who idolized John, did the song justice. He sang it during the Live Aid concert while John stuck to playing the piano. However, in 1991 as Michael toured London, John was backstage and they decided to sing together. The spontaneous recording has amassed over 135 million views to date.
According to Sleeping with The Past, Taupin thought that “Sacrifice” was one of the best songs he and John ever wrote, and it remains to be one of his most beloved. Every time the lyricist listened to it, he was surprised that he had come up with such beautiful lyrics. John also felt that the song was more relaxed since he had not gone through anything to inspire him to make the hit song. He did not think “Sacrifice” would be a hit song despite others opining it would. All he knew was that it had a special spot in his heart, and the song topped the UK Charts.