Elton John: “Candle in the Wind”

ALBUM: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road/Live in Australia With the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Non-album single

YEAR: 1973/1987/1997

WRITERS: Elton John and Bernie Taupin

The studio version, a hit in Britain, was set to be a single here, but was flipped over when its B-side “Bennie and the Jets” began to get airplay on black radio. The 1986 live version would peak at number-six on the Billboard Hot 100, and the reworked 1997 “Princess Diana” version would go to number-one.

“Candle in the Wind” has had a long and unique history, as Elton John explains. “I’ve had three different hits with ‘Candle in the Wind.’ I’ve had the original recording, which was never released as a single in America, but was a huge hit everywhere else in the world. Then I had a live version from the Australian album with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, which was a hit in America and then, of course, the tragic death of Princess Diana, which was, y’know, number one throughout the world. So that song’s had a kind of amazing life. It’s been a hit in three different forms.”

20 years ago today (September 6th, 1997),  Elton John performed “Candle in the Wind 1997” at the funeral of Princess Diana in London.


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