Don't Go Breaking My Heart

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"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
Single by Elton John with Kiki Dee
B-side"Snow Queen"
Released21 June 1976
RecordedMarch, 1976
GenrePop, disco
Length4:28
LabelThe Rocket Record Company
MCA Records (US/Canada)
Writer(s)Ann Orson (Elton John)
Carte Blanche (Bernie Taupin)
ProducerGus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
"Love Song"
(1976)
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
(1976)
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
(1976)
Kiki Dee chronology
"Once a Fool"
(1975)
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
(1976)
"First Thing in the Morning"
(1977)
 
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"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
Single by Elton John with Kiki Dee
B-side"Snow Queen"
Released21 June 1976
RecordedMarch, 1976
GenrePop, disco
Length4:28
LabelThe Rocket Record Company
MCA Records (US/Canada)
Writer(s)Ann Orson (Elton John)
Carte Blanche (Bernie Taupin)
ProducerGus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
"Love Song"
(1976)
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
(1976)
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
(1976)
Kiki Dee chronology
"Once a Fool"
(1975)
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
(1976)
"First Thing in the Morning"
(1977)

"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" is a duet by Elton John and Kiki Dee (both born in the same year, 1947). It was written by Elton John with Bernie Taupin under the pseudonyms "Ann Orson" and "Carte Blanche" (a pun on the expression "an horse and cart, blanche"), respectively, and intended as an affectionate pastiche of the Tamla Motown style, notably the various duets recorded by Marvin Gaye and singers such as Tammi Terrell and Kim Weston. It is not to be confused with the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song of the same title recorded in 1965 by Dionne Warwick for the album Here I Am.

Like many of Elton John's singles from the 1970s, it was never included on an original album (although it was recorded during the Blue Moves sessions), but was subsequently released as third single on album Duets, in early 1994.

"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" was the first No. 1 single in the UK for both Elton John and Kiki Dee, topping the chart for six weeks in mid 1976. John would not enjoy a solo British chart-topper until "Sacrifice" in 1990. It also became his sixth No. 1 single in the US, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks and spent one week on the Easy Listening chart.[1] In the U.S. it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.[2]

The b-side, "Snow Queen", was supposedly inspired by Cher, with Elton's improvising of past Sonny & Cher hits "I Got You Babe", and "The Beat Goes On" as well as the solo Cher song "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" during the fadeout of the song.

In 1978, Elton guest starred on The Muppet Show and performed the track with Miss Piggy. In 1985, John and Dee performed the track to the crowd at Wembley Stadium during John's set at Live Aid (where Dee sang backup). In 1987, Elton appeared with Minnie Mouse on the NBC series Totally Minnie performing the track. He performed the track with Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) at the 2001 British Comedy awards. He also performed it with the Spice Girls on his ITV tribute programme An Audience with...Elton John.

In 2013, 37 years after its original release, the single reached 1 million in the UK single sales.[3]

Music video[edit]

The song’s promotional film has been cited among the cheapest music videos ever produced[citation needed]. The circumstances behind its conception were detailed on an episode of Pop-Up Video. The video's director was found in the midst of filming a Rod Stewart television special. He was pulled aside, located an unused soundstage, hastily dressed it to give the appearance of a recording studio, set up three cameras, and had the two singers pretend to record their vocals. Shot in a single take while being told to ‘improvise’, Elton John and Kiki Dee often missed their cues and John's attempt to lead Dee in a very haphazard dance sequence caught his companion off guard.

Availability[edit]

The song can be found on Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II (1977), Greatest Hits 1976–1986, the 1995 UK CD of Rock of the Westies includes it as a bonus track (the US edition did not, however). In 2002, it also appeared on Elton John's 2-disc greatest hits album, Elton John's Greatest Hits 1970-2002. A demo version of the song was recorded by John as a solo artist. This version has not been released commercially.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1976)Peak
position
Australian Kent Music Report[4]1
Austrian Singles Chart8
Belgium Singles Chart3
Canadian RPM Top Singles1
Dutch Top 402
French Singles Chart1
German Singles Chart5
Ireland Singles Chart1
Italian Singles Chart1
New Zealand Singles Chart1
Norwegian Singles Chart5
Swedish Singles Chart3
Swiss Singles Chart4
UK Singles Chart1
US Billboard Hot 1001

Sales and certifications[edit]

RegionCertificationSales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[5]Platinum150,000^
United States (RIAA)[6]Gold1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Cover versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 128. 
  2. ^ "American certifications – Go Breaking My Heart". Recording Industry Association of America. 
  3. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/23095791
  4. ^ "Kent Music Report National Top 100 Singles, No 120". Kent Music Report. 11 October 1976. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Elton John – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Music Canada. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "American single certifications – John, Elton and Kiki Dee – Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 22 November 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Kiss and Say Goodbye" by The Manhattans
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
7 August 1976 - 28 August 1976
Succeeded by
"You Should Be Dancing" by Bee Gees
Preceded by
"The Roussos Phenomenon EP" by Demis Roussos
UK number one single
24 July 1976 - 28 August 1976
Succeeded by
"Dancing Queen" by ABBA
Preceded by
"S-S-S-Single Bed" by Fox
Australian Kent Music Report number one single
30 August 1976
Preceded by
"Summer" by War
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single
11 September 1976
Succeeded by
"Don't Stop Believin'" by Olivia Newton-John