CSX Classic Cuts

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Elton John performs live at Twickenham Stoop on June 3, 2017 in London, England.

WCSX Classic Cuts

Elton John:
“Rocket Man”

The Hook: A couple of firsts for Elton’s band — layering acoustic guitars and singing backing vocals.

Honky Chateau

Year: 1972

Elton John and Bernie Taupin

Stats: Peaked at number-6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: Although “Rocket Man” stalled at number six on the Hot 100, it helped propel Honky Chateau to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart. Guitarist Davey Johnstone recalls recording it.

Elton John guitarist Davey Johnstone on “Rocket Man.” OC:…exciting thing. :22

“I’ve got some good memories of that, because that was the first time we actually layered acoustic guitars, on that track. We used three or four open-tuned acoustic guitars on that and that was something we used a lot of after that. It was like one of those things, ‘Wow, that sounds great.’ We just like double-tracked it and then triple-tracked it and it sounded really cool. And also that was the first thing that we did background vocals on. And that was the first record that went straight to number-one, so that was a very exciting thing.”