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Bernie Taupin the Voice Behind Elton John

Today in 1973 music lovers fell in love with Elton John and ‘GoodBye Yellow Brick Road’ so it seemed fitting to learn more about the man behind the lyrics of some of music histories most notable songs.

“My favorite thing is coming up with titles. The majority of the songs I’ve ever written. I’ve always thought of the title before I’ve written the song.”

Elton John’s long-time song writing partner Bernie Taupin  was born in 1950 at Flatters Farmhouse in the southern part of Lincolnshire England. He was not a diligent student but showed an early flair for writing. His maternal grandfather a classics teacher and graduate of the University of Cambridge, his mother studied French Literature, his father a farmer.  They taught him an appreciation for nature and for literature and narrative poetry, both of which influenced his early lyrics.  At age 15, he left school and started work as a trainee in the print room of the local newspaper The Lincolnshire Standard with aspirations to be a journalist. He soon left and spent the rest of his teenage years hanging out with friends, hitchhiking the country roads to attend youth club dances in the surrounding villages, playing snooker in the Aston Arms Pub in Market Rasen and drinking. He had worked at several part-time, dead-end jobs when, at age 17, he answered the advertisement that eventually led to his collaboration with Elton John.

In 1967, Taupin answered an advertisement for talent placed in the New Musical Express by Liberty Records man Ray Williams who was searching for new talent. Elton John answered the same advert and although neither Bernie nor Elton passed the audition for Liberty Records, Ray Williams recognised their talents and put them in touch with each other. The pair have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. The team took some time off from each other for a while between 1977 and 1979, while Taupin worked with other songwriters, and Rod Stewart, Cher, The Motels, John Waite, Starship and Alice Cooper all recorded Taupin’s songs.

Bernie’s unique blend of influences gave his early lyrics  a nostalgic romanticism that fit perfectly with the hippie sensibilities of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Taupin sometimes wrote about specific places in Lincolnshire. For example, ‘Grimsby’ or ‘Caribou’  was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to a nearby port town often visited by Taupin and his friends. More famously,’Saturday’s Alright For Fighting’ was inspired by Taupin’s experiences in the dance halls and pubs of his youth. More often he wrote in more general autobiographical terms, as in his reference to hitching rides home in “Country Comfort.” These autobiographical references to his rural upbringing continued after his departure for London and a life in show business, with songs such as ‘Honky Cat’, ‘Tell Me When The Whistle Blows’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, in which he thinks about “going back to my plough.”

Taupin’s most important influence was his interest in America’s Old West, Tumbleweed Connection found in recent songs such as ‘This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore’. When Taupin and Elton decided to write an autobiographical album in 1975, Taupin dubbed himself “The Brown Dirt Cowboy”, in contrast to Elton’s “Captain Fantastic.”

“Basically it takes me very little time to write a song. If I find myself taking more than an hour to do it I usually forget it, and try something else. I like to work quickly; I never like to waste any time. I never write half a song and come back to it later at all. It all has to be done at once. I lose interest if it doesn’t.”

The 1991 film documentary Two Rooms described the John/Taupin writing style, which involves Taupin writing the lyrics on his own and John then putting them to music, with no further interaction between the two. The process is still fundamentally the same, with John composing to Taupin’s words, but the two interact on songs far more today, with Taupin joining John in the studio as the songs are written and occasionally during recording sessions.

It has been 49 years of music collaboration for Bernie Taupin and Elton John and the world would not be the same with out the beautiful music they have made together.

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“Youth” A film by Paolo Sorrentino is a must see.

Clever and intuitive artistry. A compelling journey accompanied by a introspective soundtrack. A must see film within today’s releases.

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Everything Old Is New Again

It’s true that life turns in cycles and if you wait long enough ‘that thing’ will come round again. Next to Jack White we chant with enthusiasm for the return of vinyl albums. No digital image can replace that piece of artwork and the depth of it’s inner sleeve with all the secrets of time embellished right there. Album covers are the poster, the poem and the package for the project at hand.

This Christmas, vinyl was on many a wish list and the first half of 2015 saw a 56% increase in sales which set the year up to be on track for the biggest record sales in over two decades.

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But who’s buying all these records? According to industry researchers half of vinyl record buyers are under 25. They also find that men are more likely to buy LPs than are women, which might not come as a surprise given record collecting’s rep as a boys’ club.

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Progress shows blending the best of the old with the new is a killer combo and with Spotify, Vevo & Vimeo one is able to test drive the music before they lay their money down. It’s very cool to feel the pendulum swing towards something we can really hold on to. Music is the universal language with the ability to cross a multitude of barriers and now more than ever, albums are a solid investment in the arts.

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The Rising Few – Montreal, Canada

 If you can groove, it will open it’s arms to you. – Karim Terouzian 

 

  Introduce The Rising Few…

We are The Rising Few,  a new local Montreal group of guys that blend Folk, Rock, Pop and Blues to leave you with an experience exclusive to Montreal and it’s youth.

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2. How did your band come to be?

I left Cairo at the age of 25 looking for some privacy and tons of answers. My journey into self discovery ultimately lead me to start what I always wanted to do, music. I went to every open mic possible trying out my songs and getting to know who were the local musicians, where they hang, what do they sound like.  I met Hubert Tremblay. I took Hubert’s business card…aaand lift off!

3. Describe your musical style…

Stay with me for  this one… Springsteen and Cat Stevens had a baby, that baby got lost in the plateau area of Montreal. It ended up being adopted by Leonard Cohen… Leonard Cohen depressingly abandoned that baby in a Dave Mathews Band concert at Park Jean Drapeau. It was last seen intoxicated wearing a Tragically Hip T-shirt on St-Laurent street slurring out loud: ”OOHHH (hick-up) WE’RE HALFF WAY THEEEREE..”

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4. Okay who got the crush on the beautiful bar maid at the Rouge nightclub, whom is the inspiration for your song ‘I Want You Now’ ?

I did (Karim) was humming/voicing the melody on my way down St-Laurent street to ROUGE (this is how excited I was about getting there !!) Then I was writing the words sitting at her bar, went back home, arranged it then passed out.

5. How did it come to pass that she is the actress in the video?

It was a shot in the dark. I approached her about the project, she found it to be cool. It ended up adding the right kind of authenticity to the video… it’s actually her!

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