Covering a hit track might be tricky. Since the audience already adores the song, another artist’s remake might not be welcomed. However, there were times when the audience appreciated these cover tracks and, much more importantly, also the track’s creators. Still, it wasn’t easy to do so.
Ann Wilson, for instance, covered a rendition of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ alongside her sister Nancy Wilson and the late John Bonham’s son, Jason Bonham, honorably taking his father’s place on drums. The cover was heavenly as Robert Plant and Jimmy Page applauded the performance.
So, singing cover tracks might be challenging, but, of course, covering somebody else’s song wasn’t what Elton John had struggled with. In the most Elton John fashion, the rocker struggled with singing one of his own songs as he admitted it was not particularly easy to sing.
When Elton John’s long-time songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin, set foot in the U.S. for the first time in 1970, he was surprised by what he saw. The spirit of L.A. at the time was shocking to him, as the L.A. women were quite different from those he had met in England. So, the songwriter decided to write a song about this matter to capture the American spirit.
However, the contrast between the American and British women wasn’t the only inspiration behind this particular track. Taupin’s wife at the time, Maxine Feibelman, also inspired the songwriter with her ballet and sewing talents. The song was released in 1971 and became a hit from the moment it reached the audience.
The single mentioned above was none other than ‘Tiny Dancer.’ It was much appreciated as Elton John brilliantly shone his style into Taupin’s lyrics. However, it seemed that the track wasn’t easy to sing for John. The singer admitted this during a conversation with Rolling Stone in 2013 and addressed the complicated nature of the track.
“‘Tiny Dancer’ is a complex song,” said John. Yet, he appreciated the album, ‘Madman Across the Water,’ as it did well on the charts and helped him establish his figure in the music scene. The singer noted, “It’s not easy to sing, but the album did brilliantly.”
While artists might struggle with covering other artists’ tracks and feel much more comfortable singing their own, in John’s situation, he had a tough time singing one of his tracks. The complex song, however, did quite well in the charts, helped Elton establish his image, and became one of the singer’s signature songs.