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by Elton John
Elton’s second single from his 1989 album, ‘Sleeping With The Past’, quickly established itself as one of his most powerful and plaintive ballads and holds a special place in the superstar’s career.
Sacrifice became Elton’s first solo #1 single in the UK, much to the surprise of many fans who thought he certainly must have had at least a few British chart-toppers by then. After all, he had released more than 50 UK singles in the 22 years since his career had begun and had already amassed six #1s in the US.

Sacrifice only reached the #55 position the first time it was released as a single in the UK in October 1989. It was only after BBC DJ Steve Wright began playing the song frequently in the late spring of 1990 that Elton decided to re-release it in May as a “double A-side” single with Healing Hands, with proceeds going to the Terrence Higgins Trust AIDS charity. Sacrifice topped the UK Singles Chart on June 23, 1990, and went on to win Ivor Novello Awards for Best Song Musically and Lyrically and Best Selling ‘A’ Side in 1991.

Like Your Song 20 years prior, Bernie’s lyric to Sacrifice begins with “It’s a…” But that is where the similarities end. “It’s a simple lyric, but it’s an intelligent, adult lyric. It’s basically about the rigors of adult love, and it’s a million miles away from ‘Your Song.’ Elton came up with a brilliant melody, and his performance on it gives it a lot of integrity and meaning,” Bernie Taupin (1989)… Bernie has been quoted as saying that he was listening to Aretha Franklin’s 1967 hit, Do Right Woman, Do Right Man a lot as he wrote the lyrics to Sacrifice.

A favourite amongst those who worked on it, Sacrifice has been named by Bernie as the song he feels is the best he and Elton have ever collaborated on. Davey Johnstone says that his guitar solo was a tribute to one of his early influences, Hank Marvin of the instrumental rock group the Shadows. Fans of their 1960 hit Apache will clearly hear the basis for Davey’s homage d'twang.

—Diamond Moments: 'Sacrifice' on eltonjohn.com

1989 - Rocket / MCA - United Kingdom
Posted: 13th August 2019
drεw rogue
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