Elton John Reveals His "Strange" but Successful Songwriting Process
One probably shouldn't question the work ethic of a musical genius like Elton John, but he does have a unique songwriting process. On Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night the iconic artist explained how he created those hits year after year with his music partner Bernie Taupin, who writes the lyrics for his songs. Unlike many songwriting duos, the two work completely independently.
"I just go to the studio and there are 24 lyrics waiting for me and I look through them and see which one I want to start with, and then I try and write a song," the 68-year-old singer said. "I never, ever know what the lyrics are gonna be up-front."
"When I first started writing with Bernie it was exactly the same as it is now: I would get a lyric, I would go away, and write the melody and play it to him. That's never changed. It's the same thing now and it's as exciting now as it was then," he told host Jimmy Kimmel. "So if I write a song on this album and I've finished it, I go and bring him in and say, 'Listen, this is the song,' and then the band come in and learn it and we put it down.
He admitted that it was a very original way of writing songs, but, hey, it seems to work well—the two have produced hits such as "Crocodile Rock," "Bennie and the Jets," and "Tiny Dancer," as well as many more. "We've been writing 49 years together, this year, and I don't try to analyze it. It's strange, but it works." Sounds good to us. Literally.
Watch Elton John share his process with Jimmy Kimmel in the video at top and listen to new album, Wonderful Crazy Night, when it hits shelves Feb. 5.