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“She’s Got Electric Boots,” But Elton’s Not Live (AUDIO)

Elton John Box Set
Elton John "To Be Continued..." (1990 Box Set) (Craig Allen photo)


“Bennie And The Jets” rocketed Elton John to #1 in 1974, and its one of “Jersey’s Favorite Hits.”  But, the song isn’t really what it seems.

After saying “See Ya….BYE!” at the end of a Sunday night show (7pm til midnight), I was driving home listening to DJ Joe V. on New Jersey 101.5.  He was playing “Bennie And The Jets.” Cool! As the applause was fading, and he was getting ready to chime into the 12:18am Fast Traffic, he said: “I love those live tracks!”  Sorry, Joe…

Lyricist Bernie Taupin has said over the years that the smash hit off Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album tells the story of “Bennie And The Jets,” a fictional band that Sir Elton loves!  Taupin also says the song is a satire of the glitz and greed of the music business in the 1970s.  Thats what the song is.  Live, is what it is not.

A few years ago, I was watching one of those “Behind The Music” shows (or the “Elton John Story,” or something like that), as the secret was let out.  “Bennie And The Jets” is a total studio fabrication!  Sorry, but as we say around NJ101.5, “it is what it is.”

Elton John’s vocals were taken from a “dry” studio recording.  Some reverb (“echo”) was added to give the vocals a concert hall feel.  Then, the concert crowd was carefully layered in.  And, they weren’t even cheering for Elton!  The cheering crowd was lifted from a “Who” concert.  You’ve noticed, I’m sure, that some of the clapping is not on the beat. That is by design.  The studio wizards that assembled this number one recording decided that, for the most part, British concert crowds can’t keep time with the music! So, there you have it.

Sorry, Joe V…

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