Elton John described his relationship with The Beatles as a “whirlwind romance”. And he had a huge hit with his cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. But was Elton John part of The Beatles?
No. Elton John was never a part of The Beatles and would have only been 13 at the time The Beatles officially formed in 1960. But Elton did collaborate with John Lennon and also had a hit with his cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.
The confusion that Elton was ever a part of The Beatles likely resulted from that cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.
The track maintained the number 1 position on USA’s charts for two weeks. And when interviewed, Lennon had this to say:
“I love it. I was thrilled Elton was doing it. People are afraid of Beatle music. Because they got that big image thing: You can’t do a Beatle number. You can’t touch a Lennon song: Only Lennon can do it. It’s garbage.”
Let’s find out if the duo collaborated for any other hit version.
After the news at 6pm it’s Just Josh, with two hours of great, music, chat and fun games. Tonight’s featured artists are The Beatles, Elton John and Dire Straits. Then the music continues with Michael A from 8-10pm and The Overnight Express through to the wee small hours. pic.twitter.com/X7WMutMrQ7
— Caroline Community Radio 94.7FM (@CarolineRadioFM) March 2, 2021
Who came first, the Beatles or Elton John?
The Beatles came before Elton John. Elton John was a 15-year-old piano player working in a pub when The Beatles recorded their first hit in 1962.
And by the time the fab four (as Fans called the Beatles) broke up, Elton had just finished his songwriting apprenticeship. He began making his records soon after that.
According to a website, “On April 10, 1970, the same day Paul McCartney was said to quit The Beatles, record stores were lined with Elton’s second solo LP”.
But John Lennon quickly became a big fan of Elton John.
Lennon was also said to envy Elton because Bernie wrote lyrics for Elton. He believed that the duo shared a great bond. And despite Bernie not ever performing on stage, he still got a 50% cut of the songwriting royalties.
What about The Beatles? How did they divide up the money? Did the group share equal royalties too? Luckily, I made sure to talk about it in a recent article. I even cover what happened to John’s money after his death.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
elton john and the beatles pic.twitter.com/I3ligH8nCN
— dancing queen (@xuraicurai) September 25, 2021
How did The Beatles influence Elton John?
The Beatles’ name shone brightest at the height of their musical career. Interestingly, they had a big cultural influence on many, including Sir Elton John.
Additionally, The Beatles were a phenomenal group, and nobody came close to the significant impact they left on modern music. They were a massive inspiration for many rising pop singers, and Elton was one of them.
The Beatles were the first to play music in sports arenas.
They were among the first to bring music from England to the USA-changing the American market ultimately. They were also among the few who recorded albums of entirely new material that weren’t compositions written by others.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that, in a way, they directed the music scene in America and pioneered the ideas of extensive song lyrics. They used techniques nobody knew-especially in composition.
And somehow recorded masterpieces like Sgt Pepper on a 4-track recorder!
They became the inspiration for artists like Taylor Swift, Dave Grohl, U2, Lady Gaga, Coldplay, and countless others.
My favorite Beatles member Elton John 🥵 pic.twitter.com/bXK4K7Lcdf
— bestie twin brando D. bando🕺🏾🕺🏾 (@kyogrewizard) February 3, 2021
Did Elton John help write any Beatles songs?
Elton John never worked with The Beatles or helped write any official Beatles songs. He did, however, help John Lennon write, play, and sing at least two tracks from Lennon’s album “Walls and Bridges”. The songs were ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’ and ‘Surprise Surprise’.
The pair also collaborated on several occasions, with compelling circumstances behind them. Elton and The Beatles’ member Lennon were keen songwriters.
Interestingly, when the two legends decided to share their musical talents, there couldn’t have been anything better than sharing the zeal to share lyrics for a track. Thus, began a beautiful friendship.
At first, Elton asked his friend to help him work on a cover of “Lucy in the Sky with a Diamond” featuring Lennon. Of course, Lennon was not going to make his appearance so casually.
So, Lennon asked to receive the credit under a pseudonym. Lennon sang and played guitar on the cover officially under the name Dr. Winston O’Boogie.
To return the favor, Elton played piano and harmonies in two tracks for Lennon. Elton also co-wrote the track “Snookeroo” on the album Goodnight Vienna featuring Ringo Starr. Elton played the piano on the track as well.
— Beatles Archive (@BeatlesArchive2) August 26, 2021
Why did Elton John sing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?
Elton covered the Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” because he believed it was one of the best songs ever written by The Beatles. And he definitely put his unique spin on his version.
Let’s see a comparison.
The Beatles’ original version from 1967:
The song contained ethereal qualities, a beautiful arrangement of Lowrey Organ and drones provided by Indian tambura.
It also championed and led the way for the psychedelic sounds of the late 60s.
When released, several accusations were that the song was a public proclamation of Lennon’s drug addiction to LSD. But Lennon dismissed them all.
Elton’s cover from 1975:
Sir Elton recorded his version of this track in 1974 as a single released in 1975. Elton recorded the track at Caribou Ranch featuring Lennon, as I mentioned above, on guitar under the pseudonym Dr. Winston O’Boogie.
When introducing the track, Elton said it “was the best song ever written”.
Elton also stated once that “this is a song I never do in a set at a concert simply because it reminds too much of John Lennon. This is the same with ‘Empty Garden’.
But was Lennon a better writer than Elton?
Is this the reason why Elton didn’t write most of his lyrics? And if he didn’t, who was Elton’s lyricist? Luckily, I discussed everything for you in a recent article? Just click that link to find out who are some of Elton’s best lyricists.
— Abbey Lane Beatles Podcast (@AbbeyLanePodC) March 25, 2022
Was Elton John friends with the Beatles?
Elton John was and has been friends with all of The Beatles. But he was closest to John Lennon.
The group has mutual admiration for each other personally and musically.
Luckily, there is enough evidence that Lennon has been an instrumental figure in ensuring Elton’s musical success. But Lennon is dismissive about it. He says:
“Elton would have had a No.1 record without me; he didn’t need me,”
When questioned about his friendship with Elton, Lennon replied, “I haven’t seen him much. Elton vanished after working on Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
However, Elton was thrilled to have worked with Lennon. After Lennon’s death, Sir Elton met Lennon’s son Sean Ono Lennon and described his relationship with Lennon as a “whirlwind romance”.
But Lennon also made friendships with other significant groups and singers, including David Bowie, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr, George Harrison, etc.
Lennon’s fans say he united every artist. He could go to any lengths to make people see his point. And for that reason, many people admitted him to be peace-loving, brilliant, funny, and a gem of a person.
Elton John and The Beatles’ member John Lennon have often been discussed. There is enough evidence online that proves that the pair did indulge in a close relationship, both personally and musically.
At times, Elton would help Lennon write lyrics and sing vocals.
And sometimes, Lennon would return the favor. Part of this give-and-take relationship included Elton singing a cover of the Beatles’ classic song called “Lucy in a Sky with a Diamond”–a track that made fans believe Elton was part of the Beatles.
But it is not true. Elton John was never a part of The Beatles. Although he did collaborate with the groups on several occasions, that was simply for collaboration.
Image by Alexander Lesnitsky from Pixabay