Rocket Man was released in 1972, in Elton John‘s album Honkey Chateau.
Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, it was an immediate success. So much that according to Rolling Stone magazine it’s the 245th the best song in the world. Despite being released in the 1970s, in 2016 it received the silver record from the British Phonographic Industry for more than 200,000 digital downloads. A song that has been able to resist over time not only musically but also renewing itself on a video level. Let’s see how.

 

Videoclip: curiosities

In 2017, Elton John and Bernie Taupin both participated in a project together with YouTube that involved the song Rocket man. It was a contest where a number of filmmakers could imagine video clips of the songs written by Sir Elton with Taupin. Then it was about revisiting Rocket Man, Bennie and the Jets, and Tiny Dancer. Even though all three videos were appreciated, Elton John said he was really moved by Rocket Man’s vision of director Majid Adin.  The director narrates his life as an Iranian refugee, fled to England to survive. Shuffling the song with this background story has given the lyrics a new meaning. Certainly more melancholic. Just think about the sentence “I think it’s gonna be a long, long time”.  Actually, the song was inspired by Ray Bradbury’s “The Rocket Man” in Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man.

 

David Bowie

 

Considering song’s year of release and its theme, a man – an astronaut more specifically, who is about to leave his family to travel to Mars, it’s easy and unavoidable to notice the influence of David Bowie and his Space Oddity. Space Oddity was released just a few years earlier in 1969. Also noteworthy is that both songs were produced by Gus Dugeron. Not a coincidence, but the willingness to approach Bowie’s space. Not only narratively with the tale of an astronaut, but also musically.

The song is a ballad, in Sir John’s classic style, we have already talked about. The piano is the main actor. There are special atmospheres. First one due to the use of the synthesizer recorded by sound engineer Dave Hentschel and the effected slide guitar.