Elton John/Kiki Dee: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” (1976)

Originally conceived as a duet with Dusty Springfield, Kiki Dee got the call instead and the rest is history.

Kronomyth 13.3: Duet to me one more time.

As Fate would have it, at about the same time I was debugging the Cooties myth, I was invited by several girls and boys to join a singing group whose sole purpose purported to be the one-time performance of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” The real purpose, as it turned out, was to drink soda and giggle and talk about kissing. Thus it’s a lock that we had more fun singing this than Elton and Kiki, who recorded their parts in different countries.

Anyway, in the course of practicing our parts (I’m pretty sure I got the “Oh, honey, if I get restless” line, without ever knowing what I was restless about), I listened to this song dozens of times and never grew tired of it. (Okay, maybe a little, but remember that I was trying to channel restlessness here.) The interesting thing is that we must have had the 7-inch single, and yet none of us flipped it over to hear “Snow Queen.” Turns out we didn’t miss much. Credited to Elton and Kiki, it’s actually a catty Candle dedicated to Cher (revealed in Elton’s closing reference to “I got you, babe”). Kiki, despite a songwriting credit (photographer David Nutter got one too), simply sings backup. And speaking of songwriting credits, Ann Orson and Carte Blanche are really Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

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Original 7-inch single version

A1. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Ann Orson/Carte Blanche) (4:23)
B1. Snow Queen (Elton John/Bernie Taupin/Davey Johnstone/Kiki Dee/David Nutter) (5:54)

The Players

Well, Elton John and Kiki Dee obviously, and James Newton-Howard is credited with string arrangements, but other than that you’re on your own. I’d assume it’s the same as the basic Blue Moves lineup of Newton-Howard (synthesizers/keyboards), Ray Cooper (congas/percussion), Davey Johnstone (guitars), Kenny Passarelli (bass) and Roger Pope (drums). Produced by Gus Dudgeon.

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on June 21, 1976 in the US and Canada (The Rocket Record Co., PIG-40585), on July 2, 1976 in the UK (The Rocket Record Co., ROKN-512), and in 1976 in Australia (Rocket, ROKN-11a74), Brazil (The Rocket Record Co., RO-43001), Canada (MCA, MCA-40585), Denmark and New Zealand (Rocket, ROKN 512), France (Rocket, 2C 010-97.939), Germany (Rocket, 1C 006-97 939), Hungary (Pepita, SPSK-70236), Italy (The Rocket Record Co., 3C 006 97939), Japan (Rocket, IVR-20051), the Netherlands (Rocket, 5C 006-97939), Portugal (Rocket, 8E 00697939 G), Spain (Rocket, 1 J 006-97.939), Yugoslavia (Rocket, SR 88910) and Zanzibar (The Rocket Record Co., PD-1276) with regional picture sleeve; reached #1 on the US charts (RIAA-certified gold record), #1 on the UK charts and #1 on the New Zealand charts.

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