From Blue Eyes to Candle in the Wind: All of Elton John's top 10 singles from the 80s

From Blue Eyes to Candle in the Wind: All of Elton John's top 10 singles from the 80s
From Blue Eyes to Candle in the Wind: All of Elton John's top 10 singles from the 80s

Virgin Radio

23 Jun 2023, 10:57

Elton John performing

Sir Elton John has a lot to celebrate this weekend ahead of his first Glastonbury headline set.

He’ll be performing on the Pyramid Stage on Sunday (25th June) which will also bring to a close his Farwell Yellow Brick Road Tour in the UK.

Before Sir Elton and his 53-year back catalogue of hits take to the Glasto stage this weekend, there’s a pretty big milestone to celebrate.

On 23rd June 1990, the Rocketman singer went to number one with Sacrifice / Healing Fans – which amazingly was his first solo chart-topping track in the UK.

To commemorate Elton’s massive success, Virgin Radio 80s Plus will be playing some of his biggest hits of the decade – but which ones made the top 10 in that time?

Elton released Blue Eyes as the lead single to his sixteenth album, Jump Up, in 1982.

The melodic ballad made it to number eight in the UK and had an accompanying music video dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor.

Clearly a winner for the musician, Blue Eyes also landed Elton a 1983 Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance.

Keeping in the colour theme, 1983’s I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues was the new lead single from Elton’s seventeenth album, Too Low for Zero.

Becoming something of a signature track for the bespectacled singer, Blues found a home at number five in the UK charts, and featured fellow icon Stevie Wonder on the harmonica.

Having Blue as a focal point for a track certainly helped Elton when it came to his live gigs in the 80s. His touring shows often featured a Blue Eyes/I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues medley.

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Time for something uptempo, and Elton released I’m Still Standing to massive fanfare both in the UK and US.

Released in 1983 as his second single from Too Low for Zero, the infectious single was featured in heavy rotation on fledgling music video channel MTV, and that helped propel the tune up the charts to number four in the UK and 12 in the US.

Moving onto Elton’s final track of his eighteenth album, Breaking Hearts, Sad Songs (Say So Much) explored the Rocket Man artist’s more sensitive side.

The track describes the feeling of listening to sad blues songs while feeling down, which clearly worked for fans when it was released in 1984.

It landed at number seven in the UK charts, and found itself in the top 10 singles charts in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the US.

Something of an underrated classic for Elton was his 1984 track Passengers.

It reached number five in the UK charts but never made it Stateside, and featured a style of South African folk song originally recorded in 1963.

A rare live track for Elton, the song was first performed live during his 1985 tour but has yet to be featured on a setlist again.

Moving on to 1985, and the Sacrifice singer had a number three UK hit with Nikita, the lead single of his nineteenth studio album, Ice on Fire.

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The melodic pop track features George Michael on backing vocals and Nik Kershaw, and describes a crush Elton has on a border officer named Nikita.

Described as a threnody, or a mournful ode, classic Elton track, Candle in the Wind, was originally written in 1973 in honour of Marilyn Monroe.

A 1986 live version was recorded in Sydney and features only Elton on piano. It was re-released in 1987 as part of his Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra album, and the single made its way back up the charts to number five.

Not only that, but it earned Elton another Pop Vocal Performance Grammy nomination, and had another go at topping the charts in 1997 as a tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales.

You can listen to Virgin Radio 80 Plus HERE. You can also listen on DAB+ in London and Central Scotland and on smart speakers across the UK, as well as via the Virgin Radio UK app.

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