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"Crocodile Rock"
Single by Elton John
from the album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
B-side "Elderberry Wine"
Released  UK 27 October 1972
 US 20 November 1972
Genre Rock
Length 4:58 (album version)
3:54 (single version)
Label MCA (US)
DJM (UK)
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Elton John singles chronology
"Honky Cat"
(1972)
Crocodile Rock
(1972)
"Daniel"
(1973)

"Crocodile Rock" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and recorded in June 1972 at the Strawberry Studios, Château d'Hérouville in France. It was released on 27 October 1972 in the UK and 20 November 1972 in the US, as a pre-release single from his forthcoming 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player, and became his first U.S. number-one single, reaching the top spot on 3 February 1973, and stayed there for three weeks.[1] It was the first song released as a single on the MCA label (catalog #40000) after MCA dissolved its Uni, Decca, Kapp and Coral labels. (John had previously been with the Uni label.) [2] "Crocodile Rock" is dominated by a Farfisa organ, played by John. The Farfisa is instantly recognizable by its carnival-like sound and honky-tonk rhythm, while the lyrics take a nostalgic look at early rock 'n' roll, and a relationship with a woman named Suzie, which the writer instantly associates with the music of the era. Like The Tennessee Waltz and "Roll Over Beethoven", "Crocodile Rock" is a self-referential song, i.e. a song about the song itself. Regular Elton John band members, such as Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson, are among the song's performers.

Contents

Inspiration

The song was inspired by John's discovery of leading Australian band Daddy Cool and their hit single "Eagle Rock",[3] which was the most successful Australian single of the early 1970s remaining at #1 for a (then) record 10 weeks.[4][5] John heard the song and the group on his 1972 Australian tour and was greatly impressed by it.[3] The cover of John's 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (the album on which "Crocodile Rock" is included) features a photo of John's lyricist Bernie Taupin wearing a "Daddy Who?" promotional badge. The song also appears to have been strongly influenced by the hit "Little Darlin'", most famously recorded in 1957 by The Diamonds (although the original version was recorded by The Gladiolas.) The chorus resembles "Speedy Gonzales" by Pat Boone. While there was no actual "Crocodile Rock", there was a dance called The Alligator.

Covers and tributes

Bob The Builder included a cover of this on his debut album, The Album in 2001.

On the tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin recorded in 1991 by a symposium of eminent performers as the soundtrack of the documentary film Two Rooms, the song "Crocodile Rock" is covered by The Beach Boys. Their interpretation emphasizes the vocal reminiscence of the Rock and Roll era and tones down the honky tonk and cha-cha-cha ambiance of the original.

The Baha Men covered the song for the 2002 movie The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.

Places

There are also well-known nightclubs called the "Crocodile Rock" in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Toronto, Ontario. I

References

  1. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 46. ISBN 0-87586-207-1.  
  2. ^ ""Crocodile Rock"". Songfacts.com. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2037. Retrieved 2009-03-19.  
  3. ^ a b Creswell, Toby; Samantha Trenoweth (2006). "Ross Wilson". 1001 Australians You Should Know. North Melbourne, Victoria: Pluto Press. p. 242–243. ISBN 9781864033618.  
  4. ^ "No. 1 Hits 1971". The Menzies Era. http://www.menziesera.com/number_1_hits/1971.shtml. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0646119176.   NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
Preceded by
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
February 3, 1973 — February 17, 1973
Succeeded by
"Killing Me Softly with His Song" by Roberta Flack

"Crocodile Rock"
File:Elton John Crocodile Rock (2).jpg
Single by Elton John
from the album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
B-side "Elderberry Wine"
Released  UK 27 October 1972
 US 20 November 1972
Genre Rock
Length 3:56
Label MCA (US)
DJM (UK)
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Elton John singles chronology

"Honky Cat"
(1972)
Crocodile Rock
(1972)
"Daniel"
(1973)

"Crocodile Rock" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, and recorded in June 1972 at the Strawberry Studios, Château d'Hérouville in France. It was released on 27 October 1972 in the UK and 20 November 1972 in the US, as a pre-release single from his forthcoming 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player, and became his first U.S. number-one single, reaching the top spot on 3 February 1973, and stayed there for three weeks.[1] It was the first song released as a single on the MCA label (catalogue #40000) after MCA dissolved its Uni, Decca, Kapp and Coral labels. (John had previously been with the Uni label.) [2] "Crocodile Rock" is dominated by a Farfisa organ, played by John with a carnival-like sound and honky-tonk rhythm, while the lyrics take a nostalgic look at early rock 'n' roll, and a relationship with a woman named Suzie, which the writer instantly associates with the music of the era. Regular Elton John band members, such as Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson, are among the song's performers.

Like "Tennessee Waltz", "Crocodile Rock" is a self-referential song, i.e. a song about the song itself.

Contents

Inspiration

The song was inspired by John's discovery of leading Australian band Daddy Cool and their hit single "Eagle Rock",[3] which was the most successful Australian single of the early 1970s remaining at #1 for a (then) record 10 weeks.[4][5] John heard the song and the group on his 1972 Australian tour and was greatly impressed by it.[3] The cover of John's 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (the album on which "Crocodile Rock" is included) features a photo of John's lyricist Bernie Taupin wearing a "Daddy Who?" promotional badge. The song also appears to have been strongly influenced by the hit "Little Darlin'", most famously recorded in 1957 by The Diamonds (although the original version was recorded by The Gladiolas.) The chorus resembles "Speedy Gonzales" by Pat Boone. While there was no actual "Crocodile Rock", there was a dance called The Alligator.

Covers and tributes

Bob The Builder included a cover of this on his debut album, The Album in 2001.

On the tribute album Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin recorded in 1991 by a symposium of eminent performers as the soundtrack of the documentary film Two Rooms, the song "Crocodile Rock" is covered by The Beach Boys. Their interpretation emphasises the vocal reminiscence of the Rock and Roll era and tones down the honky tonk and cha-cha-cha ambiance of the original.

The Baha Men covered the song for the 2002 movie The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.

Crocodile Rock is featured as one of the songs in the video game Lego Rock Band.

Places

There are also well-known nightclubs called the "Crocodile Rock" in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Toronto, Ontario.

References

  1. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N' Roll Gold Rush. Algora. p. 46. ISBN 0-87586-207-1. 
  2. ^ "Crocodile Rock". Songfacts.com. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2037. Retrieved 19 March 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Creswell, Toby; Samantha Trenoweth (2006). "Ross Wilson". 1001 Australians You Should Know. North Melbourne, Victoria: Pluto Press. p. 242–243. ISBN 9781864033618. 
  4. ^ "No. 1 Hits 1971". The Menzies Era. http://www.menziesera.com/number_1_hits/1971.shtml. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  5. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0646119176.  NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
Preceded by
"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
3 February 1973 — 17 February 1973
Succeeded by
"Killing Me Softly with His Song" by Roberta Flack







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