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"Ego"
Single by Elton John
from the album A Single Man (1998 reissue)
B-side "Flinstone Boy"
Released March 21, 1978
Recorded March 10, 1978
Genre Glam rock, rock, pop
Length 4:00
Label MCA (US/Canada)
Rocket Records
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Elton John singles chronology
"The Goaldigger's Song"
(1977)
"Ego"
(1978)
"Part-Time Love"
(1978)
A Single Man (1998 reissue) track listing
"Song for Guy"
(11)
"Ego"
(12)
"Flinstone Boy"
(13)

"Ego" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It was released as a single in early 1978, and did not appear on the album that came out that year, A Single Man. The song was however included along with all other non-album material from the time on the album's 1998 remaster.

The single did poorly on the charts, reaching #34 in both the UK and the U.S.. A music video was made, and was the most expensive of its kind in its day.

Musical structure

The song starts with a rollicking piano accompagnied by a train whistle, making it sound like there's a train rolling down a track. The song then goes into a steady 4/4 beat, then breaks down and goes to the chorus. Later in the song it goes in half tempo and then up again. The music video made for it fits the music well; it could easily be a typical glam rock set up. It features synthesizers, and even carnival-esque organs, unusual for its time.

The break before the bridge's vocals are reminiscent of Billy Joel. The same style of singing was also used on another Taupin-song from this time, "I Cry at Night".

Lyrical meaning

It was originally written during the sessions for his 1976 album Blue Moves but was left out. Elton said of the song by the time of its release:

"Ego was just something I had lying around, and I wanted to release it for a long time. Unfortunately, the time wasn't right. It's been disappointing. I really had hoped it would do well because I really liked it. I wrote the song jointly with Bernie Taupin, and we never thought of it as an autobiography until it came out. It's about the silliness of rock 'n' roll stars, and the video film was supposed to show just how stupid rock 'n' roll can be. It's the grotesque side of rock 'n' roll. And it's turned out to be one of the most sincere songs we've ever written."

The song is, as said, about rock stars and their fame which tend to get to their heads. Elton played this song live from 1978 and up and until 1980. It was also performed at his free concert in Central Park, 1980. Though not included on any compilation or album since, this song is highly regarded amongst Elton's long-time fans, since it's almost autobiographical, as mentioned.

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