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"Healing Hands"
Single by Elton John
from the album Sleeping with the Past
B-side "Dancing in the End Zone"
(first release)
Released 1989 (first release)
1990 (second release)
Genre Pop
Length 4:21
Label Rocket Records
MCA Records (US/Canada)
Writer(s) Elton John
Bernie Taupin
Producer Chris Thomas
Elton John singles chronology
"Town of Plenty"
"Healing Hands"

"Healing Hands" was the final hit single of the 1980s for British pop-star Elton John, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and recorded on his million-selling 1989 album Sleeping with the Past. The single was released during the late-summer of 1989, and was a top-twenty hit in the US. It was paired as a double A-side single with Sacrifice", which became Elton's first solo number 1 single in the UK. The song was inspired by the Four Tops song "Reach Out, I'll Be There". Produced by Chris Thomas, it was the first of three singles released from the album, with the follow-ups being "Sacrifice" and "Club at the End of the Street".

"Healing Hands" did moderately well as a single in the United States, climbing to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reaching #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart the week of October 21, 1989 (dislodging Madonna's "Cherish" from the #1 position). The song failed to make the UK Top 40 on its initial release, as did the follow-up, "Sacrifice." However, after Steve Wright of BBC Radio One added "Sacrifice" to his station's playlist, "Sacrifice" was re-released in the UK with "Healing Hands" as the flip side. The double A-side record topped the UK chart for five weeks starting June 23, 1990, becoming the first solo #1 UK hit of Elton John's career.

Technical details

Musically, the song is complex, with the verses in the key of B flat, and the chorus in the key of D major. An instrumental solo, in the related minor key of G minor, serves as a bridge.


  • "Healing Hands," The Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits by Wesley Hyatt, p. 352, Billboard Books (1999).


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