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"Honky Cat"
Single by Elton John
from the album Honky Château
B-side "Slave"
Released July 31, 1972
Genre Pop
Length 5:13 (album version)
4:07 (single version)
Label Uni (USA), DJM (UK)
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Elton John singles chronology
"Rocket Man"
"Honky Cat"
"Crocodile Rock"

"Honky Cat" is a song from the 1972 Elton John album Honky Château. It is the first song on the album, and had a running time of five minutes thirteen seconds.

A fast, spirited number (171 bpm) played without any guitar, "Honky Cat" is essentially about the illusion created by city life. The song is dominated by John's piano, but features the most extensive horn section on any Elton John song of the time to provide additional rhythm elements.

"Honky Cat" reached the Billboard top ten when released as a single, but only reached #31 in Britain and did not chart in Australia - though it is still a staple of "classic rock" radio. The song hit #8 on the U.S. charts, just as Elton John launched an American tour, in September of 1972. The album title "Honky Chateau" is a reference to where the entire record was made, at Château d'Hérouville, about 30 miles outside of Paris.[1]


  1. ^ Rock Movers & Shakers by Dafydd Rees & Luke Crampton, 1991 Billboard Books.

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