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"It's Me That You Need"
Single by Elton John
from the album Empty Sky (1995 reissue)
B-side "Just Like Strange Rain"
Released May 16, 1969
Recorded April, 1969
Olympic Studios
Genre Rock, Pop
Length 4:01
Label DJM Records
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer Steve Brown
Elton John singles chronology
"Lady Samantha"
"It's Me That You Need"
"Border Song"
Empty Sky (1995 reissue) track listing
"All Across the Havens"
"It's Me That You Need"
"Just Like Strange Rain"

"It's Me That You Need" is a song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It was his third single, released five months after "Lady Samantha". As with his two previous singles, it failed to chart in the U.S. and the UK. However, the song became hit in Japan two years later, peaking at the #13 on the country's Oricon sales chart. It had been a most commercially successful song for him in that country, until double A-side single "Candle in the Wind 1997/"Something About the Way You Look Tonight" topped the chart in October 1997.


Musical structure

It opens with a string section accompanied by an organ. When the song begins, a somewhat distorted electric guitar plays with the strings. Horns are also featured. These two features would be standard in later releases by John. It has a light pop sense and was penned by critics to be a radio hit. Unfortunately, it did not go well at the charts, in fact it went worse than his previous two. The song ends with Elton playing solo for the last fifteen seconds.

Lyrical meaning

It is a plain love song. However, the words are a bit advanced and more cryptic for other love songs at the time of its release. It tells a story about a man who is convinced he is the right one for the woman he is adoring. The last verse could also indicate it's a story of an ex-girlfriend;

"Watching, watching the swallows fly
It all means the same
Just like them
You can fly home again
But don't, no don't forget yesterday
Pride is an ugly word girl
And you still know my name"


It was not performed by John at any time or place with one exception. He played a solo version live as the first track on his 1971 tour of Japan. It was heavily applauded, as it was his first single to be released there. Since then it has not been played anywhere.


As with many British songs at the time it was covered elsewhere in Europe. In Italy it was covered by Maurizio Vandelli who had translated the song into Italian. It was called "Era Lei" (Literally meaning "That Was Her") and the lyrical meaning had been altered a little bit. This version charted in Italy and became a big hit.


Chart positions

Chart (1971) Peak
Japanese Oricon International Singles Chart 2 144,000+
Japanese Oricon Singles Chart 13


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