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Leather Jackets
Studio album by Elton John
Released November 1986
Recorded January, June-July, September 1986
Genre Pop, soft rock
Length 45:02
Label Geffen (Canada, U.S.)
Rocket Records (Worldwide)
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Professional reviews
Elton John chronology
Ice on Fire
Leather Jackets
Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Leather Jackets is the twentieth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, recorded at Sol Studios in England and Wisselord Studios in The Netherlands. and released in 1986. It was his first album to not create any top 40 singles in either the US or the UK since 1970's Tumbleweed Connection, which had no singles released from it. Elton collaborated with Cliff Richard in a song called Slow Rivers. It is also the poorest-charting album of John's career. In 2006, Elton John declared this his least favourite of all his albums, while lyricist Bernie Taupin believes The Big Picture deserves that honour.

Cher collaborated with "Lady Choc Ice" (Elton John) to write "Don't Trust That Woman".

Roger Taylor and John Deacon of Queen play drums and bass guitar respectively on the track "Angeline".

This was John's last studio release to be produced by Dudgeon and his last in which he played a Grand Piano before switching to the Roland Piano for Reg Strikes Back. After Elton's throat surgery in 1987, Chris Thomas would be rehired as producer. He would switch back to grand piano in 1993. This is the last to feature strings for a long time. For the first time in Elton's career there are no songs on this album that break the 5 minute barrier. That would happen only twice more within the next 15 years.

Elton played "Paris" during his 1986 US tour. He included "Heartache All Over the World" and "Slow Rivers" on his 1986 Australian tour with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, which would eventually yield John's live album Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. "Heartache" was included in the band portion of the show (Elton opted not to play piano for that number) while "Slow Rivers" was played during the second half of the show with the orchestra. Due to contractual constraints, "Slow Rivers" was not included on Live in Australia, despite the fact that it was from the orchestral portion of the show, which was the basis for the album.

Though not released as a single, "Paris" would also, ironically, become a minor FM hit for some jazz stations that programmed the track.


Track listing

All songs by John/Taupin, except where noted.

Side one

  1. "Leather Jackets" – 4:10
  2. "Hoop of Fire" – 4:14
  3. "Don't Trust That Woman" (Cher/Lady Choc Ice) – 4:58
  4. "Go it Alone" – 4:26
  5. "Gypsy Heart" – 4:46

Side two

  1. "Slow Rivers" (Duet with Cliff Richard) – 3:06
  2. "Heartache All Over the World" – 3:52
  3. "Angeline" (John/Taupin/Carvell) – 3:24
  4. "Memory of Love" (John/Gary Osborne) – 4:08
  5. "Paris" – 3:58
  6. "I Fall Apart" – 4:00



Song Format
"Highlander" Heartache All Over the World 7" / 12" (US/UK)
"Heartache All Over the World (Megamix)" Heartache All Over the World 12" (US/UK)
"Billy and the Kids" Slow Rivers 7" / 12"(UK)
"Lord of the Flies" Slow Rivers 12" (UK)



Year Chart Position
1986 The Billboard 200 91

"Heartache All Over the World"

Year Chart Position
1986 The Billboard Hot 100 55

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