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Nikita (song): Wikis


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Single by Elton John
from the album Ice on Fire
B-side "The Man Who Never Died" (U.K.) "Restless" (U.S.)
Released October 29, 1985 (U.K.)
February 1986 (U.S.)
Format CD single
7" single
12" single
Recorded 1985
Genre Pop, New Wave
Length 5:44 (album version)
4:54 (single version)
Label Rocket (U.K.), Geffen (U.S.)
Writer(s) Bernie Taupin (lyrics), Elton John (music)
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Act of War"
"Wrap Her Up"

"Nikita" is a song by English singer Elton John about the Cold War from his 1985 album Ice on Fire. Released in late 1985, the song achieved success in many countries, becoming a top ten hit in almost all of them.


Song synopsis

In the song, Elton John describes his crush on a beautiful GDR borderguard whom he cannot meet because he is not allowed into the country. It features George Michael on backing vocals.[1] The song charted at #3 on the UK Singles Chart and also made the top 10 in the US, charting at #7.

Video settings and song information

The video for the song "Nikita", directed by Ken Russell, featured Anya Major in the role of Nikita. Russell says he didn't realise that Nikita was a man's name in the Russian language and Elton John accepted the proposed script written by Russell which was a male-female love interpretation of the song, as indeed the depicted GDR border guard in the video is a beautiful blonde woman with short hair. Scenes showing the two together in various happy situations, including wearing Watford FC colours, were based in fantasy, and many were expecting a follow-up after the fall of the Berlin Wall in which they would free to be together, but it never materialised. In interviews John admitted that Nikita was a male name in Russian, hinting at the song's homosexual view point.

Track listings

7" single
  1. "Nikita" — 4:54
  2. "The Man Who Never Died" — 5:10
or "Restless" — 4:26
or "I'm Still Standing" — 3:03
or "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" — 6:12
12" maxi
  1. "Nikita" (extended version) — 5:43
  2. "The Man Who Never Died" — 5:10
  3. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (live) — 3:26
  4. "I'm Still Standing (live) — 4:38



Country Certification Date Sales certified
France[2] Silver 1986 200,000
UK[3] Silver November 1, 1985 200,000


Chart (1986) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart[4] 3
Dutch Top 40[5] 1
French SNEP Singles Chart[4] 6
Eurochart Hot 100 1
German Singles Chart[6] 1
Irish Singles Chart[7] 1
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart[4] 2
Swedish Singles Chart[4] 7
Swiss Singles Chart[4] 1
UK Singles Chart[8] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[9] 7
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks[9] 3
Preceded by
"The Power of Love" by Jennifer Rush
Irish IRMA number-one single
16 November 1985 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"A Good Heart" by Feargal Sharkey
Preceded by
"Take on Me" by A-ha
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
7 December 1985 – 25 January 1985 (8 weeks)
Preceded by
"Take on Me" by A-ha
Swiss number-one single
8 December 1985 – 29 December 1985 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Say You, Say Me" by Lionel Richie
German number-one single
13 December 1985 – 3 January 1986 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Jeanny" by Falco
Preceded by
"Room That Echoes" by Peking Man
New Zealand RIANZ number-one single
24 January 1986 – 7 February 1986 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I'm Your Man" by Wham!
Preceded by
"Take on Me" by a-ha
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
25 January 1985 – 8 February 1985 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Sun Always Shines on TV" by a-ha


  1. ^ "Elton John Song Lyrics: Nikita...". Retrieved 2007-01-03.  
  2. ^ French certifications (Retrieved 12 January 2008)
  3. ^ UK certifications (Retrieved 12 January 2008)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Nikita", in various singles charts (Retrieved 12 January 2009)
  5. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 49, 1985". Retrieved 2008-03-02.  
  6. ^ German Singles Chart (Retrieved 12 January 2009)
  7. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved 12 January 2009)
  8. ^ "Nikita", UK Singles Chart (Retrieved 12 January 2009)
  9. ^ a b Billboard (Retrieved 12 January 2009)

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