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"Shine on Through"
Song by Elton John

from the album A Single Man

Released October 16, 1978
Recorded January-September 1978
Genre Ballad, pop
Length 3:45
Label MCA Records (US/Canada)
Rocket Records
Writer Elton John, Gary Osborne
Producer Clive Franks, Elton John
A Single Man track listing
"Shine on Through"
"Return to Paradise"

"Shine on Through" is a song by Elton John with lyrics written by Gary Osborne. The song appears as the opening track on his 1978 album, A Single Man. It was also John's first album without his long-time collaborator, Bernie Taupin.

Musical structure

The song is reminiscent of his earlier works, with a sole piano and a string section being the only instruments the first half of the song. As many other of his songs it's built up around a gospel structure, sung and written like a hymn. After the first couple of verses, bass, guitars and drums create a slow 2/4 beat that holds in the background with occasional breaks. That arrangement is similar to that of his most famous hit, "Your Song". In fact, both songs are in the key of E flat.

Lyrical meaning

The lyrics tell a story of a man who's in love; a typical love song. Throughout the song, their relationship is ending. He has "cursed the stars above that lead my heart to you".


This song was originally composed the year before, in the fall of 1977. At that time, John was recording what became The Thom Bell Sessions. Though songs from the sessions were released in 1979, the version of "Shine on Through" that was recorded with Thom Bell would not be released until 1989, when MCA Records finally released the complete sessions. The Thom Bell version is double the length of the one which appeared on A Single Man, clocking at 7:45.

It was performed on the 1977 Morecambe and Wise christmas special as a piano solo.

It was a staple in his live sets throughout 1977-1978, though live performances during this time were rare, as Elton was in a state of semi-retirement from live performance. Like most of Elton's songs from this period, "Shine on Through" has not been performed live since promotion for A Single Man ran its course.



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