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"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
Single by Elton John
from the album Blue Moves
B-side "Shoulder Holster"
Released 1 November 1976
Format 7" Vinyl
Recorded Eastern Sound, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genre Pop/Ballad
Length 3:48
Label Rocket Records
MCA Records (US/Canada)
Writer(s) Elton John
Bernie Taupin
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
"Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)"

"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It was recorded by Elton John and released in 1976, both as a single and as part of the Blue Moves album. It was his second single on Rocket Records. The song is a mournful ballad about unrequited love. It was also one of the rare instances where Elton John himself wrote much of the lyric. Whereas most of the John-Taupin songs began with Taupin's lyrics, this one began with John's melody, with some lyrics included. Taupin simply finished them.

The song was a UK/US Top 20 hit, reaching #11 in the UK and #6 in the US.

The song also appeared the following year on Greatest Hits Volume II, though for copyright reasons it no longer appears on the current version of that album. It now appears on Greatest Hits 1976-1986, The Very Best of Elton John and in Greatest Hits 1970-2002, as well as a number of other compilations.


Other versions

"Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" has been covered by a wide variety of artists from country to R&B. It has been recorded as a duet, in Spanish, and has even featured Elton John himself on a couple of versions.

In 1994, country singers Suzy Bogguss and Chet Atkins covered the song on their 1994 Simpatico. It was released as a single but failed to chart. A year later, Argentine singer/songwriter, Pedro Aznar, covered the song in Spanish with the translated title, "Ya no hay forma de pedir perdón", for the album David y Goliath.

In 1997, the song was featured on Steven Houghton's self titled album.

In 2002, the boy band, Blue, recorded the song with Elton John (who received a featured artist credit). This version was produced by multi-platinum producer Ray Ruffin and was a hit throughout Europe and went to number one in the UK, where it received a Silver sales certification and sold 315,000 copies.

Joe Cocker covered the song on his collection of love songs, Greatest Love Songs, in 2003. In 2004, there more versions were released. First, Ray Charles and Elton John recorded this song as a 'duet' in Charles's 2004 posthumous release Genius Loves Company. Then, Mary J. Blige covered the song for the soundtrack to the film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Finally, Kenny G recorded it with Richard Marx for his covers/duets album, At Last...The Duets Album.

In 2006, former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken covered the song on his album, A Thousand Different Ways, and X Factor winner, Leona Lewis's recording of the song was a B-side to her number-one debut single, "A Moment Like This".

In 2008, American Pianist and Singer Eli Mattson sang this as part of the top 10 in the widely known talent show America's Got Talent

Blue & Elton John Version

"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
Single by Blue and Elton John
from the album One Love
B-side "Sweet Thing"
Released 2002
Format CD single
Genre pop
Length 3:31
Label Universal
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Blue and Elton John singles chronology
"One Love"
"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"
"U Make Me Wanna"

The song was covered in 2002 by English boyband Blue. The song was recorded as a collaboration with Elton John, and was the second single from their second album, One Love. The song peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Charts.


UK Single #1
  1. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Radio Edit (3:31)
  2. Lonely This Christmas (2:08)
  3. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Ruffin Ready Soul Mix (3:51)
  4. Recording Studio Footage (3:30
UK Single #2
  1. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Radio Edit (3:31)
  2. Album Medley [U Make Me Wanna / Get Down / Like A Friend] (5:44)
  3. Sweet Thing (3:38)
  4. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - Video (3:30)


Chart (2002) Peak
Belgian Ultratop 50 Singles (Flanders) 3
Danish Singles Chart 5
Irish Singles Chart 3
UK Singles Chart 1
Chart (2003) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 43
Ö3 Austria Top 40 4
Belgian Ultratop 50 Singles (Wallonia) 4
Canadian Singles Chart 7
Dutch Singles Chart 1
French SNEP Singles Chart 6
German Singles Chart 3
Italian Singles Chart 4
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 5
Norwegian Singles Chart 2
Swedish Singles Chart 2
Swiss Singles Chart 3
Preceded by
"Lose Yourself" by Eminem
UK number-one single (Blue version)
15 December 2002 - 21 December 2002
Succeeded by
"Sound of the Underground" by Girls Aloud


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