for Saturday
October 12, 2019

They Write The Songs - Series 4 - Episode 4

Elton John and Bernie Taupin get the They Write The Songs treatment Sunday at 9pm BST on BBC Radio 2. Don't miss it! The episode will also be available on demand shortly after it airs.

Barry turns his attention to the unique collaboration between Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The two writers came together when both responded to the same advertisement in the New Musical Express asking for songwriters. While Taupin wrote lyrics, he couldn’t write melodies and vice versa for Elton John. When both came together, an extraordinary partnership began. There would be no sitting in a room together bashing out songs (as with Carole King and Gerry Goffin or Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) instead Taupin would simply write a lyric and send it to John. Unlike other writers who plan and discuss what kind of song they wanted to write, for Bernie Taupin and Elton John neither knows what the other is writing until the lyric is put on the piano – then inspiration for the melody strikes – or not! As Barry comments ‘It may just be the purest way of collaborating I’ve ever heard of, because you’re not creating with your mind, you’re creating with your gut’.

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