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Elton is the "Bitch." One day when he was in a foul mood, complaining about anything and everything, Bernie Taupin's wife, Maxine, saw him and said "Uh-Oh, the bitch is back." Bernie Taupin writes Elton's lyrics and thought it was a great phrase. He wrote lyrics around it and Elton put it to music.
A lot of radio stations refused to play this because it said "bitch." When it became a hit, a lot of these stations began playing it, but some aired an edited version with the word "bitch" blanked out. This version sounded really dumb because the word is repeated over and over.
Elton: "It is kind of my theme song."
Tower of Power supplied the horns. They are a popular R&B group who did very well in the early '70s with hits like "You're Still A Young Man" and "So Very Hard To Go." Their horn section has played on albums by Santana, Little Feat, Rod Stewart, America, Huey Lewis and many others. Founding member Emilio Castillo told us:
"This is what we do, it's like sweat. It's what we do naturally and the thing that makes us so special. There aren't a lot of horn sections in the world, certainly not a lot of horn sections that have been together doing it as long as we have, that play a signature style like we do. We have a definite style to the way we approach section work, we clip our notes, we get very tight, we've got to have this ESP going between the guys as far as how to interpret certain horn licks." (Check out our interview with Emilio Castillo
. You can learn much more at his website, towerofpower.com
Elton recorded the album in the mountains of Colorado at the Caribou studios owned by Jim Guercio, who was famous for his work with the bands Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago. The album was named after the studio.
They finished the album in about a week because Elton and his band had to leave for a tour.
When Hillary Clinton went to bookstores to promote her autobiography in 2003, a conservative group called The Free Republic staged "audio protests" by playing this and other unflattering songs at her signings.
Elton John performed this with Rihanna at the third annual Fashion Rocks Concert in 2006. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
covered this and incorporated it into the title of her 2013 live album The Bitch is Back... Live
. Turning the song into a guitar-rocker with help from her producer Gary Hoey, Lita felt the song was appropriate to her, as she had returned to the music industry after taking time off to raise her two children.
Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.
Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.
This all-female group of country rockers were on their way to stardom in the '00s, with a Starbucks deal and major label backing.