Dan Dare (Pilot Of The Future)

Album: Rock Of The Westies (1975)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • Three years after "Rocket Man," Elton John released this song, which tells the story of a "pilot of the future." The lyric, written as usual by Bernie Taupin, was inspired by Dan Dare, the comic strip character who first appeared in the British Eagle in 1950.
  • Guitarist Davey Johnstone used a talkbox on this track. Although the device had already been around a few years when Rock Of The Westies was released, it did not really catch on until the release of Frampton Comes Alive two years later. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • Recorded at Caribou Ranch studios in Colorado, the album title is a play on the phrase "west of the Rockies," referring to its location.
  • Personnel on this track are:

    Davey Johnstone - guitar
    Caleb Quaye - electric guitar
    Kenny Passarelli - bass
    James Newton Howard - clavinet
    Roger Pope - drums

    Elton's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" duet partner Kiki Dee sang backup along with Quaye, Johnstone, Passarelli and Ann Orson.

Comments: 3

  • Frank Heckert from Wiesbaden, GermanyAs far as I know, Ann Orson is an alias for Elton himself („Carte Blanche“ was Bernie).
  • Michael from Jersey ShoreWith all due respect to both Davey Johnston (yes, I have vivid recall of back to back shows of him with Elton John in the summer of '76 shows at MSG) and the outstanding contribution of Peter Frampton's monumental LIVE recording from Winterland, "Frampton comes alive", I feel two phenomonial musician/guitarists are often overlooked in the "talk-box" discussion. So please try include both legendary singer and songwriters, Joe Walsh (on his extremely influencial, "Rocky Mountain Way") and unsung producer/writer/guitarist and "why isn't he in the Rock 'N Roll hall of fame" SHAME ON ALL, Rick Derringer (Teen Age Love Affair) when mentioning breaking the respective mold of "Talk box" for those who appreciate originators and pure talent in Rock and Roll. Thank you!
  • Paul from Rothesay, Nb, CanadaWe all know that Elton gave us a ton of hit singles during the 70's, but there are so many great album cuts that come to mind as well..."Love Lies Bleeding", "Ticking", "Have Mercy on the Criminal"...the list goes on and on. "Dan Dare" is just another great under-rated Elton classic!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Black Sabbath

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie Combination

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's Songs

Macabre Mother Goose: The Dark Side of Children's SongsSong Writing

"London Bridge," "Ring Around the Rosie" and "It's Raining, It's Pouring" are just a few examples of shockingly morbid children's songs.

Michael Bolton

Michael BoltonSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for this talk with Bolton from the '80s when he was a focused on writing songs for other artists.

Little Big Town

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."

Christmas Songs

Christmas SongsFact or Fiction

Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.