Harmony

Album: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

Songfacts®:

  • In the musical sense, harmony is how notes come together to produce pleasant chord progressions; applied to relationships, it's about compatibility.

    In this song, Harmony could be a lover, or it could be music itself.
  • Running just 2:45, this is the last song on the double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Elton's best-selling studio album and one of his most acclaimed. "Harmony" was used as the B-side of "Bennie And The Jets" but not issued as a single itself. "We could have taken singles off that album for years," Elton said.

    Despite being merely an album cut, "Harmony" gained a fervent following, especially on the New York City radio station WOR, it won the "Battle of the Hits," voted on by listeners, for 33 consecutive weeks.
  • Befitting the title, this song required some rich vocal harmonies, a-la The Beach Boys. Instead of hiring professional singers, Elton used his backing musicians, who proved quite competent: Dee Murray (bass), Davey Johnstone (acoustic guitar) and Nigel Olsson (drums). Del Newman did the orchestral arrangement but didn't sing on the track.
  • Both Elton John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin were in a creative flow when they put this song together. It took Taupin just two-and-a-half weeks to write the lyrics for the 17 songs on the album, and Elton had most of the music done in a matter of days. At the time, John and Taupin were in the middle of a six-year run where they were incredibly prolific, writing lots of songs that were both commercially and artistically successful.
  • The son of Davey Johnstone pieced together the footage from Elton's 1973/74 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road tour to create a video for the song after uncovering it in an attic of one his former tour managers. The clip, which was released in February 2014, captures a never-before-seen meeting between Elton and Stevie Wonder.
  • Just as there was an surge in baby girls named Rhiannon in 1977 and My Sharona in 1980, there was an uptick in girls named Harmony in the mid-'70s. The name waned in popularity in the '90s, but became more popular than ever in the 2010s, as did the name Melody.

Comments: 1

  • Dave C from NycIt wasn’t WOR, it was WPLJ. And it might have been 33 times in one night!
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