Move over Bohemian Rhapsody, there’s a new favorite biopic in town.
Rocketman is a musical fantasy about the incredible story of Elton John’s breakthrough years. But unlike Bohemian, which used the original Queen recordings with a few occasional mix-ins of other voices, star Taron Egerton performed over 20+ songs for the film.
Taron Egerton and Elton John fans alike will be delighted to hear these reimagined tracks that keep the spirit of the originals alive while adding a fresh new twist. Not only is Taron’s acting is fantastic in the film, it translates so well to the music and you can truly feel the raw emotion that he puts into each recording.
The Soundtrack was helmed by Grammy Award winning producer Giles Martin. If his name looks familiar, it’s because he is the son of Beatles producer George Martin. Completing the full Beatles circle, the recording even took place in the legendary Abbey Road Studios.
I’ve been obsessing over the album since watching and it serves as a great introduction to Elton for those that haven’t heard much of him before.
The Bitch Is Back – Introduction
Briefly starting with dialogue from the movie, the first track starts slow with Taron timidly singing to the traditionally upbeat song. The tempo quickly picks up and Taron’s voice is joined by a chorus and younger Elton actor, Sebastian Rich. The song ends abruptly with more dialogue, but altogether a great introduction to what we can expect.
I Want Love
This is the only song that Taron doesn’t sing in and is my least favorite. It features the voices of Kit Connor (teenage Elton), Gemma Jones (Elton’s grandmother), Bryce Dallas Howard (Elton’s mom), and Steve Mackintosh (Elton’s dad) I don’t mind it in the movie with a visual aid, but it isn’t strong enough to stand alone.
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
This song is forever fighting for its spot as my favorite on the soundtrack. It begins with the voice of Kit Connor, teenage Elton and transitions into young adult Elton as Taron. Coincidentally, this is also one of my favorite scenes in the film. The tracking shots transports you directly into the organized chaos of the movie musical’s choreography.
Thank You For All Your Loving
This is the first song in the soundtrack that is not performed in the film, but only used as background noise as the story continues. It is very well sung and the piano riffs sound great, but I don’t go out of my way to listen to this track.
The first of Elton John’s songs to chart in the United States, this song holds a special spot in the film. This is the first time we are introduced to Elton’s long time writing partner Bernie Taupin. This spiritual song really shows the soulful influence that Bernie injected into his lyrics as well as the alienation that he felt while living in London.
Rock And Roll Madonna – Interlude
As one of the lesser known Elton John songs, the movie really turned me into a fan on this song. It’s so upbeat, you can’t help but bop along to the tune.
Elton John himself has confirmed that this scene almost directly reflects what actually happened in real life. Elton and Bernie are forced to move back in with Elton’s mom after being kicked out of their flat, but are still living together to be close during the music writing process. Bernie writes the lyrics over breakfast, Elton instantly composes the music in the living room, and th rest is history. As music publisher Dick James (Stephen Graham) exclaims in the film, it’s the best thing he’s heard since “Let It Be” and honestly – I agree with him.
I did not know of this song before the movie, and it was a delight. It has a real cowboy vibe, which is perfect for someone with a name like Reginald Dwight. I’m sure the name Amoreena will have a sudden surge of popularity after people hear Taron’s crooning voice.
The first official performance that Elton does in the film and it will truly levitate you to new spirit of being. The piano and ethereal sounding chorus are key in this song. There is so much energy that you just can’t help but feel completely entranced. I want Taron to tour this album across the country just so I can experience this song live. Lordy Mama!
Arguably Elton John’s most popular song, so the pressure was particularly on Taron to not mess this one up. Taron got the official stamp of approval from Elton on how well he adapted this one to fit his smooth yet gravelly voice. For an additional treat, watch Elton sing harmony to Taron’s lead live at Elton John’s AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party back in February below.
Take Me To The Pilot
This song really shows off the range that Taron has with his singing voice. I can’t really describe the roar that Taron puts into his voice while singing this song, but it is a must listen.
A nice song about Elton’s self-proclaimed middle name. Definitely a finger snapper, but was a little bit too long for my taste. This song could have been an interlude.
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Interlude
The timing of this song in the film BREAKS MY HEART! Elton and Kiki are singing don’t go breaking my heart and then suddenly in walks movie villain John Reid to BREAK HIS HEART. I love this song and I love Richard Madden, so I’m completely conflicted on this one.
This song completely outsells all other songs on the album. I am completely obsessed with it. I started dancing to it at 2am when I definitely should have been asleep since I had work in a few hours. I may never get it out of my head and I don’t want it to.
Pinball Wizard – Interlude
This song starts with some dialogue, add a dash of piano, then wizzes through a couple short bars of the song. The range of notes goes from raspy to impeccably high and everything in between.
The title song! A slow build to the chorus was great. The choir and the instruments meld together in an amazing symphony. The cinematography during this song in the film is amazing. It’s going to be a long, long time before people stop talking about this song and the movie itself.
Bennie And The Jets – Interlude
It’s only used as an interlude, but it deserves to be a full song. This is my favorite Elton John song and it’s only a little teaser of the song. So well done, but so much so that I need more. I could listen to this song for hours and hours on end and it still would not be enough.
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
The movie version of this song is sung as a duet with Elton’s briefly featured wife of 4 years, Renate Blauel. This song is completely heartbreaking as a duet, especially when you put the lyrics in the context of what was going on in Elton’s life. If you happen to pick up the Target edition of the soundtrack, it contains 2 bonus tracks. One of which is this song with Taron’s voice only. Someone thankfully uploaded the solo version to YouTube, so you can listen to the bonus track below.
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
This feels like less of a song and more of Taron sadly reflecting to himself. The dialogue at the end was unnecessary and completely took me out of it.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton repeatedly claims that he and Bernie have never had a fight in their decades of friendship. This song challenges that by putting Jamie Bell and Taron Egerton’s vocals in opposition. Jamie begins and has a mid-tempo, smooth verse that he clearly is secure with himself. Taron takes the second verse and struggles to pull himself through the end. It ends with a crescendo of instruments that instill a little bit of hope that he will make it out okay in the end.
I’m Still Standing
The first minute of this song never fails to make me cry. Taron translates the pain and the ability to overcome masterfully. Compare it to the version of the song that Taron sang in the animated movie Sing, and you can’t help but feel proud of how far he’s come. This is the last official song featured in the film, and I’m forever grateful that Elton is still standing.
(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again
The perfect closure for the film and the soundtrack. I found myself crying but ultimately happy that he was able to push past all of that struggle and unhappiness to reach a point in which he loves himself. The fact that Elton is still alive to sing it with Taron is the icing on the cake.
Rocketman is playing now in a theater near you.