Saturday Open Thread | Elton John Week

Good Morning. I hope you’re enjoying time this weekend with family and friends.

We conclude today the Sir Elton John Week. I hope you’ve enjoyed the music by this very talented man.

1990s: “Sacrifice” to Aida (1990–1999)

In 1990, John finally achieved his first UK number one hit on his own, with “Sacrifice” (coupled with “Healing Hands”) from the previous year’s album Sleeping with the Past; it would stay at the top spot for six weeks.[56] The following year, John’s “Basque” won the Grammy for Best Instrumental, and a guest concert appearance he had made on George Michael’s cover of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” was released as a single and topped the charts in both the US and UK.[57] At the 1991 Brit Awards in London, Elton John won the award for Best British Male.[58]

In 1992 he released the US number 8 album The One, featuring the hit song “The One”.[59][60] John and Taupin then signed a music publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music for an estimated $39 million over 12 years, giving them the largest cash advance in music publishing history.[61] In April 1992, John appeared at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, performing “The Show Must Go On” with the remaining members of Queen, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses and Queen.[62] In September, John performed “The One” at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, and also closed the ceremony performing “November Rain” with Guns N’ Roses.[63] The following year, he released Duets, a collaboration with 15 artists including Tammy Wynette and RuPaul. This also included a new collaboration with Kiki Dee, entitled “True Love”, which reached the Top 10 of the UK charts.[64]

Along with Tim Rice, Elton John wrote the songs for the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King, which became the 3rd highest-grossing animated feature of all time.[65] At the 67th Academy Awards ceremony, The Lion King provided three of the five nominees for the Academy Award for Best Song, which John won with “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”.[66] Both that and “Circle of Life” became hit songs for John.[67][68] “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” would also win Elton John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 37th Grammy Awards.[66] After the release of the The Lion King soundtrack, the album remained at the top of Billboard’s charts for nine weeks. On 10 November 1999, the RIAA certified The Lion King “Diamond” for selling 15 million copies.[3]


Early in 1997 John held a 50th birthday party, costumed as Louis XIV, for 500 friends. John also performed with the surviving members of Queen in Paris at the opening night (17 January 1997) of Le Presbytère N’a Rien Perdu De Son Charme Ni Le Jardin De Son Éclat, a work by French ballet legend Maurice Béjart which draws upon AIDS and the deaths of Freddie Mercury and the company’s principal dancer Jorge Donn. Later in 1997, two close friends died: designer Gianni Versace was murdered; Diana, Princess of Wales died in a Paris car crash on 31 August.[72]


“Candle in the Wind 1997”

In early September, John contacted his writing partner Bernie Taupin, asking him to revise the lyrics of his 1973 song “Candle in the Wind” to honour Diana, and Taupin rewrote the song accordingly.[73] On 6 September 1997, John performed “Candle in the Wind 1997” at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in Westminster Abbey.[74] The song became the fastest, and biggest-selling single of all time, eventually selling over 33 million copies worldwide.[3][75][76] The best-selling single in UK Chart history, it sold 4.86 million copies in the UK.[77] The best-selling single in Billboard history, and the only single ever certified Diamond in the United States, the single sold over 11 million copies in the U.S.[78][79] The song proceeds of approximately £55 million were donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. It would win John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 40th Grammy Awards ceremony in 1998.[76] John has publicly performed “Candle in the Wind 1997” only once, at Diana’s funeral, vowing never to perform it again unless asked by Diana’s sons.[80]

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25 Responses to Saturday Open Thread | Elton John Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Today Jonah Goldberg Explains It All

    By Charles P. Pierce

    at 3:42PM

    For a little light reading, on a light posting day, and in an effort to walk off yesterday’s feast, I wandered down along the docks of Blogistan until I came upon an interesting troupe of sidewalk buskers among whom was a noted public intellectual, and he was engaged in an elaborate performance piece entitled, “Giving Republicans Negro Lessons.” I stopped and watched the show for a while.

    If the GOP wants to win more black votes, it will need to get a lot more “racist.” The scare quotes are necessary because I don’t think the Republican Party is racist now (and, historically, the GOP has a lot less to answer for than the Democratic Party does). But that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from slandering Republicans as racist for one reason or another.

    One, I think that first sentence is what public intellectuals who don’t owe their jobs to their vulpine mommies would call a “paradox.” Two, thank you, on behalf of your primary audience, for explaining the function of “scare quotes.” Many of them likely spent several seconds spraying Windex on their monitor screens trying to get the tiny spots off. (Also, historically, not since about 1962, it doesn’t.) One reason: birtherism. Another reason: John Sununu.

    Blah, blah, blah. Susan Rice. Baseless claims of racism. Benghazi. Colin Powell — whom Republicans despise — and Condoleeza Rice, beeyotches! Scoreboard! You gonna finish that?

    No, really, do go on.

    Read more: Jonah Godberg Republicans Black Vote – Today Jonah Goldberg Explains It All – Esquire

  2. rikyrah says:

    How fighting income inequality became Obama’s driving force

    By Zachary A. Goldfarb,

    Published: November 23

    When Barack Obama published his autobiography, “Dreams From My Father,” about racial identity in 1995, he talked with his neighborhood newspaper in Illinois, the Hyde Park Citizen, about the economic disparities he had seen while exploring the world as a child and young adult.

    “My travels made me sensitive to the plight of those without power and the issues of class and inequalities as it relates to wealth and power,” he said in that interview. “Anytime you have been overseas in these so-called third world countries, one thing you see is a vast disparity of wealth of those who are part of the power structure and those outside of it.”

    That sensitivity to inequality has stuck with Obama throughout his rise in politics, from Chicago’s South Side all the way to the White House. He remains largely a pragmatist in his approach to governing. But beneath his tactical maneuvering lies a consistent and unifying principle: to use the powers of his office to shrink the growing gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Can’t find a job? Move overseas.

    By Emily Matchar,

    Published: November 23

    Emily Matchar, author of “Homeward Bound: The New Cult of Domesticity,” is a freelance writer in Hong Kong.

    After applying for 279 jobs over two years, my husband finally got the offer he’d been hoping for: a well-paid position teaching philosophy at a respected university. We should have been thrilled. There was just one little thing.

    The job was in Hong Kong.

    “I feel like we’re being deported from our own country,” my husband said.

    “It’ll be an adventure,” I replied, trying to sound game.

    “I wasn’t looking for an adventure,” he said. “I was just looking for a job.”

    We didn’t know we would be part of a wave of educated young Americans heading overseas in search of better employment opportunities. According to State Department estimates, 6.3 million Americans are studying or working abroad, the highest number ever recorded. What’s more, the percentage of Americans ages 25 to 34 who are planning to move overseas has quintupled in two years, from less than 1 percent to 5.1 percent. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 40 percent are interested in moving abroad, up from 12 percent in 2007.

    In the past, Americans often took foreign jobs for the adventure or because their career field demanded overseas work. Today, these young people are leaving because they can’t find jobs in the United States. They’re leaving because the jobs they do find often don’t offer benefits such as health insurance. They’re leaving because the gloomy atmosphere of the American economy makes it hard to break through with a new innovative idea or business model. “This is a huge movement,” says Bob Adams, president and chief executive of America Wave, an organization that studies overseas relocation.

    Stories like ours are everywhere.

    When Liz Jackson, 31, earned her PhD in educational policy from the University of Illinois, she hoped to find a job as an assistant professor. She applied for about 50 jobs in 2010. But U.S. colleges and universities were shrinking; layoffs and hiring freezes were rampant. Jackson’s only nibbles of interest came from the Middle East and Asia.

    She ended up taking a position as an administrator at a university in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. There, in addition to a tax-free salary of $45,000, she was given a three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment to live in rent-free, plane tickets for her and her husband to visit the United States every year, 44 annual paid vacation days, an $8,000 moving allowance, and a promise to help find a job for her husband, who’s a physicist. Plus, there was great health insurance, with no co-pays, dirt-cheap drugs and free dental coverage. This was a major draw for many of Jackson’s friends, almost all of whom are fellow Americans.

    “We can pay off our student loans in the next six years,” Jackson says. Together, she and her husband owe about $200,000. “That would be impossible in the United States.”

    Jackson estimates that half of her graduate school classmates in the United States are underemployed or employed in jobs far different fromprofessions they trained for. Still, her family has a hard time understanding why she and her husband chose to live abroad. “They didn’t believe us when we said we can’t get a job” in the United States that’s competitive, she says. “Not only can we not get jobs in the U.S., but even if we did, we’d be taking a serious pay cut.”

  4. rikyrah says:

    November 24, 2012

    The E-Mail of Doom

    Here’s the kind of email from Dad that you don’t want to get. A British father, retired from the Royal Navy, sent this to his three (sort of) adult children after what must have been a very dismal evening together:

    Dear All Three

    With last evening’s crop of whinges and tidings of more rotten news for which you seem to treat your mother like a cess-pit, I feel it is time to come off my perch.

    It is obvious that none of you has the faintest notion of the bitter disappointment each of you has in your own way dished out to us. We are seeing the miserable death throes of the fourth of your collective marriages at the same time we see the advent of a fifth…

    Fulfilling careers based on your educations would have helped — but as yet none of you is what I would confidently term properly self-supporting. Which of you, with or without a spouse, can support your families, finance your home and provide a pension for your old age? Each of you is well able to earn a comfortable living and provide for your children, yet each of you has contrived to avoid even moderate achievement. Far from your children being able to rely on your provision, they are faced with needing to survive their introduction to life with you as parents…

    He concludes, after noting that the kids have made a series of poor “copulation driven” decisions at key turning points in their lives, with this plea:

    I can now tell you that I for one, and I sense Mum feels the same, have had enough of being forced to live through the never-ending bad dream of our children’s underachievement and domestic ineptitudes. I want to hear no more from any of you until, if you feel inclined, you have a success or an achievement or a REALISTIC plan for the support and happiness of your children to tell me about. I don’t want to see your mother burdened any more with your miserable woes — it’s not as if any of the advice she strives to give you has ever been listened to with good grace — far less acted upon. So I ask you to spare her further unhappiness. If you think I have been unfair in what I have said, by all means try to persuade me to change my mind. But you won’t do it by simply whingeing and saying you don’t like it. You’ll have to come up with meaty reasons to demolish my points and build a case for yourself. If that isn’t possible, or you simply can’t be bothered, then I rest my case.

    I am bitterly, bitterly disappointed.


  5. Texas A&M is kicking Missouri’s ass. 42 -10

    My boys are at the game and probably have lost their voices by now. They’re huge Aggie fans!

  6. rikyrah says:

    Two Views of the Election

    by BooMan
    Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 09:30:41 AM EST

    Kimberly Strassel and Rahm Emanuel have very different messages. Ms. Strassel, writing in the Wall Street Journal, warns conservatives that the president’s superior turnout operation is not responsible for his victory and that the Republicans cannot win future elections simply by matching the Democrats’ technical expertise. To win, the GOP must compete for Hispanic votes, and that means going in to Latino communities and talking to them.
    Mayor Emanuel agrees that the turnout machine didn’t win the election for the Democrats but he doesn’t agree that the victory was preordained by demography and the Republicans’ weakness with minority voters. Emanuel emphasizes that the Republicans can improve their turnout efforts and they can change their strategies to attract more Latinos. To continue their successes, the Democrats needs to realize that they won because of the superiority of their ideas.

    Of course, Mayor Emanuel lays out a series of “Democratic” ideas, some of which aren’t too popular with the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. Yet, his argument against complacency is a good one. The Democrats can’t take voters for granted or think that their organizational advantages are carved in stone. Where he and Ms. Strassel share a viewpoint is their belief that demography doesn’t have to be destiny. The Republicans can adapt.

    Ms. Strassel emphasizes the demographic nature of the Republicans’ defeat, but only in order to argue that it must be addressed. She doesn’t say so explicitly, but it’s clear that she thinks nominating a Latino to run on the ticket is no substitute for community engagement. She wants Republicans on the ground in Latino communities, talking to people and getting supporters registered to vote. This would also be true for the growing Asian communities, and even to a degree in black communities.

    What we are not hearing is any arguments from conservatives that they can continue on as before if only they can disenfranchise and discourage enough minority voters. No doubt, we will see some of this in practice. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker seems intent on rolling back 40 years of same-day registration in his state, for example. Shrinking and skewing the electorate didn’t work for the Republicans in 2012, but that doesn’t mean they will give up on the effort. The difference is that no one is willing to argue that these efforts at voter suppression will be sufficient to overcome their weaknesses with minority voters.

    What also goes largely unmentioned is that much of the energy and purpose of the conservative base comes from a deep antipathy for brown people and the browning of America. Many conservatives not only do not want to extend citizenship rights to undocumented Latinos, they want to make their lives so miserable that they will self-deport. If this view were not popular on the right, Mitt Romney would not have adopted it (successfully) in the Republican primaries. Here is how Colin Powell’s former chief of staff Lawrence Wilkerson explained the problem during the campaign.

    My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people — not all of them, but most of them — who are still basing their decisions on race,” Wilkerson told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz. “Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander in chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that’s despicable.”

    If we are going for candor, the same attitude extends to the growing Latino community in this country, whether they are here legally or not. And that is why it is no simple matter for the Republican Party to adopt a more welcoming tone to Latinos. While a new attitude might reduce the degree to which the GOP loses the Latino vote, it will come at the cost of alienating some of the party’s most ardent and dedicated supporters. Whether that manifests itself as xenophobic primary challenges or simply depressed turnout, it presents a real problem for Republican politicians.

    Nor can the Republicans kid themselves that acquiescing to a comprehensive immigration reform that creates millions of new Latino voters will redound to their political advantage. Even if they went from losing 71% of the Latino vote to losing 51%, more Latino voters would still mean more votes for the Democrats so long as the GOP doesn’t evolve on social and domestic policy.

    The Republicans should not agree to comprehensive immigration reform because they think it will benefit them politically. They should agree to it because it is the humane thing to do. Their brand of conservatism has an expiration date no matter what they do.

    In a way, both Strassel and Emanuel are correct. The Dems won because they have better ideas and the Republicans lost because they did so poorly with minorities. If the GOP wants to win the presidency any time soon, they have to fix both problems. The Democrats should not assume that they won’t.

  7. rikyrah says:

    Casual Observation

    by BooMan
    Sat Nov 24th, 2012 at 11:49:16 AM EST

    I think Sen. Patty Murray’s time has come. She’ll be taking over the gavel of the Budget Committee from Kent Conrad in January, and she just presided over the reelection of every Democratic incumbent as chairwoman of the DSCC. She’ll also have a bunch of new women to work with who she recruited and helped win election: Mazie Hirono, Heidi Heitkamp, Elizabeth Warren, and Tammy Baldwin. A lot of people are indebted to Sen. Murray and she is carrying a lot of water. Her counterpart in the House, the zombie-eyed granny starver Paul Ryan, is going to have his hands full

  8. majiir says:

    Elton John is a great performer, musician, and songwriter. I’ll always remember his song, “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” which, iirc, it has been said that he wrote for his son when he was very young.

  9. Puppet Dancing in South Africa

  10. Obama fashion line brings in $40 million

    Anna Wintour is officially a political-fundraising groundbreaker.

    The Vogue editor’s “Runway to win” initiative — which had famous designers like Tory Burch and Marc Jacobs creating bags, shirts and other gear for the Obama campaign — brought in a lot more dough than some predicted.

    Campaign manager Jim Messina tells Bloomberg Businessweek that the venture, which had been mocked by some pundits, raised “just north of $40 million.”

    “Republicans and other folks (cough, cough) got plenty of laughs at the campaign’s expense. And it was a little ridiculous,” Bloomberg’s Joshua Green writes.

    “But clearly the Obama folks and Wintour have had the last laugh: For any campaign, $40 million is serious money. And the successful fashion gambit would seem to open up all kinds of possibilities for future campaigns: Perhaps Chris Christie-branded bibs or fleeces, or maybe a line of signature Hillary Clinton pantsuits by Vera Wang.”

  11. 3Chics,

    SG2 is feeling sad this morning. The house is quiet. Everyone has left. It’s lonely without them.

    Crying and blowing nose

  12. ___________________

    What’s wrong with Mitt’s hair? Seeking attention?

  13. Good morning, everyone!

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