"Benny and the Jets" (sometimes calculation "Bennie and also the Jets") is one of Elton John and also Bernie Taupin"s best hits and also most enduring songs. Originally recorded because that John"s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album in 1973, he at first didn"t think the song had legs. As reported by Ultimate classic Rock, John considered the tune to be sort of odd, and was wake up to release it together a single. It wasn"t until an significant Black radio terminal in Detroit started playing the song nonstop the it was released, the very first step to becoming one that the many recognizable songs in history.

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And one factor the song is so recognizable is that oddness. From the first, off-time chord that jumps out of the speakers at precisely the wrong moment to the stomping, robotic rate of the piece, the monster off-beat clapping and also Elton John"s extremely high falsetto (Society that Rock educates us this to be John"s ideal Frankie Valli impersonation), the song is just strange — and as a result, unforgettable.

Despite the fame, plenty of fans don"t understand what the tune is yes, really about. Favor all Elton john songs indigenous the an initial phase the his career, the lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin first, and John included the music and also arrangement later, and also each lugged a subtly various interpretation to the piece. Here"s the true definition behind Elton John"s "Benny and the Jets."


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If you pay fist the text to "Benny and also the Jets," it"s pretty noticeable Taupin is having a laugh end the excesses that the music market circa 1973. Lines prefer "we"ll kill the fatted calf tonight" and also "she"s got electric boots, a mohair fit / you know I review it in a magazine" space cheerful jabs at the mythology and publicity makers behind well-known music acts.


As The Elton John song List writes, the track was conceived together gentle satire, making funny of the method rock stars had become much better known for their fashion and also wild antics than their songwriting or musicianship. This lugged over come the musical layout of the song. As society of rock notes, man arranged the tune as a tribute come the "glam rock" format popularized by acts favor Gary Glitter and also Sweet, bands with over-the-top visuals and epic-sounding songs. The lyrics explain Benny"s watch in lively detail, but her music is described as "solid wall surfaces of sound" doing not have in any kind of sort the detail, underscoring the song"s contempt for the modern-day publicity machine.


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As defined by The Elton John tune List, Bernie Taupin"s songwriting procedure begins through a title. Once he has actually a phrase he thinks will make a an excellent song title, he build lyrics that tell a story about it.


What plenty of fans don"t establish is that the story in "Benny and also the Jets" is science fiction. As reported through Rolling Stone, Taupin said, "I witnessed "Bennie and also the Jets" together a sort of proto-sci-fi punk band fronted by an androgynous woman, who looks prefer something out of a Helmut Newton photograph." The song"s lyrics space from the view of one unnamed superfan the the group who is trying to convince their friends Candy and also Ronnie come go view them perform.

According to society of Rock, once John witnessed the lyrics, he wanted the music to it is in "off the wall." The slow, robotic win is intended come echo Taupin"s vision the a futuristic band. Follow to Esquire, Taupin plan Benny and the jets to be favor "automatons." In fact, Taupin thinks that John"s decision come stutter in the chorus is what make the track a smash, due to the fact that it was "hypnotic" and also matched his futuristic, mechanical based vision.


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Many civilization think that "Benny and the Jets" is a live track, however it"s a studio recording. Together Rolling Stone reports, the audience sounds to be layered on height of the record by producer Gus Dudgeon, taken indigenous a live display John had actually played at The royal Festival hall a few years later.


The live effects were part of the song"s narrative. Together Dudgeon explained on Elton John"s website, the famous, weird first chord, comes in one bar prior to the tune actually starts, caught his ear and also made him think the a live band signaling the crowd that the display was about to begin — which is perfect because that a song around a futuristic band. For this reason Dudgeon spoke through his sound engineers and decided the would work-related to "fake-live" the song.

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According come Ultimate standard Rock, when it came time to include in the audience claps, Dudgeon made sure they emerged on the "on" beat rather of the "off" beat, despite the fact that this cd driver him (and performers) crazy since it deserve to throw the tape off time. But that was how English audiences always did the in concert, and he wanted to remain true to life.