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I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues Single.jpg
Single by Elton John
from the album Too Low for Zero
  • "Choc-Ice Goes Mental" (UK)
  • "The Retreat" (US)
ReleasedApril 1983 (UK)
November 1983 (US)
FormatVinyl record (7")
RecordedSeptember 1982
GenreSoft rock
Geffen (US)
Songwriter(s)Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Davey Johnstone
Producer(s)Chris Thomas
Elton John singles chronology
"All Quiet on the Western Front"
"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"
"I'm Still Standing"
Music video
"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" on YouTube

"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" is a song by English singer Elton John, with music by John and Davey Johnstone and lyrics by Bernie Taupin. In the US, it became one of John's biggest hits of the 1980s, holding at #2 for four weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart, and reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song features Stevie Wonder on harmonica. The song received largely favorable reviews, with Bill Janovitz of AllMusic declaring the song "likely to stand the test of time as a standard."[1]

Track listing

US 7" single
  1. "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"
  2. "The Retreat"
UK 7" single
  1. "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"
  2. "Choc Ice Goes Mental"

Song life

The song appeared on the album Too Low for Zero. Released as a single in April 1983, the song reached number five in the UK chart and number four in the US chart six months later. The song was also featured on the film soundtrack to Peter's Friends in 1992.

The original music video, one of twenty directed for John by Australian Russell Mulcahy,[2] tells the story of two 1950s-era young lovers who are separated when the man is forced to leave for National Service, depicting the trials and tribulations he experiences there, and then are finally reunited at the end of the song. It was filmed in the Rivoli Ballroom in London and is marked as one of the few times John has been filmed or videotaped without wearing his trademark glasses.

The song was later performed live by Mary J. Blige and Elton John, and this version of the song was part of the Mary J. Blige & Friends EP. A live version of the song with Mary J. Blige also appeared on John's One Night Only – The Greatest Hits live compilation, recorded in Madison Square Garden in October 2000. Another live version, this one featuring just Elton John and basic rhythm section, was recorded live in Verona in 1996 during John's appearance with Luciano Pavarotti as part of the master tenor's Pavarotti and Friends for War Child benefit concerts.

John has performed the song, a fan favourite, live numerous times, occasionally playing it as part of a medley with his hit "Blue Eyes" (from the 1982 album Jump Up!).

The song was covered by James Blunt and released in the UK on the compilation album BBC Radio 2: Sounds of the 80s on 7 November 2014.[3]

Canadian singer Alessia Cara covered the song for the 2018 tribute album Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.


Chart (1983-1984) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[4] 4
Germany (Media Control AG)[5] 22
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[6] 48
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[7] 12
South Africa (RISA)[8] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[9] 12
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 5
Zimbabwe Singles (ZIMA)[11] 1
Chart (1984) Peak
Canadian Adult Contemporary[12] 1
Canadian Top Singles[13] 9
US Billboard Hot 100[14] 4



  1. ^ I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Russell Mulcahy". Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  3. ^ "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues". iTunes. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ "Chartverfolgung / JOHN, ELTON / Single" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  6. ^ " – Elton John – I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  7. ^ " – Elton John – I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues". Top 40 Singles.
  8. ^ ""I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" on the South African Singles Chart". Springbok Radio. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  9. ^ "Elton John – I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues –". Singles Top 75. Hung Medien.
  10. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
  12. ^ "Contemporary Adult". RPM. 39 (22). 4 February 1984. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  13. ^ "50 Singles". RPM. 39 (23). 11 February 1984. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  14. ^ "Elton John Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 December 2018, at 05:00
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