Elton John was probably the biggest artist in pop music when “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was released, and the song performed as one would expect for the guy who was the mid ‘70s equivalent of…Drake, I guess. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was a massive chart-topper, got nominated for a Grammy, and is one of Elton’s best known songs, despite having never appeared on an Elton studio album. He’s performed it alongside everyone from Miss Piggy to RuPaul.
And while Elton is one of those artists I’ve never been fully able to get on board with (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is the only album of his that I’ve ever found better than average), I have to say that “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” is an unquestionable banger. It’s total ear candy, a perfectly constructed pop song. Perhaps Elton’s finest hour. Certainly Kiki’s finest hour.
NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Backstreet Boys (2018): I’ve never been a huge Backstreet Boys fan, and in 2018 I figured I didn’t give a fuck what they were up to. They were doing Vegas and getting fat and happy. Even when “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” initially came out, I glanced at the video for like 10 seconds and then went back to whatever I was doing. Then my homie Chris played it on my radio show, I heard it over those big studio monitors and I was like “OMGBACKSTREETBOYSWHEREHAVEYOUBEENALLMYLIFE??” This is classic, timeless pop craftsmanship. It’s got 21st century appeal while still being recognizable as coming from the guys that made “I Want It That Way”. Welcome back, guys.