Blue Moves is the eleventh studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in on 22 October 1976. It was also his second double album (afterGoodbye Yellow Brick Road), and his first album released by his own Rocket Records Ltd.

While giving a concert at Wembley Arena to promote the album, John spontaneously announced "I haven't been touring for a long time. It's been a painful decision, whether to come back on the road or not... I've made a decision tonight – this is going to be the last show... There's a lot more to me than playing on the road."[4] He didn't say for how long, but he was serious and temporarily left the touring/live performing scene. Kenny PassarelliCaleb QuayeJames Newton-Howard and Roger Pope left the band after the album's release. Only Davey Johnstone and Ray Cooper returned in limited roles for John's next album, A Single Man.

Despite the album's darker tone and experimental song line-up, it has held up well with critics and in its initial release made it to No. 3 on the album charts, partly on the strength of the album's biggest hit single "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word". (A single version of "Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)" also made it as a top 40 hit). John has played several songs from Blue Moves live. Versions of "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", "Bite Your Lip", "One Horse Town", "Tonight", "Idol" and "Crazy Water" have surfaced in various concert appearances through the years.

John has stated that Blue Moves is one of his favourite albums he has ever recorded.[5] It was Gus Dudgeon's last album produced with John for almost a decade. The cover art for the album is from a painting by British artist Patrick Procktor. In the US, it was certified gold in October and platinum in December 1976 by the RIAA.

"Cage the Songbird" was a tribute to legendary French songstress Edith Piaf, and a year or so later was covered by Kiki Dee on an unreleased Rocket album, which finally was issued in 2008. ("Songbird" originated as part of the Rock of the Westies sessions, but wasn't completed during them, probably because the song's more acoustic, delicate sound didn't fit with the more rock 'n roll approach to the rest of the songs that made the Rock of the Westies final line-up.) The Beach Boys turned down "Chameleon" (which was originally written two years prior to the album's release), but members of the group (including Bruce Johnston and Toni Tennille) turned out to sing backing vocals on John's version. John also performed the song at Wembley Stadium in 1975, where he also performed the Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy album in its entirety. An excerpt from "Out of the Blue" was used for the closing titles on Top Gearup until the end of that Top Gear format (in 2001). This was one of two albums in which Davey Johnstone does not provide backing vocals; 1997's The Big Picture would be the other.


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

Side one[edit]Edit

  1. "Your Starter for..." (Caleb Quaye) – 1:23
  2. "Tonight" – 7:52
  3. "One Horse Town" (John, James Newton-Howard, Taupin) – 5:56
  4. "Chameleon" – 5:27

Side two[edit]Edit

  1. "Boogie Pilgrim" (John, Davey Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 6:05
  2. "Cage the Songbird" (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 3:25
  3. "Crazy Water" – 5:42
  4. "Shoulder Holster" – 5:10

Side three[edit]Edit

  1. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" – 3:48
  2. "Out of the Blue" – 6:14
  3. "Between Seventeen and Twenty" (John, Johnstone, Quaye, Taupin) – 5:17
  4. "The Wide-Eyed and Laughing" (John, Johnstone, Newton-Howard, Quaye, Taupin) – 3:27
  5. "Someone's Final Song" – 4:10

Side four[edit]Edit

  1. "Where's the Shoorah?" – 4:09
  2. "If There's a God in Heaven (What's He Waiting For?)" (John, Johnstone, Taupin) – 4:25
  3. "Idol" – 4:08
  4. "Theme from a Non-Existent TV Series" – 1:19
  5. "Bite Your Lip (Get Up and Dance!)" – 6:43

Initial CD versions of the album maintain the same running order, but omit the following tracks: "Cage the Songbird", "Shoulder Holster", "The Wide-Eyed and Laughing" and "Where's the Shoorah?"

It has since been remastered and re-released as a 2-CD set retaining the original LP track listing.




Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[6] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[7] Gold 157,000[8]
United Kingdom (BPI)[9] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[10] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone xunspecified figures based on certification alone


Chart positions[edit]Edit

Chart (1976–77) Peak position
Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart[11] 8
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[12] 4
Dutch Mega Albums Chart[13] 7
French SNEP Albums Chart[14] 6
Italian Albums Chart[15] 9
Japanese Oricon LP Chart[16] 53
New Zealand Albums Chart[17] 7
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[18] 5
Spanish Albums Chart[19] 10
Swedish Albums Chart[20] 12
UK Albums Chart[21] 3
US Billboard 200[22] 3
West German Media Control Albums Chart[23] 39

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1976) Position
Australian Albums Chart[11] 51
Canadian Albums Chart[24] 34
Dutch Albums Chart[25] 41
French Albums Chart[26] 51
Chart (1977) Position
Australian Albums Chart[11] 61
Canadian Albums Chart[27] 53
Italian Albums Chart[15] 47
U.S. Billboard Pop Albums[28] 80

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