The Song Elton John Can’t Wait to Stop Playing
Even some of the biggest rock songs of all time can become displeasing to an artist over many years of performing. For Elton John, there's one song he's seriously over: his 1972 smash hit "Crocodile Rock."
“The last time I have to sing ‘Crocodile Rock,’ I will probably throw a party," the singer said in a new episode of the Deeney Talks podcast. "But people love to hear it. It was written as a kind of joke, as a pastiche, and it became a big hit and people love to sing along with it.”
Knowing the song is a fan favorite at his concerts, John did note that he would continue to play the song until his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour tour ends in 2023.
“Who am I to say, ‘I am not going to play it’? ... I play to amuse people and to entertain people," he said. "But I have to say, when the last show is done at the end of the tour, I will never ever sing that song again.”
Watch Elton John Perform 'Crocodile Rock' on 'The Muppet Show' in 1978
The retirement of "Crocodile Rock" may be coming soon, but it's served the music legend well over the years. When it was released in late 1972 ahead of his 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, the song went to No. 1 in the U.S. and Canada, as well as No. 5 on the U.K. chart.
Lyricist and longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin has also made it known in recent years that while he doesn't regret writing the song, he doesn't see it as his best work. He described it in a 2012 Esquire interview as “a strange dichotomy, because I don't mind having created it, but it's not something I would listen to.”
"I don't want people to remember me for 'Crocodile Rock,'" Taupin said in a 1989 interview with Music Connection magazine. “I'd much rather they remember me for songs like 'Candle in the Wind' and 'Empty Garden,' songs that convey a message ... a feeling. But there are things like 'Crocodile Rock,' which was fun at the time, but it was pop fluff. It was like, 'Okay, that was fun for now, throw it away and here's the next one.’ So there's a certain element of our music that is disposable, but I think you'll find that in anybody's catalog."