Elton John’s Philadelphia Freedom: #1 This Week – 1975

Hey cats & kittens, let’s check in with the charts and get to rocking on this fine Tuesday morning. One of the biggest musical stars of the 1970s, Elton John, was never very far from the top of the charts throughout the decade.

Elton’s ‘Philadelphia Freedom’ spent two weeks at number one: April 6 – 19 1975, riding the wave of pre-Bicentennial hype. Hit the clicker below to view the English rocker performing on TV’s Soul Train in all his rhinestone glory. I always liked this tune. How about you?

Interesting factoid: ‘Philadelphia Freedom’, released 24 February 1975, featured a duet with John Lennon, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ (Live)’, on the B-side of the single.

“Wiki Quote: Recorded in the summer of 1974, during breaks between the sessions for “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,” the song was at the time the only song Elton and Bernie ever consciously wrote as a single, as Elton told journalist Paul Gambaccini. Elton, looking to honour his friend, tennis professional Billie Jean King, asked Bernie to write a song called “Philadelphia Freedom,” and homage to her tennis team.

Huge glasses? Check! Outrageous hat? Check! Golden Mic? Check! Let's rock.

In “His Song: The Musical History of Elton John,” Elizabeth Rosenthal recounts that Taupin said, “I can’t write a song about tennis,” and didn’t. Taupin maintains that the lyrics bear no relation to tennis, Philly Soul or even flag-waving patriotism. Nonetheless, his words have been interpreted as patriotic and uplifting, and even though released in 1975, the song’s sentiment, intended or not, meshed perfectly with an American music audience already gearing up for the country’s bicentennial celebration in July of the next year.”

(Sources: 1, 2)

This entry was posted in 70s Music and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.