I’m a huge fan of playing music in the background. It’s my way of pretending I’m a star of a tv show (sad, I know). Today, I had Beats 1 Radio playing and at some point “Sick Love” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers started playing. My gut told me that something about the song was familiar. Mind you, at this point I’d only heard the song once, but from one listen I was able to conclude that an element in the verses resembled Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets.” Was Elton John aware? Was he involved?
With this little piece of information, I took to the internet. According to an interview, “Sick Love” was already in progress when the Red Hot Chili Peppers found a similarity to “Bennie and the Jets.” This prompted the band to contact Elton John and propose a collaborative effort – Elton John plays the piano and has writing credit, as does Bernie Taupin.
This discovery prompted me to look into Lady Gaga’s “Girl,” which features Florence Welch and also sounds like “Bennie and the Jets.” “Girl” is a lady anthem depicting one of the most special and often ridiculed friendships. With lines like “we can make it easy if we lift each other” and “help me hold my hair back. walk me home ’cause I can’t find a cab,” you can’t help but find the duet fun and honest. After looking through a few sources, I found no credits to Elton John. The song was written by Mark Ronson, Lady Gaga, and Florence Welch. However, the piano is so similar. I’m surprised there are no credits to John or Taupin. Perhaps I’m missing something, maybe there is some obscure reference I’ve been unable to uncover, or maybe the close relationship between Gaga and John allowed for omission. Who knows! The point is that in a weird way it’s kind of the year of “Bennie and the Jets,” and I want to know if there are any other songs which have been influenced it.