Bernie Taupin
Overview
Bernard John "Bernie" Taupin (born 22 May 1950) is an English lyricist
Lyricist
A lyricist is a songwriter who specializes in lyrics. A singer who writes the lyrics to songs is a singer-lyricist. This differentiates from a singer-composer, who composes the song's melody.-Collaboration:...

, poet, and singer, best known for his long-term collaboration with Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

, writing the lyrics for the majority of the star's songs, making his lyrics some of the best known in pop-rock's history.

In 1967, Taupin answered an advertisement in England's music paper New Musical Express that was seeking new songwriters.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Bernard John "Bernie" Taupin (born 22 May 1950) is an English lyricist
Lyricist
A lyricist is a songwriter who specializes in lyrics. A singer who writes the lyrics to songs is a singer-lyricist. This differentiates from a singer-composer, who composes the song's melody.-Collaboration:...

, poet, and singer, best known for his long-term collaboration with Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

, writing the lyrics for the majority of the star's songs, making his lyrics some of the best known in pop-rock's history.

In 1967, Taupin answered an advertisement in England's music paper New Musical Express that was seeking new songwriters. Around the same time Elton John submitted samples of his work to the paper, and the pair were brought together, collaborating on many projects since.

Birth and childhood

Much of Taupin's childhood is reflected in his lyrics and poetry. He was born at Flatters Farmhouse which is located between the village of Anwick
Anwick
Anwick is a small village in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England, north east of Sleaford on the A153 between Sleaford and Billinghay.-History:Two glacial erratic boulders, the Drake Stones, lie next to the churchyard....

 and the town of Sleaford
Sleaford
Sleaford is a town in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It is located thirteen miles northeast of Grantham, seventeen miles west of Boston, and nineteen miles south of Lincoln, and had a total resident population of around 14,500 in 6,167 households at the time...

 in the southern part of Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire
Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

, England. Of French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 ancestry, his father was educated in Dijon
Dijon
Dijon is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Burgundy region.Dijon is the historical capital of the region of Burgundy. Population : 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 for the greater Dijon area....

 and was employed as a stockman by a large farm estate near the town of Market Rasen
Market Rasen
Market Rasen is a town and civil parish within the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. It lies on the River Rase northeast of Lincoln, east of Gainsborough and southwest of Grimsby. According to the 2001 census, it has a population of 3,200....

 and his mother worked as a nanny, having previously lived in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The family later relocated to Rowston Manor, a significant step up from Flatters Farmhouse which had no electricity.

Taupin's father decided to try his hand at independent farming and the family relocated again to the run-down Maltkiln Farm. in the north-Lincolnshire village of Owmby-by-Spital. Taupin's 11-year younger brother, Kit, was born here.

Bernie attended school at Market Rasen Secondary Modern. Unlike his older brother Tony who attended a Grammar School, Taupin was not a diligent student, although he showed an early flair for writing. At age 15, he left school and started work as a trainee in the print room of the local newspaper The Lincolnshire Standard with aspirations to be a journalist. He soon left and spent the rest of his teenage years hanging out with friends, hitchhiking the country roads to attend youth club dances in the surrounding villages, playing snooker in the Aston Arms Pub in Market Rasen and drinking. He had worked at several part-time, dead-end jobs when, at age 17, he answered an advertisement that eventually led to his collaboration with Elton John.

Early influences

Taupin's mother had studied French Literature and his maternal grandfather "Poppy" was a classics teacher and graduate of Cambridge University
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

. They taught him an appreciation for nature and for literature and narrative poetry, both of which influenced his early lyrics. Taupin's upbringing also influenced his lyrics - in songs such as "Lady, What's Tomorrow?", "Your Song
Your Song
"Your Song" is a ballad composed and performed by English musician Elton John with lyrics by his long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin. It appeared on John's self-titled second album in 1970....

" and "Country Comfort". Taupin's unique blend of influences gave his early lyrics a nostalgic romanticism that fit perfectly with the hippie sensibilities of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Taupin sometimes wrote about specific places in Lincolnshire. For example, "Grimsby" on Caribou
Caribou (album)
Caribou is the 8th studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1974 . It was John's 4th chart-topping album in the U.S. and his 3rd in the U.K. The album contains the singles, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", which reached # 16 in the UK Singles Chart and # 2 in the U.S.,...

was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to a nearby port town
Grimsby
Grimsby is a seaport on the Humber Estuary in Lincolnshire, England. It has been the administrative centre of the unitary authority area of North East Lincolnshire since 1996...

 often visited by Taupin and his friends. More famously, "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
"Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" is a rock song performed by musician Elton John and covered by W.A.S.P., Flotsam and Jetsam, Nickelback , Queen and The Who...

" was inspired by Taupin's experiences in the dance halls and pubs of his youth. More often he wrote in more general autobiographical terms, as in his reference to hitching rides home in "Country Comfort." These autobiographical references to his rural upbringing continued after his departure for London and a life in show business, with songs such as "Honky Cat
Honky Cat
"Honky Cat" is a song from the 1972 Elton John album Honky Château, the album's lead-off track.A fast, spirited number played without any guitar, with Davey Johnstone playing banjo instead, "Honky Cat" is essentially about the illusion created by city life...

" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (song)
"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is a ballad performed by musician Elton John. The song was written by Bernie Taupin and composed by John for his album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Its musical style and production is heavily influenced by 1970s soft rock...

", in which he thinks about "going back to my plough."

Taupin's most important influence was his interest in America's Old West, imbuing Tumbleweed Connection
Tumbleweed Connection
Tumbleweed Connection is the third album by English international recording artist Elton John. It is a concept album based on the Country and Western/Americana themes. All songs are written by Bernie Taupin and Elton John with the exception of "Love Song" by Lesley Duncan. It was recorded at...

and recent songs such as "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore
This Train Don't Stop There Anymore
"This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" is a 2001 song performed by Elton John. The song was written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. In the video, a younger John is played by Justin Timberlake dressed in outfits typical of John in the 1970s...

". When Taupin and Elton decided to write an autobiographical album in 1975, Taupin dubbed himself "The Brown Dirt Cowboy", in contrast to Elton's "Captain Fantastic."

Collaboration with Elton John

In 1967 Taupin answered an advertisement for talent placed in the New Musical Express by Liberty records
Liberty Records
Liberty Records was a United States-based record label. It was started by chairman Simon Waronker in 1955 with Al Bennett as president and Theodore Keep as chief engineer. It was reactivated in 2001 in the United Kingdom and had two previous revivals.-1950s:...

 A&R
A&R
Artists and repertoire is the division of a record label that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label.- Finding talent :...

 man Ray Williams
Ray Williams (producer)
Ray Williams, , is an A&R music producer/ publisher. He is best known as the man who discovered Elton John and introduced him to lyric writer Bernie Taupin...

 who was searching for new talent. Elton John answered the same advert and although neither Bernie nor Elton passed the audition for Liberty Records Ray Williams recognised their respective talents and put them in touch with each other. The pair have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. The team took some time off from each other for a while between 1977 and 1979, while Taupin worked with other songwriters, including Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades...

, and John worked with other lyricists, including Gary Osborne
Gary Osborne
Gary Osborne is an English singer and songwriter from the United Kingdom.-Career:Osborne was born in London, educated in Switzerland, and followed his father into the music industry at the age of fifteen....

 and Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson
Tom Robinson is an English singer-songwriter, bassist and radio presenter, better known for the hits "Glad to Be Gay", "2-4-6-8 Motorway", and "Don't Take No for an Answer", with his Tom Robinson Band...

. (The 1978 single-only A side "Ego" was their only collaboration of note during the period, although John/Taupin B-sides such as "Lovesick" and "I Cry at Night" were issued with the respective singles "Song for Guy" and "Part-time Love" from the album A Single Man.)

John and Taupin resumed writing together on (at first) an occasional basis in 1980, with Taupin contributing only three or four lyrics each on albums such as The Fox
The Fox (album)
The Fox is the 15th studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1981. The track "Elton's Song" was banned from radio play in some countries due to its content, which included references to homosexuality...

, 21 at 33
21 at 33
-Side two:...

and Jump Up!
Jump Up!
Jump Up! is the 16th studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1982 on Rocket Records except in the US and Canada, where it was released on Geffen Records. It features such songs as "Empty Garden ", a tribute to John Lennon...

However, by 1983's Too Low for Zero
Too Low for Zero
Too Low for Zero is the 17th studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1983. For the first time since Blue Moves in 1976, all lyrics were written by Bernie Taupin, who has continued in this role to the present day. At the insistence of Taupin, John decided to go back to...

, the two renewed their partnership on a full-time basis and from that point forward Taupin was again John's primary lyricist. (John often works with other lyricists on specific theatrical or film projects such as 1993's The Lion King
The Lion King
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series...

, which featured lyrics by Tim Rice
Tim Rice
Sir Timothy Miles Bindon "Tim" Rice is an British lyricist and author.An Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning lyricist, Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus...

.)

Taupin's lyrics include such tunes as "Rocket Man", "Levon", "Crocodile Rock", "Honky Cat", "Tiny Dancer
Tiny Dancer
"Tiny Dancer" is a 1971 song by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It appears on John's fourth album, Madman Across the Water, and was released as a single in 1972...

", "Candle in the Wind
Candle in the Wind
"Candle in the Wind" is a song with music by Elton John and lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It was originally written in 1973, in honour of Marilyn Monroe, who had died 11 years earlier....

", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", "Bennie and the Jets
Bennie and the Jets
"Bennie and the Jets" is a song composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The song is written in the key of G major and first appeared on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album in 1973. "Bennie and the Jets" has been one of John's most popular songs....

", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, released in 1973, is the seventh studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John. It has come to be regarded as Elton John's best and most popular album, and is his best selling studio album with worldwide sales of at least 15 million copies.Recorded at the Château...

", "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is the first single from British musician Elton John's 1974 album Caribou; it was released that year during the latter half of May in the United Kingdom, and on 10 June in the United States.-Lyrics and music:...

", "The Bitch is Back", "Daniel
Daniel (song)
"Daniel" was a major hit song by Elton John. It appeared on the 1973 album Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player. It was written by John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin. In the United States the song reached #2 on the pop charts and #1 on the adult contemporary charts for two weeks in the spring...

", and 1970's "Your Song
Your Song
"Your Song" is a ballad composed and performed by English musician Elton John with lyrics by his long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin. It appeared on John's self-titled second album in 1970....

", their first hit. Hits in the 1980s include "I'm Still Standing
I'm Still Standing
"I'm Still Standing" is a song on English pop rock performer Elton John's 1983 album, Too Low for Zero. He sings about making a comeback despite problems in daily life. The video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was shot in Cannes and Nice on the Côte d'Azur in France and features the colours of the...

", "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" is a song by British singer Elton John featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica...

", "Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
"Sad Songs " is a song by Elton John from the 1984 album Breaking Hearts. It is the closing track. It reached the number 5 position on the U.S. chart. The lyrics describe how you sometimes need to listen to old radio blues classics when you're feeling down, or when someone beloved has left you...

", and "Nikita." In the 1990s, Taupin and John had more hits, including "The One", "Simple Life", "The Last Song" and "Believe." In September 1997, Taupin rewrote the lyrics of "Candle in the Wind" (for "Candle in the Wind 1997
Candle in the Wind 1997
"Candle in the Wind 1997" is a rewritten and rerecorded version of Elton John's own 1973 hit "Candle in the Wind" that was released as a tribute single to the late Diana, Princess of Wales....

") in tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

.
The 1991 film documentary Two Rooms described the John/Taupin writing style, which involves Taupin writing the lyrics on his own and John then putting them to music, with no further interaction between the two. This however was a process that was to change considerably over the years. The process is still fundamentally the same, with John composing to Taupin's words, but the two interact on songs far more today, with Taupin joining John in the studio as the songs are written and occasionally during recording sessions.

Taupin and John had their first Broadway musical open in March 2006 with Lestat: The Musical. Taupin wrote lyrics for 10 songs (and an 11th completed non-album track "Across the River Thames") for John's 2006 album The Captain & The Kid
The Captain & The Kid
The Captain & the Kid is the twenty-ninth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 2006. It is his second autobiographical album with lyricist Bernie Taupin, picking up where 1975's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy left off...

(sequel to Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is the ninth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1975. It debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Pop Albums chart, the first album ever to do so, and stayed there for seven weeks. It was certified Gold on 5/21/1975 and was...

) and appeared on the cover with him for the first time marking their 40th anniversary of working together. ("Across the River Thames" was issued as an Internet-only download as a bonus with certain editions of The Captain and the Kid.) On 25 March 2007 Taupin made a surprise appearance at John's 60th birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden, often abbreviated as MSG and known colloquially as The Garden, is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the New York City borough of Manhattan and located at 8th Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets, situated on top of Pennsylvania Station.Opened on February 11, 1968, it is the...

, briefly discussing their 40-year songwriting partnership. Of Taupin's importance to their careers, as recorded on the Elton 60 - Live at Madison Square Garden
Elton 60 - Live at Madison Square Garden
Elton 60 – Live at Madison Square Garden is a 2-disc DVD release, starring Elton John performing some of his biggest hits and even several fan favorites. The release features appearances onstage by comedians Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg, as well as special remarks to the audience by lyricist...

DVD, John told the audience that without Taupin there probably wouldn't be an Elton John as the public has come to know him. Taupin and John also composed several songs for "The Union," a collaboration album between Elton and his longtime hero Leon Russell
Leon Russell
Claude Russell Bridges , known professionally as Leon Russell, is an American musician and songwriter, who has recorded as a session musician, sideman, and maintained a solo career in music....

 released in October 2010. They also collaborated on five original songs for the Miramax movie Gnomeo and Juliet
Gnomeo and Juliet
Gnomeo & Juliet is a 2011 computer-animated family comedy film based on William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. The film is directed by Kelly Asbury, and the two main characters are voiced by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. The film was released on , 2011.-Plot:Mrs. Montague and Mr. Capulet are...

, released in February 2011.

Collaboration with other artists

In addition to writing for Elton John, Taupin has also written lyrics for use by other composers, with notable successes including "We Built This City
We Built This City
"We Built This City" is the title of a song written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf, and originally recorded by the American pop rock group Starship and released as its debut single on August 1, 1985....

", which was recorded by Starship
Jefferson Airplane
Jefferson Airplane was an American rock band formed in San Francisco in 1965. A pioneer of the psychedelic rock movement, Jefferson Airplane was the first band from the San Francisco scene to achieve mainstream commercial and critical success....

, and "These Dreams
These Dreams
"These Dreams" is a song by the rock band Heart released in 1986 from their 1985 self-titled album. It was the first song by the band to become a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.-Origin of the song:...

", recorded by Heart
Heart (band)
Heart is an American rock band who first found success in Canada. Throughout several lineup changes, the only two members remaining constant are sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson. The group rose to fame in the 1970s with their music being influenced by hard rock as well as folk music...

. In 1978, he co-wrote the album From the Inside with Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper
Alice Cooper is an American rock singer, songwriter and musician whose career spans more than four decades...

. Taupin has also sat in the producer's chair, helming American Gothic
American Gothic (album)
American Gothic is the third album by singer-songwriter David Ackles, released in 1972. It was produced by Bernie Taupin and conducted by Robert Kirby....

for singer-songwriter David Ackles
David Ackles
David Thomas Ackles was an American singer-songwriter. He recorded four albums between 1968 and 1973.Describing Ackles's style in 2003, critic Colin McElligatt wrote, "An unlikely clash of anachronistic show business and modern-day lyricism...deeply informs his recorded output...

. Released in 1972, it did not enjoy big sales, but the album was highly acclaimed by music critics in the US and UK. The influential British music critic Derek Jewell
Derek Jewell
Derek Jewell, was a British writer, broadcaster and music critic. A music critic for the London Sunday Times for twenty-three years, Jewell wrote extensively about jazz, and also introduced British audiences avant garde jazz, rock and improvisational music, especially through live performances on...

 of the UK Sunday Times described the album as being "the Sgt. Pepper of folk." Of Ackles' four albums, it was the only one recorded in England rather than in the United States. Taupin and Ackles had become acquainted when Ackles was selected to be the co-headlining act for Elton John's 1970 American debut at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Taupin was mentioned specifically as being one of the reasons American Gothic was selected by the writers and editors for inclusion in the book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

In 2002, Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson
Willie Hugh Nelson is an American country music singer-songwriter, as well as an author, poet, actor, and activist. The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie , combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger and Stardust , made Nelson one of the most recognized...

 and Kid Rock
Kid Rock
Robert James "Bob" Ritchie , known by his stage name Kid Rock, is an American singer-songwriter, musician and rapper with five Grammy Awards nominations...

 recorded "Last Stand in Open Country" for Nelson's album The Great Divide
The Great Divide (Willie Nelson album)
The Great Divide is an album released in 2002 by American country music singer Willie Nelson. It contains several duets and musical collaborations with artists such as Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Brian McKnight, and Bonnie Raitt...

. The song was the title track of the first album from Taupin's band Farm Dogs (see below). Nelson's album included two other Taupin songs, "This Face" and "Mendocino County Line." The latter song, a duet between Nelson and Lee Ann Womack
Lee Ann Womack
Lee Ann Womack is an American country music singer and songwriter, who is best known for her old fashioned-styled country music songs that often discuss subjects such as cheating and lost love....

, was made into a video and released as the album's first single. The song won the 2003 Grammy for best vocal collaboration in country music. In 2004, he co-wrote Courtney Love
Courtney Love
Courtney Michelle Love is an American rock musician. Love is the lead vocalist, lyricist, and rhythm guitarist for alternative rock band Hole, which she formed in 1989, and is an actress who has moved from bit parts in Alex Cox films to significant and acclaimed roles in The People vs...

's song "Uncool", from her 2004 debut solo album America's Sweetheart. In 2005, he co-wrote the title track to What I Really Want For Christmas
What I Really Want for Christmas
What I Really Want for Christmas is the seventh studio album by Brian Wilson and his first seasonal release. It was released by Arista Records in October 2005 and features many traditional Christmas songs, as well some of Wilson's originals, including remakes of The Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick"...

with Brian Wilson for his first seasonal album. In 2006
2006 in music
This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 2006.-January:*January 10 – Eric Burdon releases his album Soul of a Man and begins touring with a new band....

, he won a Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

 for his lyrics to the song "A Love That Will Never Grow Old
A Love That Will Never Grow Old
"A Love That Will Never Grow Old" is a song from the film Brokeback Mountain. Its music was composed by Argentine composer Gustavo Santaolalla, with lyrics by Bernie Taupin, and performed by singer Emmylou Harris. It won the 2005 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, the Satellite Award and...

" from the film Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

. The music of the song was composed by Argentine producer and songwriter Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Santaolalla
Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla is an Argentine musician, film composer and producer. He has won two Academy Awards for Best Original Score in two consecutive years, for Brokeback Mountain in 2005 and Babel in 2006.-Life and career:...

.

Solo albums

  • 1971 Taupin
    Taupin
    Taupin is lyricist Bernie Taupin's first solo album. It is a spoken word album of some of his poetry. Taupin was well known for writing the words to many Elton John songs, and he used many of the same people John used on his albums in order to create his own...

  • 1980 He Who Rides The Tiger
    He Who Rides the Tiger
    He Who Rides The Tiger was a 1980 solo album from longtime Elton John collaborator Bernie Taupin. The album was released on CD by American Beat Records on March 10, 2009.-Track listing:All songs written by Bernie Taupin and Dennis Tufano...

  • 1987 Tribe

With Farm Dogs

  • 1996 Last Stand in Open Country
    Last Stand in Open Country
    Last Stand in Open Country was the first album by Bernie Taupin's band Farm Dogs. It was released in 1996.Sheryl Crow sang backing vocals on Burn This Bed-Track listing:All songs written by Farm Dogs#"Me and My Friends" – 4:26...

  • 1998 Immigrant Sons
    Immigrant Sons
    -Track listing:All songs written by Jim Cregan, Robin Le Mesurier and Bernie Taupin# Foreign Windows - 4:35# Distance to the Mountain - 4:07# Daria - 3:45# Lightning on the Hill - 4:07# This Face - 3:52# Whiskey in the Bathtub - 3:41# Bird of Prey - 4:30...



In 1971, Taupin recorded a spoken-word album entitled Taupin
Taupin
Taupin is lyricist Bernie Taupin's first solo album. It is a spoken word album of some of his poetry. Taupin was well known for writing the words to many Elton John songs, and he used many of the same people John used on his albums in order to create his own...

, in which he recites some of his early poems against a background of impromptu, sitar-heavy music created by some members of Elton's band, including Davey Johnstone
Davey Johnstone
Davey Johnstone , is a Scottish rock guitarist and vocalist, best known for his work with Elton John.-Career:...

 and Caleb Quaye
Caleb Quaye
Caleb Quaye , is an English Afro-European rock guitarist and studio musician best known for his work in the 1960s and 1970s with Elton John, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney and Hall & Oates...

. Side One is entitled "Child" and contains poems about his early childhood in southern Lincolnshire. The first poem, "The Greatest Discovery," which looks at his birth from the perspective of his older brother Tony, was also set to music by Elton John and included on Elton's eponymous second album, Elton John
Elton John (album)
Elton John is the eponymous second album by English singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1970. It was his first album, however, released in America, thus commonly assumed by many as his debut, as Empty Sky would not be released in the U.S. until 1975...

. There are poems about Taupin's first two childhood homes, Flatters and Rowston Manor, and others about his relationship with his brother and grandfather. Side Two includes a variety of poems of varying obscurity, from a marionette telling her own story to a rat catcher who falls victim to his prey. While the lyrics to Side One provide interesting insights into Taupin's childhood, the album makes for a tedious listening experience, and Taupin stated in interviews that he wasn't pleased with the results.

In 1980, Taupin recorded his first album as a singer, He Who Rides the Tiger
He Who Rides the Tiger
He Who Rides The Tiger was a 1980 solo album from longtime Elton John collaborator Bernie Taupin. The album was released on CD by American Beat Records on March 10, 2009.-Track listing:All songs written by Bernie Taupin and Dennis Tufano...

. Although he demonstrated a more-than-adequate vocal ability, the album failed to make a dent in the charts. Taupin later suggested in interviews that he didn't have the creative control he would have liked over the album. In 1987, he recorded another album entitled Tribe. The songs were co-written with Martin Page
Martin Page
Martin Page is a musician, singer, bass player, session musician, and noted pop songwriter.Martin George Page was born at Southampton, Hampshire, England, September 23, 1959 to Alan Richard Page and Ruth Pamela Page...

. "Citizen Jane" and "Friend of the Flag" were released as singles. Videos of both singles featured Rene Russo
Rene Russo
- Early life :Russo was born in Burbank, California, the daughter of Shirley , a factory worker and barmaid, and Nino Russo, a sculptor and car mechanic who left the family when Rene was two. Her father and maternal grandfather were of Italian descent. Russo grew up with her sister, Toni, and their...

, the sister of Toni, his wife at that time.

In 1996, Taupin pulled together a band called Farm Dogs, whose two albums were conscious (and successful) throwbacks to the grittier, earthier sound of Tumbleweed Connection
Tumbleweed Connection
Tumbleweed Connection is the third album by English international recording artist Elton John. It is a concept album based on the Country and Western/Americana themes. All songs are written by Bernie Taupin and Elton John with the exception of "Love Song" by Lesley Duncan. It was recorded at...

. While Taupin wrote the lyrics, the music was a collaborative effort among the band members. Their first album, 1996's Last Stand in Open Country
Last Stand in Open Country
Last Stand in Open Country was the first album by Bernie Taupin's band Farm Dogs. It was released in 1996.Sheryl Crow sang backing vocals on Burn This Bed-Track listing:All songs written by Farm Dogs#"Me and My Friends" – 4:26...

, received critical praise but little airplay. As mentioned above, the title track was later recorded by Willie Nelson and Kid Rock for Nelson's 2002 album The Great Divide
The Great Divide (Willie Nelson album)
The Great Divide is an album released in 2002 by American country music singer Willie Nelson. It contains several duets and musical collaborations with artists such as Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Lee Ann Womack, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, Brian McKnight, and Bonnie Raitt...

. In 1998, Farm Dogs released its second and final album, Immigrant Sons
Immigrant Sons
-Track listing:All songs written by Jim Cregan, Robin Le Mesurier and Bernie Taupin# Foreign Windows - 4:35# Distance to the Mountain - 4:07# Daria - 3:45# Lightning on the Hill - 4:07# This Face - 3:52# Whiskey in the Bathtub - 3:41# Bird of Prey - 4:30...

. The album was unsuccessful despite a tour of small clubs across America.

Non-musical projects

In 1973, Taupin collected all his lyrics up through the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, released in 1973, is the seventh studio album by British singer-songwriter Elton John. It has come to be regarded as Elton John's best and most popular album, and is his best selling studio album with worldwide sales of at least 15 million copies.Recorded at the Château...

album into a book entitled Bernie Taupin: The One Who Writes the Words for Elton John. In addition to the lyrics from the albums, this book contained the lyrics to all the single b-sides, various rarities, and Taupin's 1970 spoken-word album. The songs are illustrated by various artists, friends, and celebrity guests such as John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 and Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell, CC is a Canadian musician, singer songwriter, and painter. Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in her native Saskatchewan and Western Canada and then busking in the streets and dives of Toronto...

. The book is in black & white except for the cover.

In 1977, Taupin collaborated with rock photographer David Nutter on, "It's A Little Bit Funny," adding text and helping chronicle Elton John's year-long, "Louder Than Concorde, But Not Quite As Pretty" world concert tour. The now-collectible book was published in hard and soft cover editions by Penguin Books
Penguin Books
Penguin Books is a publisher founded in 1935 by Sir Allen Lane and V.K. Krishna Menon. Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its high quality, inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other high street stores for sixpence. Penguin's success demonstrated that large...

. It collects the better part of one year's worth of personal adventures and memories of Elton and the band, aboard his private plane, on the beaches of Barbados, at backstage gatherings and in some quieter off-stage moments with friends (including some famous faces that Elton and Bernie met and palled around with in their travels).

In 1978, Taupin also appeared in an episode of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries is a television series which aired for three seasons on ABC...

, The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, singing backup to Shaun Cassidy
Shaun Cassidy
Shaun Paul Cassidy is an American actor, singer, writer, and producer. He is the eldest son of Academy Award winning actress Shirley Jones, and the second son of Tony award-winning actor Jack Cassidy...

. In 1988, Taupin published an autobiography of his childhood entitled A Cradle of Haloes: Sketches of a Childhood. The book was released only in England. It tells the tale of a childhood fuelled by fantasy in rural Lincolnshire in the 1950s and 1960s, ending in 1969 as Taupin gets on the train to seek his fortune in London.

In 1991, Taupin self-published a book of poems called The Devil at High Noon. In 1994, Taupin's lyrics up through the Made In England album were collected into a hardcover book entitled, Elton John & Bernie Taupin: The Complete Lyrics, published by Hyperion. However, it doesn't appear that Taupin was intimately involved in this project, as it contains multiple misspellings and outright misrenderings of the lyrics. It is also missing some of the rarities and b-sides found in the earlier collection. As with the 1973 collection, the songs are illustrated by various artists, this time in full color throughout.

In 2009, Taupin debuted his American Roots Radio with Bernie Taupin - roots music show hosted by Taupin on satellite radio Sirius XM Radio's The Loft channel.

Personal life

Taupin married Maxine Feibelman in 1971 (they divorced in 1976). In 1979, Taupin married Toni Lynn Russo, sister of actress Rene Russo
Rene Russo
- Early life :Russo was born in Burbank, California, the daughter of Shirley , a factory worker and barmaid, and Nino Russo, a sculptor and car mechanic who left the family when Rene was two. Her father and maternal grandfather were of Italian descent. Russo grew up with her sister, Toni, and their...

. He and Russo divorced in 1991. Taupin married Stephanie Haymes, daughter of entertainers Dick Haymes
Dick Haymes
Richard Benjamin "Dick" Haymes was an Argentine actor and one of the most popular male vocalists of the 1940s and early 1950s. He was the older brother of Bob Haymes, who was an actor, television host, and songwriter....

 and Fran Jeffries, on August 21, 1993. Taupin and Haymes divorced in 1998. In March 2004, Taupin married Heather Lynn Hodgins Kidd and they have two daughters, Charley Indiana and Georgey Devon.

Taupin has lived his dream of being a "Brown Dirt Cowboy
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is the ninth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1975. It debuted at number 1 on the U.S. Pop Albums chart, the first album ever to do so, and stayed there for seven weeks. It was certified Gold on 5/21/1975 and was...

". He moved to Southern California
Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...

 from England in the mid-1970s; since the 1980s, he has been living on a ranch north of Los Angeles near Santa Ynez, California
Santa Ynez, California
Santa Ynez is a census-designated place in Santa Barbara County, California, United States. The town of Santa Ynez is one of the communities that make up the Santa Ynez Valley, and features the Santa Ynez Airport for general aviation with a paved 2804 x 75 foot runway. The population was 4,418...

. He co-owned a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles called "Cicada" with then-wife Stephanie Haymes. In the early 2000s, Taupin publicly displayed some of his paintings. He co-owned a PBR bucking bull
Bull riding
Bull riding refers to rodeo sports that involve a rider getting on a large bull and attempting to stay mounted while the animal attempts to buck off the rider....

 named Little Yellow Jacket
Little Yellow Jacket
Little Yellow Jacket was a three-time Professional Bull Riders "Bull of the Year", winning the title in consecutive years from 2002-2004. His three consecutive titles has made him unmatched by any bull in the history of the PBR...

, which was recently retired as an unprecedented three-time world champion. He is a vocal supporter of gay rights.

External links

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