Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947, is a five-time Grammy Award winner, and has been one of the more dominating forces in rock and popular music for over forty years. He has sold over a quarter billion albums, and 100 million singles, making him one of the most successful artists of all time.
He is a composer, singer, and pianist who collaborates with songwriter partner Bernie Taupin to write some of the most recognizable music of the 20th century.
Known for some of his most flamboyant fashions and on-stage showmanship.
The Bitch is Back
“The Bitch Is Back” is a rock song by Elton John, written with Bernie Taupin. It was the second single released from his 1974 album Caribou, and reached number 1 in Canada (his sixth in that country), number 4 in the United States and number 15 in the United Kingdom. The song has been identified as one of Elton John’s best hard rock cuts. In the U.S., it was certified Gold on 13 September 1995 by the RIAA.
The idea to create the song was inspired not by John or Taupin directly, but rather by Bernie Taupin’s wife of the time. Taupin then wrote the lyric. Musically, the song originally was written in A flat major, but is today performed live a half step lower in the key of G major. The saxophone solo in the middle is nowadays usually performed by synthesizers, while a guitar solo occasionally substitutes, as can be seen in the concert videos, One Night Only and Live in Australia, respectively. John Lennon played tambourine on the song.
This song was banned on several radio stations, in the United States and elsewhere, due to the use of the word “bitch”. For example, in 1976, the program director of WPIX-FM in New York told Billboard, “We will play records that are borderline suggestive records such as ‘Disco Lady’ by Johnny [sic] Taylor but we will not play ‘The Bitch Is Back’ by Elton John. We won’t play those types of records no matter how popular they get.”
I was justified when I was five
Raising cane, I spit in your eye
Times are changing, now the poor get fat
But the fever’s gonna catch you when the bitch gets back
Eat meat on Friday that’s alright
Even like steak on a Saturday night
I can bitch the best at your social dues
I get high in the evening sniffing pots of glue
I’m a bitch, I’m a bitch
Oh the bitch is back
Stone cold sober as a matter of fact
I can bitch, I can bitch
`Cause I’m better than you
It’s the way that I move
The things that I do
I entertain by picking brains
Sell my soul by dropping names
I don’t like those, my God, what’s that
Oh it’s full of nasty habits when the bitch gets back
- Audio from the 1974 album, Carabou: