TOP 10: Elton John Duets

May 10, 2024

BY Eric Rezsnyak

This week the podcast celebrated the incredible musical catalogue of Elton John. If you haven’t listened yet, please do so — it’s an uplifting, educational episode featuring a special guest who adds so much to the conversation.

While discussing Sir Elton’s nearly six-decade career, we also realized that he has been part of several many legendary duets. Since only a few of them made the discussion in the episode, we wanted to use this Top 10 to share some of other favorite Elton John collabs.

Did we forget your favorite Elton duet? Drop it in the comments below!


Best Elton John Single

Best Song of 1994

Best Disney Animated Feature

Best Phil Collins Song

Honorable Mention: “Duet for One” Elton John w/Elton John

If you can’t duet with yourself, how in the hell are you going to duet with anybody else? Can I get an Amen? That’s what Sir Elton does on this final track from his 1993 Duets album. It’s the most Elton-sounding song on the album, which makes sense, since Elton x Elton is Elton Squared. It’s lovely.

10. “All In the Name” w/Bright Light Bright Light

This is a bit of a cheat, because this is a Bright Light Bright Light song featuring Elton John, rather than an explicit duet. But I’m a Bright Light Bright Light stan, and Sir Elton collaborated on several songs on Bright’s album Choreography, and even some earlier projects. This is a catchy pop song about longing to be loved.

9. “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” w/Taron Edgerton

A delightful throwback-sounding track released in conjunction with Sir Elton’s Rocketman biopic, this duet features Elton singing alongside the actor who portrayed him in the film, Taron Egerton. It’s got a great get-up-and-go 60s pop flavor, and they both sound like they’re having fun.

8. “Face to Face” w/Gary Barlow

This duet, featured on Gary Barlow’s Since I Saw You Last album, is a little-known gem. It’s not even available on Spotify. U.S. readers may not be familiar with Barlow, but he is well known in the U.K., the leader singer of 90s/00s Brit boy band Take That. Barlow’s and Sir Elton’s voices work together brilliantly here. I think the verses are actually stronger than the chorus or the bridge, but that driving piano line and the guitar licks pack a punch.

7. “After All” w/Charlie Puth

Part of Sir Elton’s Lockdown Sessions project, recorded during the COVID-19 epidemic, “After All” teams the icon with talented up-and-comer Charlie Puth. It’s a lovely ballad with a dreamy feel to it. If you’re a fan of late 90s/early 00s Elton you’ll probably dig this, as Puth’s tenor vocalizations hover over Sir Elton’s more grounded chorus.

6. “Teardrops” w/k.d. lang

In my opinion, the best track from Sir Elton’s 1993 Duets album, this song has almost a Motown-meets-disco flair to it. Lang has been criminally underappreciated in the 21st Century — like another of Sir Elton’s duet partners we will get to in a minute — but both of these artists sound excellent here. Possibly the best harmonies on any song on this list.

Top 10 Lists

5. “Hold Me Closer” w/Britney Spears

The newest song on the list, 2022’s collab with Britney brings in elements of “Tiny Dancer,” “The One,” and allegedly “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” to make a sweet, catchy, low-key vibe. The project holds more meaning when you understand that Sir Elton reached out to Spears after after the release from her very public conservatorship, and revelations about the many personal and professional betrayals that had befallen her throughout her life and career. Earlier in her career, Britney was everyone’s Tiny Dancer. And this song feels like a musical hug to show her that we appreciate her.

4. “I Saw Her Standing There” w/John Lennon

This collab with John Lennon, recorded live at a 1974 Madison Square Garden concert, is a rollicking good time. It’s a cover of the Beatles classic, of course, but the extended bridge sequence scorches. Sir Elton was close friends with Lennon, and we are lucky to have this snapshot of the two of them, incandescent in all their rock-god glory.

3. “Cold Heart” w/Dua Lipa

A masterful confection that brings together song elements of “Sacrifice” and “Rocket Man,” vocals by Sir Elton and Dua Lipa at the peak of her Future Nostalgia impact, and a tremendous, groovy instrumental backing track by electro act PNAU. It was a huge hit for both artists.

2. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” w/Kiki Dee

An absolute monster smash from 1976 that would give both Sir Elton and blues singer Kiki Dee their first No. 1 in the UK, and Sir Elton’s sixth No. 1 in the United States. The song was absolutely inescapable in the summer of 1976 — but who would want to avoid it? The Motown vibe, the infectious upbeat instrumentation, the sing-along harmonies. Perfection! It is an absolute shame that Kiki Dee did not have a bigger career after this track, but it’s unquestionably one of Sir Elton’s most memorable pop records.

1. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” w/George Michael

Sir Elton’s original “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” is an epic, emotional tour de force, and it was a hit when first released in 1975. But sometimes it actually DOES pay to mess with perfection. George Michael covered the song for 1985’s Live Aid in a pivotal moment for Michael’s career, as he was sunsetting WHAM and going solo. Sir Elton started out accompanying on piano, and tagged in for the second verse; the result was musical synergy. The pair ultimately re-recorded the duet in 1991, resulting in an even more popular version than the 1975 original. The vocals from both artists are absolutely brilliant, and the harmonies and echoed phrases build to something incredibly powerful.

Newsletter Banner

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments