I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" is a song by English singer Elton John, with music by John and Davey Johnstone and lyrics by Bernie Taupin. It is the first single from John's hugely successful 17th studio album Too Low for Zero. In the United States, it became one of John's biggest hits of the 1980s, holding at #2 for four weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart, and reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
|"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"|
|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Too Low for Zero|
|Released||April 1983 (UK)|
November 1983 (US)
|Format||Vinyl record (7")|
|Songwriter(s)||Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Davey Johnstone|
|Elton John singles chronology|
- US 7" single
- "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"
- "The Retreat"
- UK 7" single
- "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues"
- "Choc Ice Goes Mental"
The song appeared on the album Too Low for Zero. Released as a single in April 1983, the song reached number five in the UK chart and number four in the US chart six months later. The song was also featured on the film soundtrack to Peter's Friends in 1992.
The original music video, one of twenty directed for John by Australian Russell Mulcahy, tells the story of two 1950s-era young lovers who are separated when the man is forced to leave for National Service, depicting the trials and tribulations he experiences there, and then are finally reunited at the end of the song. It was filmed in the Rivoli Ballroom in London.
The song was later performed live by Mary J. Blige and Elton John, and this version of the song was part of the Mary J. Blige & Friends EP. A live version of the song with Mary J. Blige also appeared on John's One Night Only – The Greatest Hits live compilation, recorded in Madison Square Garden in October 2000. Another live version, this one featuring just Elton John and basic rhythm section, was recorded live in Verona in 1996 during John's appearance with Luciano Pavarotti as part of the master tenor's Pavarotti and Friends for War Child benefit concerts.
Canadian singer Alessia Cara covered the song for the 2018 tribute album Revamp: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||4|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||22|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||48|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||12|
|South Africa (RISA)||4|
|Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)||12|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||5|
|Zimbabwe Singles (ZIMA)||1|
|Canadian Adult Contemporary||1|
|Canadian Top Singles||9|
|US Billboard Hot 100||4|
|Year-end chart (1984)||Rank|
|US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)||33|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||200,000|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||1,000,000|
sales+streaming figures based on certification alone
- I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues at AllMusic
- "Russell Mulcahy". austlit.edu.au. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues". iTunes. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Chartverfolgung / JOHN, ELTON / Single" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Elton John – I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
- "Charts.nz – Elton John – I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues". Top 40 Singles.
- ""I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" on the South African Singles Chart". Springbok Radio. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
- "Elton John – I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues – Hitparade.ch". Singles Top 75. Hung Medien.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
- * Zimbabwe. Kimberley, C. Zimbabwe: singles chart book. Harare: C. Kimberley, 2000
- "Contemporary Adult". RPM. 39 (22). 4 February 1984. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
- "50 Singles". RPM. 39 (23). 11 February 1984. ISSN 0315-5994. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
- "Elton John Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
- "Talent Almanac 1985: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 96 no. 51. 22 December 1984. p. TA-19.
- "British single certifications – Elton John – I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 26 April 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American single certifications – Elton John – I Guess That's Why". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 26 April 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.