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Victim of Love, released in 1979, is the thirteenth studio album release for Elton John. It is a disco album, released shortly after the peak of disco's popularity. It was not critically or commercially well-received, and is Elton John's third lowest charting album to date in the US, after 1986's Leather Jackets and 1985's Ice on Fire.

Victim of Love
Album Victim of Love.jpg
Studio album by
Released13 October 1979
RecordedAugust 1979
LabelMCA (US)
Rocket (UK)
ProducerPete Bellotte
Elton John chronology
The Thom Bell Sessions
Victim of Love
21 at 33
Singles from Victim of Love
  1. "Victim of Love"
    Released: September 1979
  2. "Johnny B. Goode"
    Released: December 1979
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic1.5/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record GuideC–[3]
Rolling Stone(not rated)[2]

The title track of the album, however, was moderately successful as a single. It reached No. 31 on the US Billboard Hot 100, No. 38 in Australia and No. 46 in Canada. It also peaked at No. 11 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart.[4] In addition, all the tracks on the album reached No. 55 on the US Billboard Disco Top 100 chart.[5]



At under 36 minutes, the album is the shortest of Elton John's career, and is atypical of his recording career in several respects. He neither wrote the songs nor played piano or keyboards, only providing the vocals. It was his first album without any of his original band members, which would not happen again until his 2010 collaboration with Leon Russell, The Union. As of 2012, it is also one of only two studio albums (along with A Single Man) without lyricist Bernie Taupin. Apart from an appearance on the Australian television series Countdown (he was also a comedy regular on the show during the 1980s), John did little marketing for Victim of Love. He did not tour to promote the album, and has never played any of its songs live.[6] It is also the only studio album in John's discography from which none of the songs has been performed on stage.

"Strangers", the B-side of the single of the album's title track, appeared as a bonus track on the 1998 Mercury reissue of John's previous album, A Single Man, because it was recorded during those sessions.

When the album was released as a CD in the 1980s, the track breaks were incorrect. The first 45 seconds of "Spotlight" was part of the previous track, and similar errors occurred in other tracks. In 2003, the album was reissued in a digitally remastered format, with those problems corrected.

Critical receptionEdit

In ranking all of John's studio albums, Matt Springer of Ultimate Classic Rock placed the album at the bottom of the list.[7]

Track listingEdit

Side oneEdit

  1. "Johnny B. Goode" (Chuck Berry) – 8:06
  2. "Warm Love in a Cold World" (Pete Bellotte, Stefan Wisnet, Gunther Moll) – 4:30 (3:22 on older pressings)
  3. "Born Bad" (Bellotte, Geoff Bastow) – 5:16 (6:20 on older pressings)

Side twoEdit

  1. "Thunder in the Night" (Bellotte, Michael Hofmann) – 4:40
  2. "Spotlight" (Bellotte, Wisnet, Moll) – 4:24
  3. "Street Boogie" (Bellotte, Wisnet, Moll) – 3:56
  4. "Victim of Love" (Bellotte, Sylvester Levay, Jerry Rix) – 4:52 (5:02 on older pressings)


Song Format
"Strangers" "Victim of Love" 7" (US/UK)


  • Elton John – lead and backing vocals
  • Thor Baldursson – keyboards, arrangements
  • Tim Cansfield – rhythm guitar
  • Paulinho Da Costa – percussion
  • Roy Davies – keyboards
  • Keith Forsey – drums
  • Steve Lukather – guitar solo on "Warm Love in a Cold World"
  • Michael McDonald – background vocals on "Victim of Love"
  • Marcus Miller – bass guitar
  • Lenny Pickett – saxophone on "Johnny B. Goode"
  • Patrick Simmons – background vocals on "Victim of Love"
  • Craig Snyder – lead guitar
  • Stephanie Spruill – background vocals
  • Julia Tillman Waters – background vocals
  • Maxine Willard Waters – background vocals


  • Produced by Pete Bellotte
  • Engineer and Mixdown – Peter Luedmann
  • Assistant Engineers – Hans Menzel and Carolyn Tapp
  • Technical Engineer – Roman Olearczuk
  • Recorded at Musicland, Munich and Rusk Sound Studios, Hollywood.
  • Mastered by Brian Gardner at Allen Zentz Mastering (Hollywood).
  • Contractor – Trevor Veitch
  • Production Coordination – Jerry Simpson
  • Project Coordination – Joe Black
  • Photography – David P. Bailey
  • Design – Jubilee Graphics

Chart historyEdit

Chart (1979) Peak
Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)[8] 20
Canadian Albums (RPM100 Albums)[9] 28
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[10] 44
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[11] 18
UK Albums (OCC)[12] 41
US Billboard 200[13] 35


  1. ^ Victim of Love at AllMusic
  2. ^ [1] Archived 15 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: J". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved 27 February 2019 – via
  4. ^ RPM Adult Contemporary, December 29, 1979
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 137.
  6. ^ Elton John setlists by album
  7. ^
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 32, No. 10, December 01 1979". Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ " – Elton John – Victim of Love". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  11. ^ " – Elton John – Victim of Love". Hung Medien. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Elton John | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 28 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Victim of Love - Elton John - Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 28 September 2013.