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Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
is the sixth studio album by Elton John.[4] Released in January, 1973 by DJM Records, it was John's sixth normal studio album release, and was his second straight No. 1 album in the US, yielding his first No. 1 single in both the US and Canada: "Crocodile Rock".[5] "Daniel" was also a major hit from the album, giving him his second Canadian No. 1 single on the RPM Top Singles Chart[6] and just missing the top slot south of the border, still reaching a successful No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
and reaching No. 4 in the UK, one place higher than achieved by "Crocodile Rock".

Contents

1 Background 2 Packaging 3 Track listing

3.1 Side one 3.2 Side two 3.3 Bonus tracks (1995 Mercury and 1996 Rocket reissue)

4 B-sides 5 Personnel

5.1 Musicians 5.2 Production

6 Charts and certifications

6.1 Weekly charts 6.2 Year-end charts 6.3 Certifications 6.4 Chart succession

7 References

Background[edit] Once again, the team returned to France
France
to record at the Château d'Hérouville, also known at the time as "Strawberry Studios",[7] which was how the studio was credited in the album's sleeve. The album featured horns arranged by producer Gus Dudgeon on "Elderberry Wine" (the B-side to "Crocodile Rock"), "Midnight Creeper" and "I'm Gonna Be a Teenage Idol", the latter of which was inspired by John's friend, T-Rex frontman Marc Bolan. The horn players were the same ones, in fact, who were used on Honky Château. Paul Buckmaster returned to add strings on "Blues for Baby and Me" and "Have Mercy on the Criminal". During his Australian concerts with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 1986, John lauded Buckmaster's work on songs such as "Have Mercy on the Criminal", calling the string arrangements "revolutionary". The album was a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic, topping the UK and US album charts. It is one of only three albums to feature just the core band of John on pianos and keyboards, Davey Johnstone
Davey Johnstone
on guitars, Dee Murray
Dee Murray
bass and Nigel Olsson
Nigel Olsson
on drums, without percussionist Ray Cooper. The other two are Honky Château
Honky Château
(1972) (bar a performance by Cooper on congas on the song "Amy") and Breaking Hearts (1984). An outtake of note was a re-recording of "Skyline Pigeon", which became the B-side to the single of "Daniel". Critics at the time called some of the performances, especially "Crocodile Rock", derivative, which John freely acknowledged years later. In His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John
Elton John
by author Elizabeth Rosenthal, John said "Crocodile Rock" was written as an overt homage to '50s records, and his vocal intentionally mimicked singer Bobby Vee. "High Flying Bird" was designed to sound like a Van Morrison record, and "Midnight Creeper" was a tip of the hat to the Rolling Stones. John toured Australia during 1972 and was so inspired by Daddy Cool's hit single "Eagle Rock" that, with Taupin, he wrote "Crocodile Rock". The cover of this album has a photo of lyricist Taupin wearing a "Daddy Who?" promotional badge. Don't Shoot Me... was also, according to John, the first album during which he felt comfortable experimenting with his vocal performances and style. Packaging[edit] The album's title comes from something Elton said during an evening spent with Groucho Marx. After an evening of constant ribbing from Marx, Elton's comeback was to hold his hands up and say, "Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player."[8] The album's cover photograph, which shows a young couple outside a movie theatre whose marquee reads: Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player starring Elton John, also includes a movie poster of the Marx Brothers' film Go West. Whether this was an intentional tribute to Groucho, or merely a coincidence, is uncertain. The title is also a play on the 1960 François Truffaut
François Truffaut
film Shoot the Piano Player. Track listing[edit] All songs written by Elton John
Elton John
and Bernie Taupin. Side one[edit]

"Daniel" – 3:54 "Teacher I Need You" – 4:10 "Elderberry Wine" – 3:34 "Blues for My Baby and Me" – 5:42 "Midnight Creeper" – 3:55

Side two[edit]

"Have Mercy on the Criminal" – 5:57 "I'm Gonna Be a Teenage Idol" – 3:55 "Texan Love Song" – 3:33 "Crocodile Rock" – 3:58 "High Flying Bird" – 4:12

Bonus tracks (1995 Mercury and 1996 Rocket reissue)[edit]

"Screw You (Young Man's Blues)" – 4:43 "Jack Rabbit" – 1:49 "Whenever You're Ready (We'll Go Steady Again)" – 2:51 "Skyline Pigeon" (Piano version) – 3:56

B-sides[edit]

Song Format

"Skyline Pigeon" (Piano version) Daniel 7" (US/UK)

Personnel[edit] Musicians[edit]

Elton John
Elton John
– vocals, acoustic piano (tracks 2-4, 6, 7, 9, 10), electric piano (tracks 1, 5), Leslie piano (track 7), Farfisa
Farfisa
organ (track 9), harmonium (8), mellotron (1, 2) Davey Johnstone
Davey Johnstone
– acoustic, electric, and Leslie guitars (All tracks); banjo (track 1), sitar (4), mandolin (8), backing vocals (2, 7, 10) Dee Murray
Dee Murray
– bass guitar (All tracks), backing vocals (tracks 2, 7, 10) Nigel Olsson
Nigel Olsson
– drums (All tracks), maracas (track 1), backing vocals (tracks 2, 7, 10)

Additional musicians

Ken Scott
Ken Scott
– ARP synthesizer (track 1) Gus Dudgeon – brass arrangement (tracks 3, 5, 7) Paul Buckmaster – orchestral arrangement (tracks 4, 6) Jacques Bolognesi – trombone (tracks 3, 5, 7) Ivan Jullien – trumpet (tracks 3, 5, 7) Jean-Louis Chautemps, Alain Hatot – saxophones (tracks 3, 5, 7)

Production[edit]

Producer – Gus Dudgeon Engineer – Ken Scott Remixed at Trident Studios
Trident Studios
(London, UK). Coordinator – Steve Brown Art Direction and Sleeve Design – David Larkham and Michael Ross Cover Photo – Ed Caraeff Booklet Photography – Ed Caraeff, Bryan Forbes, Maxine Taupin and Michael Ross.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart Peak position

Australian Kent Music Report
Kent Music Report
Albums Chart[9] 1

Canadian RPM Albums Chart[10] 1

Danish Album
Album
Charts[11] 4

Dutch Mega Albums Chart[12] 2

Finnish Albums Chart[13] 2

Italian Albums Chart[14] 1

Japanese Oricon
Oricon
LPs Chart[15] 4

Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[16] 1

Spanish Albums Chart[17] 1

UK Albums Chart[18] 1

US Billboard 200[19] 1

West German Media Control Albums Chart[20] 16

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1973) Position

Australian Albums Chart[9] 4

Dutch Albums Chart[21] 17

Italian Albums Chart[14] 4

UK Albums Chart[22] 1

U.S. Billboard Pop Albums 8

Chart (1974) Position

U.S. Billboard Pop Albums 67

Chart (1975) Position

Danish Album
Album
Charts[23] 18

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification

United States (RIAA)[24] 3× Platinum

Chart succession[edit]

Preceded by 20 Dynamic Hits by Various Artists UK Year-End Album 1973 Succeeded by The Singles: 1969–1973 by The Carpenters

Preceded by The World Is a Ghetto
The World Is a Ghetto
by War US Billboard 200
Billboard 200
number-one album 3–16 March 1973 Succeeded by Dueling Banjos by Eric Weissberg

Preceded by Slayed?
Slayed?
by Slade UK number-one albums 10 February – 17 March 1973 Succeeded by Billion Dollar Babies
Billion Dollar Babies
by Alice Cooper

Preceded by The Dark Side of the Moon
The Dark Side of the Moon
by Pink Floyd Italian albums chart number-one album 10 March – 24 April 1973 Succeeded by Dettagli by Ornella Vanoni

Preceded by No Secrets by Carly Simon Canadian RPM 100 number-one album 17–31 March 1973 Succeeded by Dueling Banjos by Eric Weissberg/Various Artists

Preceded by No Secrets by Carly Simon Australian Kent Music Report
Kent Music Report
number-one album 30 April – 20 May 1973 Succeeded by Hot August Night
Hot August Night
by Neil Diamond

Preceded by Back to Front by Gilbert O'Sullivan Norsk på topp by Various artists Norwegian VG-lista number-one album 10 – 11 / 1973 14 / 1973 Succeeded by Who Do We Think We Are
Who Do We Think We Are
by Deep Purple Norsk på topp by Various artists

References[edit]

^ "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2012.  ^ "CG: Elton John". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 January 2012.  ^ Holden, S. (15 March 1973). "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 29 February 2012.  ^ John Tobler (1995). "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player". albumlinernotes.com.  ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 5 January 2012.  ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 5 January 2012.  ^ Willsher, Kim (4 August 2013). "For sale: 'honky château' where Elton and Bowie recorded classic hits". The Guardian. Retrieved January 17, 2018.  ^ Buckley, David (2007). Elton The Biography. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 1556527136.  ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book
Book
1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.  ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 29 October 2011 ^ "adnskehitlister.dk".  ^ "dutchcharts.nl Elton John
Elton John
– Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player". Hung Medien (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Archived from the original (ASP) on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011.  ^ Billboard – 30 June – 1973. Retrieved 12 February 2012.  ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1973" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 3 October 2011.  ^ Oricon
Oricon
Album
Album
Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon
Oricon
Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.  ^ "norwegiancharts.com Elton John
Elton John
– Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player". Hung Medien. VG-lista. Archived from the original (ASP) on 13 August 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2011.  ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.  ^ "Chart Stats – Elton John
Elton John
– Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 29 October 2011.  ^ "allmusic ((( Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
> Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved 29 October 2011.  ^ " Album
Album
Search: Elton John
Elton John
– Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 29 October 2011.  ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1973" (in Dutch). Archived from the original (ASP) on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.  ^ "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2007.  ^ "adnskehitlister.dk".  ^ "American album certifications – Elton John
Elton John
– Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

v t e

Elton John

Discography Albums Singles Videography Awards

Studio albums

Empty Sky Elton John Tumbleweed Connection Madman Across the Water Honky Château Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Caribou Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy Rock of the Westies Blue Moves A Single Man Victim of Love 21 at 33 The Fox Jump Up! Too Low for Zero Breaking Hearts Ice on Fire Leather Jackets Reg Strikes Back Sleeping with the Past The One Duets Made in England The Big Picture Songs from the West Coast Peachtree Road The Captain & the Kid The Union The Diving Board Wonderful Crazy Night

Live albums

17-11-70 Here and There Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Elton John
Elton John
One Night Only – The Greatest Hits Elton 60 – Live at Madison Square Garden

Soundtrack albums

Friends The Lion King The Muse Elton John
Elton John
and Tim Rice's Aida The Road to El Dorado Gnomeo & Juliet

Compilation albums

Greatest Hits Greatest Hits Volume II The Thom Bell Sessions Lady Samantha Greatest Hits Vol. 3 The Complete Thom Bell Sessions To Be Continued The Very Best of Elton John Rare Masters Greatest Hits 1976–1986 The Superior Sound of Elton John Chartbusters Go Pop Classic Elton John Love Songs Prologue Greatest Hits 1970–2002 Elton John's Christmas Party Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits Diamonds

Other albums

Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John
Elton John
& Bernie Taupin Good Morning to the Night Revamp & Restoration

Video albums

The Afternoon Concert The Night Time Concert Night and Day Concert Live in Australia The Very Best of Elton John Live in Barcelona Love Songs Elton John
Elton John
One Night Only – The Greatest Hits Dream Ticket Elton 60 – Live at Madison Square Garden The Red Piano

Concert tours

1970 World Tour West of the Rockies Tour Louder Than Concorde Tour 1980 World Tour Jump Up Tour Too Low for Zero Tour European Express Tour Breaking Hearts Tour Ice on Fire
Ice on Fire
Tour Tour De Force Reg Strikes Back
Reg Strikes Back
Tour Sleeping with the Past Tour The One Tour Face to Face 1994 Face to Face 1995 Made in England Tour Big Picture Tour Face to Face 1998 An Evening with Elton John Medusa Tour Stately Home Tour Face to Face 2001 Songs from the West Coast Tour Face to Face 2002 A Journey Through Time 2003 Tour Face to Face 2003 2004 Tour Peachtree Road Tour 2006 European Tour The Captain and the Kid Tour Rocket Man: Greatest Hits Live Face to Face 2009 Face to Face 2010 2010 European Tour Greatest Hits Tour 40th Anniversary of the Rocket Man The Diving Board
The Diving Board
Tour Follow the Yellow Brick Road Tour All the Hits Tour The Final Curtain Tour Wonderful Crazy Night
Wonderful Crazy Night
Tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road

Concert residencies

The Red Piano The Million Dollar Piano

Miscellaneous performances

List of Elton John
Elton John
and Ray Cooper
Ray Cooper
concert tours The Union Tour

Musicals

The Lion King

animated live-action musical

Billy Elliot the Musical Aida Lestat The Devil Wears Prada

Related articles

Bernie Taupin Gus Dudgeon Paul Buckmaster John Reid Dick James David Furnish Kiki Dee Elton John
Elton John
AIDS Foundation Watford F.C. Bluesology Hookfoot Woodside, Old Windsor The Union Elton John: Me, Myself & I Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras Elton John: The Classic Years

Book Category

v t e

UK best-selling albums (by year) (1970–1989)

1970: Bridge over Troubled Water
Bridge over Troubled Water
(Simon & Garfunkel) 1971: Bridge over Troubled Water
Bridge over Troubled Water
(Simon & Garfunkel) 1972: 20 Dynamic Hits (various artists) 1973: Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
(Elton John) 1974: The Singles: 1969–1973 (The Carpenters) 1975: The Best of The Stylistics
The Best of The Stylistics
(The Stylistics) 1976: Greatest Hits (ABBA) 1977: Arrival (ABBA) 1978: Saturday Night Fever (original soundtrack) 1979: Parallel Lines
Parallel Lines
(Blondie) 1980: Super Trouper (ABBA) 1981: Kings of the Wild Frontier
Kings of the Wild Frontier
(Adam and the Ants) 1982: Love Songs (Barbra Streisand) 1983: Thriller (Michael Jackson) 1984: Can't Slow Down (Lionel Richie) 1985: Brothers in Arms (Dire Straits) 1986: True Blue (Madonna) 1987: Bad (Michael Jackson) 1988: Kylie (Kylie Minogue) 1989: Ten Good Reasons
Ten Good Reasons
(Ja

.