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Elton John - I'm Still Standing (1983)

  • Video Views 133,211,952
  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.95
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“I’m Still Standing” is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, from Elton’s ...

“I’m Still Standing” is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, from Elton’s Platinum-certified 1983 album, Too Low for Zero.

Helped in part by a video promoting the song on then-new MTV, “I’m Still Standing” became a big hit for John on both sides of the Atlantic, peaking at #1 in Canada and Switzerland, #4 in the UK, and #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Music video

The video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, was shot in Cannes (InterContinental Carlton Cannes) and Nice on the Côte d’Azur in France and features the colours of the French flag.

Bruno Tonioli, later a judge on the hit shows Strictly Come Dancing for the BBC (UK) and its American adaptation, Dancing with the Stars for ABC in the US, appears as one of the dancers in the video.

It was due to be shot over the course of two days, but a camera full of the first day’s film was ruined when Mulcahy accidentally fell into the sea with it. Therefore, it had to be filmed again on another day. During the shoot for the video, John came across Duran Duran. He complained he was exhausted at having been up since 4 o’clock in the morning. Simon Le Bon decided John should have a martini. “So I did,” John later recalled, “I had six.”

In his book Wild Boy: My Life in Duran Duran, Andy Taylor writes of the experience:

There were lots of celebrities around in Cannes and one day we discovered that Elton John was in town, filming the video for his song “I’m Still Standing”. This was before Elton became teetotal, so he was still a steaming party animal; we went up to see him at his hotel and spent the afternoon getting blasted on martinis. We decided it would be a laugh to get him drunk and we were slinging the drinks down him. “Ooh, you are lovely boys,” he screeched, loving every minute of it. We got him so drunk that eventually he went upstairs and threw a wobbler in his suite. It caused all sorts of chaos – but it was a great party.

The next morning, John awoke with a hangover and wandered into his personal assistant’s room—which was “leveled”—and asked him “What happened?” His assistant laughed: “You happened!”

In 2019, the original 16mm film negatives were re-scanned and the computer graphics were recreated, forming a new, remastered version of the promotional video. This version of the video serves as the ending to the 2019 biopic Rocketman, with Taron Egerton (portraying John) rotoscoped in to recreate memorable scenes from the original music video. It was also re-released standalone on John’s YouTube channel.

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