From Reg to Elton
Elton John - Dave Laing†
Dave Laing† [+]
University of Liverpool
Dave Laing, who died suddenly in January 2019, was a writer, editor and lecturer, and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool. His works include The Sound of our Time (1969), Buddy Holly (1970), One Chord Wonders: Power and Meaning in Punk Rock (1985) and (with Phil Hardy) The Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music (1995). He is an editor of the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World whose first volumes were published in 2003.
This chapter provides an introductory overview of Elton John’s achievement through an assessment of his evolution from journeyman pianist and songwriter Reginald Dwight (his given name) to Elton John, the flamboyant showman and prolific composer of over 300 songs, mostly with lyricist Bernie Taupin. In particular, the chapter examines the matrix of social, familial and cultural factors from which Elton John’s mature style was forged.