This sad love song is Elton John’s favorite to write and sing. Co-writer Bernie Taupin explained on his website: “Interesting thing about ‘Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word’ is that it’s one of the rare occasions when Elton played me a melody line that inspired a lyric, as opposed to our routine of the lyrics always coming first. He was messing around on the piano one day and was playing something and asked me what did I think. It was actually pretty immediate, the title and the first couple of lines came into my head in a way that I guess I felt they were already there and just needed a little prompting.
It’s a pretty simple idea, but one that I think everyone can relate to at one point or another in their life. That whole idealistic feeling people get when they want to save something from dying when they basically know deep down inside that it’s already dead. It’s that heartbreaking, sickening part of love that you wouldn’t wish on anyone if you didn’t know that it’s inevitable that they’re going to experience it one day.” Sir Elton John wrote the melody and most of the words and after co-writer Bernie finished off the lyrics, Sir Elton explained: “I was sitting there and out it came, ‘What have I got to do to make you love me.'” In an interview with Berinie Taupin in a Music Connection interview, he said: “I don’t think he was intending on writing a song, but we were sitting around an apartment in Los Angeles, and he was playing around on the piano and he came up with this melody line, and I said, ‘Hey, that’s really nice.’ For some reason this lyrical line, ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’ ran through my head, and it fit perfectly with what he was playing. So I said, ‘Don’t do anything more to that, let me go write something,’ so I wrote it out in a few minutes and we had the song.”
The boy band Blue recorded a duet with Sir Elton John in 2002, which reached the top 10 charts in several countries around the world.
Release Date: Elton John’s version November 1, 1976 – Blue’s version December 9, 2002.
Songwriter/s: Elton John – Bernie Taupin
Label: Rocket (UK) – MCA (US) – Universal (Blue version)
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song peaked at number 6 and was certified Gold by the Recording Indusry Association of America (RIAA) for sales over 1 million copies. The song reached number 11 in the UK, number 3 in Canada and topped the Easy Listening charts. it was certified Gold in Canada.
Blue’s version: In the UK, it topped the Official Charts Company and was certified Silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). This version topped the charts in Hungary, Netherlands and Scotland. it reached the top 10 charts in several countries around the world including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. it was certified Gold in Belgium and Switzerland.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Reginald Kenneth Dwight aka Sir Elton Hercules John was 29 years old when he released this song.
Cover Versions: Blue – Joe Cocker – Pedro Aznar – Suzy Bogguss – Chet Atkins – Ray Charles & Elton John – Mary J. Blige – Pnau – Diana Krall – Rough Copy (The X Factor UK) – Gabriella – k.d. lang & Elton John – Sophie Tith – Amateur artists covered this song on Youtube.