Elton John

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

Song Review by

Believe it or not, Elton John was always a rocker at heart, but he never truly cut loose until "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting." One of many great songs on the nevertheless patchy double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, the song found John revamping old-time rock & roll with the panache of glam and the sound of the Who and the Stones. Slashing power chords -- sounding like Pete Townshend playing a Keith Richards riff -- open the song, and it never lets up, even when it slides into Beach Boys harmonies. John's performance is utterly committed, perhaps because he's singing one of Bernie Taupin's rare comprehensible set of lyrics. In the liner notes for the 1995 reissue, Taupin claimed that he was trying to write an American rock & roll song, only set in Britain, and he succeeded -- it's an anthem for wannabe Teddy boys, ready for a night on the town with a bellyful of beer. That sentiment and the powerful rock that John wrote made "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" one of the handful of Elton John songs that could be covered by rock bands, but it never was recorded again -- until the Who tackled it for the 1991 John/Taupin tribute album, Two Rooms. And they didn't sound anywhere near as tough as John did on his original.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1973 Def Jam / Island / Rocket Group Pty LTD / Universal 4:53
Greatest Hits 1974 Rocket Group Pty LTD / Island / Def Jam / Motown / Polydor / Universal / Universal Music 4:52
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy 1975 Def Jam / Island / Rocket Group Pty LTD / Universal / Universal Music 0:00
Out of Sight [1975] 1975
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
No Image 1983 DJM Records 0:00
No Image 1984 Premier
The Very Best of Elton John [Polygram] 1990 Polygram / PolyGram 4:56
To Be Continued... 1990 MCA 4:54
No Image 1991 Live / Artisan
Hard Rock Cafe: Classic Rock 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 4:54
Drop Dead Gorgeous [Original Soundtrack] 1999
Original Soundtrack
Sire 4:50
All Music Guide: Classic Rock 2001
Various Artists
Medalist Entertainment 4:57
Hot Guitar Licks: Guitar Rock 2002
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 4:53
The Greatest Hits 1970-2002 2002 Island / Universal 4:08
Friends Reunited: 42 Classroom Classics from the 80's 2003
Various Artists
Universal International 4:54
Essential 70's [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 4:55
Dream Ticket 2004 WAB
Drive Time [Universal/WB] 2005
Various Artists
WEA / Warner Special Marketing 4:52
Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits 2007 UMVD / Universal Distribution 4:53
Rocket Man: Number Ones 2007 Island / Mercury 4:55
Classic Rock BBQ 2008
Various Artists
Hallmark Recordings 4:52
Jackie: The Party Album 2010
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:54
Rock Anthems [Universal 2010] 2010
Various Artists
EMI / Universal Music TV 4:54
Gnomeo and Juliet 2011
Original Soundtrack
Buena Vista 4:53
Diamonds 2017 Island / Mercury / Universal 4:55
Classic Driving Songs
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:51
Classic Elton John Polygram
Dad's Jukebox: The Very Best Of The 60's, 70's & 80's
Various Artists
Universal 4:52
No Image Rock
I Am Angry
Various Artists
Polystar / Universal 4:52
The Best Rock Anthems ...Ever!
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:54