Elton John

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Song Review by

In the mid-'70s, Elton John scored two number one pop albums, Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy (platinum, number one pop for seven weeks, May 1975) and Rock of the Westies (platinum, number one pop for three weeks, 1976); both entered the charts at number one. This after having Top Ten pop success in the early '70s with such singles as "Your Song," "The Bitch Is Back," and "Bennie and the Jets." His winning streak seemed to falter in 1976. Some speculate that his public admission of bisexuality played a part in his downturn, making it doubly ironic that one of the singles during that time was "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word." It stands as one of the singer's best efforts, co-written with his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. John's breakneck schedule no doubt led to his weariness and his uninvolvement in the promotion of the song at the time. Produced by Gus Dudgeon and included on the platinum album Blue Moves, "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" sold more than a million copies, holding the number two pop spot for two weeks and going to number one adult contemporary in late 1976. It would be the last big hit for the John/Taupin duo as the two ceased their collaboration and John went into semi-retirement.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Blue Moves 1976 MCA / Mercury 3:48
No Image 1980 K-Tel Distribution
No Image 1982 Rocket Group Pty LTD
Ice on Fire 1985 MCA 0:00
The Very Best of Elton John [Polygram] 1990 Polygram / PolyGram 3:50
To Be Continued... 1990 MCA 3:47
Greatest Hits: 1976-1986 1992 Island / Mercury / MCA 3:47
No Image 1995 Rocket Group Pty LTD 3:50
Love Songs 1996 Island / Def Jam / Universal / Universal Music 3:50
Mixed Emotions 1997
Various Artists
Polygram 3:47
Pure 70's 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 3:48
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:49
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Realm Records 3:48
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Burning Hearts
The Greatest Hits 1970-2002 2002 Island / Universal 3:50
Kuschelrock, Vol. 16 2002
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 3:47
Dream Ticket 2004 WAB
Pure Ballads 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 3:50
Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits 2007 UMVD / Universal Distribution 3:48
Rocket Man: Number Ones 2007 Island / Mercury 3:50
Just Like Belgium: The Definitive Hits 2008 Mercury / Universal Distribution 3:48
Romancing the 70s: Reunited 2008
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:48
Diamonds 2017 Island / Mercury / Universal 3:50
No Image Rock
Love Songs [Rocket] Phonogram (Sweden)
The Heart of Classic Rock [Box Set]
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:47