#764 – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

Both Elton John and George Michael had experienced a great amount of success before their duet of John’s 1974 classic “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 during the week of February 1st, 1992. In fact, this cover is merely a testament to the ultimate staying power of both of these men – this was the 7th #1 for Elton John in the United States (but first since his other famous duet, “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” hit the top in 1976). Michael, on the other hand, was a superstar in the throughout the 80s and early 90s, just coming off a string of 7 #1 hits of his own since going solo.

As a duet, both John and Michael showcase their vocal abilities in this live version of the song, which was recorded at Wembley Stadium in 1991. Each performer has their turn with the gospel-infused song, before almost trying to one-up the other towards the end, belting out each and every word as if their life depended on it, and Elton does a decent job at keeping up with the vocally superior Michael.

But, it’s George Michael who really carries this song – singing alone for the first three minutes before finally introducing Elton to rapturous applause, and taking more of the high notes that really push the song to its limits vocally throughout. The music video conveys this emotion through a semi-staged live performance, highlighted by Elton John wearing a baseball cap, the band going a little over the top for a ballad, and roses being thrown at the stage at the end.

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