Tiny Dancer - Elton John

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"Tiny Dancer" - Elton John (1971)

Released as a single in 1971, Elton John's "Tiny Dancer"appears on his fourth album, Madman Across the Water.

Written by Bernie Taupin to capture the spirit of California in 1970 encapsulated by the many beautiful women he met. A common misconception concerning is that it was written for Maxine Feibelman, Bernie Taupin's first wife. Rather, it was simply dedicated to her on the album.

"Tiny Dancer" was initially a non-starter as a single in the US hit only #41 on the charts. It was not even released in the UK. Eventually, the track slowly became one of John's most popular songs even in the territories that initially failed to embrace it, and the full-length version is now a fixture on North American, UK and Australian adult contemporary and rock radio stations.

The song features a piano-based melody during verses and an arrangement that at the start features pedal steel guitar and light percussion but, transitioning subtly halfway through one of the choruses. The end is driven by Paul Buckmaster's dynamic strings along with a barely heard backing choir. It's been said that Buckmaster's string arrangement can "make an orchestra talk."

The Madman Across The Water album was much more heavily-produced than Elton's first four. "Tiny Dancer" was one of his first songs with a lush string section arranged by Buckmaster, who arranged the stings on many of The Rolling Stones' songs.

In the song,  'piano man makes a stand in the Auditorium' is a reference to Elton John's show stopping first performance in LA on his first tour to the US in 1970.  It's also been suggested that he is referring to Billy Joel in the line: "Piano man he makes his stand in the auditorium"

Taupin revealed that the "tiny" was poetic license, although these women were all petite.  He added that "Tiny Dancer" sounds a lot better than "Small Dancer" or "Little Dancer."

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