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January, 19

Elton John: 'My songwriting process is so strange'

Sir Elton John never analyses his "strange" way of writing songs because all he cares about is that it works.

The 68-year-old musician teams up with Bernie Taupin for his tracks, with Elton creating the music and Bernie providing the lyrics. Rather than getting into the same room and discussing what they want from their songs, the two work completely independently. Elton realises this shouldn't be the case, but has decided not to question the approach as it's panned out fine so far.

"I just go to the studio and there's 24 lyrics waiting for me and I look through them and see which one I want to start with, and then I try to write a song. I never, ever know what the lyrics are gonna be up front," he told US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

"When I first started working with Bernie it was exactly the same as it is now; I would get a lyric, I would go away and write the melody and play it to him. That's never changed. It's the same thing now and it's as exciting now as it was then. So if I write a song on this album and I've finished it I go and bring him in and say, 'Listen, this is the song,' and then the band come in and learn it and we put it down.

"There must be some people who write like that but (I don't know them). We're been writing 49 years together, this year, and I don't try to analyse it. It's strange but it works."

There was one instance when Elton took some music to Bernie first, resulting in his 1976 duet with Kiki Dee, Don't Go Breaking My Heart.

The pair do talk in a broad sense about what they want to come up with before they start work, which Elton feels is vital. His latest record Wonderful Crazy Night is due out in February (16) and the singer was determined it should be joyous and uplifting - so he made sure Bernie was in a good frame of mind before they started work.

"I check that out beforehand," he laughed, when quizzed on what would happen if Bernie was depressed when he was jolly. "I said, I want to make sure that we make a joyous record. He's very happy at the moment, I'm very happy at the moment. Sometimes the moon's don't meet (but) we were both in the same place and he came up with the goods."

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