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Posted: 2006 12-01


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YouTube Uploader: Max Power
Max Power

The first Leg of the 1976 "Louder Than Concorde(but not quite as pretty)" Tour took Elton and his band through the UK and this was the second night at Earl's Court in London. May 12th 1976. The back up singer in the bright striped shirt is Cindy Bullens, a Boston girl who crashed an MCA party in 1975 and was asked if she'd like to go on the road for the West Of The Rockies Tour and the rest is history. Cindy would have her first hit in 1979 with a song called "Survivor". For Elton this was his peak for sure! Enjoy!!!

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Bennie and the Jets on Wikipedia
"Bennie and the Jets"
Elton John - Bennie and the Jets.jpg
Single by Elton John
from the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Released4 February 1974
RecordedMay 1973 at Château d'Hérouville, France
  • Glam rock
  • MCA
  • DJM
  • Elton John
  • Bernie Taupin
Producer(s)Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology

"Bennie and the Jets" (also titled as "Benny & the Jets") is a song composed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.[1] The song first appeared on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album in 1973. "Bennie and the Jets" has been one of John's most popular songs and was performed during John's appearance at Live Aid. The track is spelled Benny on the sleeve of the single and in the track listing of the album, but Bennie on the album vinyl disc label.[2]


  • 1 Single release
  • 2 Song composition
  • 3 Personnel
  • 4 Chart performance
    • 4.1 Weekly charts
    • 4.2 Year-end charts
  • 5 Covers
  • 6 Mondegreens in the Song
  • 7 References in popular culture
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Single release

"Bennie and the Jets" was featured on side one of the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, and Elton John was set against releasing it as a single, believing it would fail. CKLW in Windsor, Ontario, began heavy airplay of the song and it became the #1 song in the Detroit market.[3] This attention caused other American and Canadian Top 40 stations to add it to their playlists as well and as a result, the song peaked at #1 on the US singles chart in 1974. In the US, it was certified Gold on 8 April 1974 and Platinum on 13 September 1995 by the RIAA,[4] and had sold 2.8 million copies by August 1976.[5]

"Bennie and the Jets" was also John's first Top 40 hit on what at the time was called the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart, where it peaked at #15, the highest position out of the three of his singles which reached that chart.[6] The acceptance of "Bennie" on R&B radio helped land John, a huge soul music fan, a guest appearance on the 17 May 1975 edition of Soul Train, where he played "Bennie and the Jets" and "Philadelphia Freedom". In Canada, it held the #1 spot on the RPM national singles chart for two weeks (13–20 April), becoming his first #1 single of 1974 and his fourth overall.[7][8]

Song composition

The song tells of "Bennie and the Jets", a fictional band of whom the song's narrator is a fan. The song is written in the key of G major. In interviews, Taupin has said that the song's lyrics are a satire on the music industry of the 1970s.[citation needed] The greed and glitz of the early 1970s music scene is portrayed by Taupin's words:

We'll kill the fatted calf tonight, so stick around,
you're gonna hear electric music, solid walls of sound.

Taupin also goes on to describe the flashy wardrobe of "Bennie", the leader of the band:

She's got electric boots, a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine Ohh...
See also: History_of_Benzedrine § Elton John - Bennie and the Jets

Produced by Gus Dudgeon, the song was recorded during the "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" sessions in France at Château d'Hérouville's Strawberry Studios,[9] where John and Taupin had recorded their previous two albums, Honky Château and Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player.

The piano arrangement resembles Donny Hathaway's cover of "Jealous Guy" written by John Lennon, heard on Donny Hathaway's Live album.

After recording the song in the studio, John and the band worried that it was too plain and unoriginal. In the Eagle Vision documentary on the making of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, John recalled, "I fought tooth and nail against 'Bennie' coming out as a single." According to guitarist Davey Johnstone, "'Bennie and the Jets' was one of the oddest songs we ever recorded. We just sat back and said, 'This is really odd.'" While mixing the album, Dudgeon came up with the idea of creating a "live from Playhouse Theatre" sound for the track. He added reverb effects, applause and other audience sounds from John's previous concerts and a loop from the Jimi Hendrix live album Isle of Wight, plus whistles, giving it the "live concert recording" feel that has since become a sort of trademark.[citation needed]

John rarely plays the song verbatim to the studio version, and often makes subtle or even drastic changes. Live, the piano solo in the middle of the song has been played in all sorts of variations, from very close to the original to wildly improvised and extended versions, such as the elaborate version during a Central Park concert in 1980 and another memorable take on it during the "Elton and his band" part of the show recorded for what would become Live in Australia in December 1986. (It can be seen on various Laserdisc releases of the show.) He has also been known to end the song in a wide range of styles, including classical, swing, boogie-woogie and even using the signature five-note phrase from John Williams' score for Close Encounters of the Third Kind.


  • Elton John – piano, Farfisa organ, vocals
  • Davey Johnstone – acoustic and electric guitars
  • Dee Murray – bass
  • Nigel Olsson – drums


  • In 1991 CKBE-FM David Tyler.
  • Pyotr Mamonov and Vasily Shumov recorded a cover of this song on their Russkie poyut (Russians are Singing) album (1994).
  • The NFL's New York Jets used a parody of the song called "Vinny and the Jets" during quarterback Vinny Testaverde's first run with the team from 1998 to 2003.
  • Parodies relating to New York Mets players Lenny Dykstra and later Benny Agbayani were mainstays on New York City radio stations.
  • Ray Castoldi, the longtime organist for the NBA's New York Knicks, is often heard playing this song at Knicks home games. The song has also been played on the organ at Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings home games.
  • The Beastie Boys released a cover of this song on their The Sounds of Science album in 1999.[15] The song, titled "Benny and the Jets", was sung by frequent Beastie Boys collaborator Biz Markie. This recording was first released in 1995 as a flexi disc inside of issue two of the Beastie Boys' Grand Royal magazine.[16]
  • Biz Markie performed his own humorous rendition of "Bennie and the Jets" on The Chris Rock Show in 2000.
  • Katherine Heigl and James Marsden sing along with the song, karaoke-style, while dancing on a bar in the 2008 film 27 Dresses. Both of them make many mistakes in the lyrics.
  • Mary J. Blige sampled the melody for her song "Deep Inside". When Blige asked Elton John for permission to sample the piano line, he ended up agreeing to actually play the line on the track instead.
  • Ashanti's 2008 single "Good Good" also sampled the melody.
  • Mister G included a recording of himself playing Elton John’s "Benny and the Jets" at the age of nine as the last track on his album BUGS
  • Cher performed the song in a duet on The Cher Show with Elton John on piano in 1975.[17]
  • In 2006 Christina Aguilera with Elton John performed this song at Fashion Rocks.
  • American Idol Season 10 finalist Haley Reinhart performed a cover of "Bennie and the Jets" during the Top 11 (2nd Week) finalist performances on 30 March 2011. She performed it again after her elimination during the Top 3 Results Show, on 19 May.
  • It was covered by The Hickoids on Kicking It With the Twits, a 2011 mini LP of British Invasion era covers.
  • Covered by Victoria Vox on her 2012 Under the Covers CD.
  • In 2013 Brandy Moss-Scott released a cover of "Bennie and the Jets".
  • In 2013 James Sayer announced a cover of "Bennie and the Jets" would be released in December.
  • In 2013 Lady Gaga with Elton John performed this song on Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular.
  • In 2014 Miguel with Wale performed this song on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: 40th Anniversary Celebration.
  • Indie Pop artist BØRNS performs his own cover of "Bennie and The Jets" during live shows. At times he adds a verse from Frank Ocean's "Super Rich Kids" towards the end, as "Super Rich Kids" has samples of "Bennie and The Jets" within it.[18]
  • The song was sampled by rap group A Tribe Called Quest for the song "Solid Wall of Sound" on their 2016 album, We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service.

Mondegreens in the Song

The song contains the line "She's got electric boots, a mohair suit", which is often misheard as "She's got electric boobs, and mohair shoes".[19][20] A scene in the film 27 Dresses consists of the main characters singing Bennie and the Jets and arguing about the lyrics; both of them spout numerous mondegreens in the process; neither of them knew the actual lyrics.[21]

References in popular culture

  • The original Winnipeg Jets NHL team's mascot was named Benny,[22] partially in reference to this song, but primarily after the original owner of the (WHA) team, Ben Hatskin.
  • The mascot of Australian association football (soccer) club Newcastle United Jets FC is named Benny, again, as a reference to the song.
  • Kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez is nicknamed "Benny the Jet".
  • In the movie 27 Dresses, the two main characters sing "Bennie and the Jets" at a bar, partially incorrectly in jest. They also continue to mention the song after that scene.
  • On the show The Office, Andy Bernard sings "Andy and the Tuna" to the tune of "Bennie and the Jets".
  • The title and slow, vamping style of the Ben Folds song "Hiroshima (B-B-B-Benny Hit His Head)" are a homage to "Bennie and the Jets".
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, the character Lenny remarks that he thought their gang's name would be "Lenny and the Jets".
  • The song is also featured in the movies Sliding Doors and Running with Scissors, both starring actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • The song is in the film My Girl 2, when Anna Chlumsky (Vada) and Austin O'Brien (Nick) go out for a walk at night in Los Angeles. The scene occurs about 59 minutes into the movie.
  • The song is also parodied in an episode of Futurama (as "Pharaoh And His Pets") in which Bender becomes a pharaoh.
  • The song was used in the opening credits of the 1975 film Aloha, Bobby and Rose, written and directed by Floyd Mutrux. It is reprised later in the film.
  • In the film Mystery Team, a disguised Jason refers to his "sons" as "Benny" and "The Jets".
  • In the film The Sandlot, the skilled young baseball player, later shown as a star player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is named Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez.
  • In the show Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope mentions that her favourite song by the pasta-themed children's performer Freddie Spaghetti is "Penne and the Jets".
  • In several broadcasts of NASCAR on TNT, there was a weekly segment call Benny in the Pits featuring Benny Parsons, a former NASCAR driver, interviewing multiple pit-road mechanics.
  • In a season six episode of Desperate Housewives, Tom Scavo calls Lynette's "boob implants" Bennie and the Jets.
  • In the closing scene of the first-season episode of Almost Human entitled "Are You Receiving?", the song is featured to highlight that the main character's middle name is Reginald, after Elton John.
  • The band TV Girl released an EP on 25 July 2011, entitled "Benny and the Jetts". It features four songs, the first of which is also titled "Benny and the Jetts", which describes a girl that the singer once knew who was always listening to the song.[23]
  • The song appears on the soundtrack of the 2011 movie Gnomeo and Juliet, and is referenced in Bennie and the Bunnies.


  1. ^ Bill Janovitz. "Bennie & the Jets - Elton John | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  2. ^ "Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Vinyl, LP, Album)". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  3. ^ Karen Bliss (2016-01-21). "The Legacy of Rosalie Trombley, Radio Pioneer Immortalized in Bob Seger's 'Rosalie' and Breaker of 'Bennie and the Jets' | Billboard". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  4. ^ "American single certifications – John, Elton – Bennie _ the Jets". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2012-07-02.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  5. ^ Jahr, Cliff. "Elton John, Lonely at the Top: Rolling Stone's 1976 Cover Story". Rolling Stonedate=2011-02-02. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  6. ^ Allmusic. "Elton John: Charts and Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road at". Entertainment Weekly. 19 August 2008. Archived from the original on 20 November 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  13. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1974/Top 100 Songs of 1974". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  15. ^ "The Sounds of Science at Beastie Boys store". Archived from the original on 2 May 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  16. ^ Dearmore, Kelly (28 May 1998). "He got game – Page 1 – Music – Dallas". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "VH1 Video on YouTube. Early 1970s performance on the Sonny and Cher Show". Youtube. 14 February 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "BØRNS covers Elton John: Bennie and the Jets. Independent SF, 3/12/15 - YouTube". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  19. ^ "mondegreens - misunderstood song lyrics". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  20. ^ Lawrence DiStasi (2011-07-29). "DiStasiblog: Mondegreens". Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  21. ^ "27 Dresses - Bennie & The Jets Scene". Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  22. ^ "Photo of Benny, Winnipeg Jets mascot". Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  23. ^ "TV Girl Bandcamp Site for 'Benny and the Jetts'". Retrieved 10 April 2014. 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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