Earlier this month, Elton John visited The Late Show to perform a pair of his hits as well as sit down for an interview with Stephen Colbert. While that November 13th episode found John delivering renditions of “I’m Still Standing” and “Crocodile Rock,” as a Thanksgiving gift for fans, The Late Show has also unveiled John’s performance of “Benny and the Jets” from that same Ed Sullivan Theater mini-concert.
The spirited rendition of the 1973 featured a pair of piano solos from John, as well as a chorus of handclaps courtesy of the rapt audience who remained standing for the entirety of the performance.
All three tracks John performed – “I’m Still Standing,” “Crocodile Rock” and “Benny and the Jets” – are included on John’s recently released greatest hits compilation Diamonds, which also celebrates the 50th anniversary of John’s partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin. John discussed the genesis of the collaboration during his Colbert interview.
“I was in a terrible band, not a terrible band, but a mediocre band, and I was getting fed up playing to people who were eating fish and chips,” John said. “I saw an advertisement from a record company that said, ‘singers and songwriters wanted’ … I was very chubby, I was shy, I wasn’t the lead singer, I was just the piano player in the band, but I was so fed up.”
After admitting to the label that he couldn’t write lyrics, he was steered toward working with Taupin.