AUGUST 13, 2021

Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) – 10 things you didn’t know

Today we celebrate the release of “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” with 10 facts about the songs within and history behind the new single by Elton John & Dua Lipa.


By John F. Higgins

Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) video, directed and designed by Raman Djafari.

There are four Elton compositions contained within the dance track:

In order of appearance:

★  Sacrifice
     From the 1989 album, Sleeping With The Past.
Elton’s first #1 solo single in the UK.
★  Rocket Man
      From 1972’s, Honky Château.
Elton’s highest-charting US and UK single at the time.
★  Kiss The Bride
      From Elton’s 1983 effort, Too Low For Zero.
The third Top 40 single from that album.
★  Where’s The Shoorah?
      A deep cut from Blue Moves (1976).
Features the same choir that sang with Elton at his iconic
Dodger Stadium shows in 1975.

2. Elton John and Dua Lipa…immediate BFFs.

Before asking her to sing the lines from Rocket Man and Kiss The Bride on Cold Heart, Elton frequently lauded the British singer during his Apple Music weekly radio show Rocket Hour.

Dua first appeared on his 100th episode in June 2017 when she was featured on Wale’s My Love. Last year, Elton highlighted her #1 album Future Nostalgia, saying the single Levitating was his favourite song from the record.

Elton’s history with PNAU can be traced back to December 2007

He discovered their self-titled debut album during a record shopping spree in Sydney while on tour and immediately began talking them up to anyone within earshot. He invited the duo, Nick Littlemore and Peter Mayes (Nick’s brother Sam joined the group recently), to tea at his hotel before he left Australia. It is PNAU’s techno/disco instrumentation that drives the groove behind Cold Heart.

Elton and Nick Littlemore collaborated on a song for Cirque du Soleil in 2011.

The pair co-wrote Whenever for the show Zarkana even while PNAU was poring through the master tapes of Elton’s classic albums, extracting and refracting micro-samples from the years 1969-1977 for the UK #1 album Good Morning To The Night (2012).

5. Elton invited Dua to perform at his Academy Awards Viewing Party in 2021.

Earlier this year, the pair duetted on his Bennie And The Jets and her Love Again at the virtual streaming event.

Dua and Elton (Photo: Dave Benett)

Ever since we first “met” online, we totally clicked. Elton is such an inspirational artist and also has the naughtiest sense of humour – a perfect combination. It has been an absolute honour and privilege to collaborate on this track with him. It’s so very special, with some of my very favourite Elton John classic songs combined – I loved being part of such a creative and joyous experience. Can’t wait to hear it everywhere this summer.

Dua Lipa

6. PNAU performed on stage with Elton in 2012.

Most notably at the Ibiza 123 Rocktonic Festival in July (“Most bizarre experience in my life. It still hasn’t hit me,” Littlemore said later that year) and at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in November.

7. The original Elton tracks were recorded in four different countries.

★  Sacrifice – Denmark

★  Rocket Man – France

★  Kiss The Bride – Montserrat

★  Where’s The Shoorah? – United States (the core of Blue Moves was recorded in Toronto, Canada, but the sample used in Cold Heart is an overdub recorded in Los Angeles, CA.)

PNAU: Sam Littlemore, Nick Littlemore, Peter Mayes (l-r)

8. None of the songs’ (full) titles are sung in ‘Cold Heart’.

This fact is a tribute to Elton’s ability to write captivating melodies secondary to his tunes’ main hooks, as well as PNAU’s ability to seamlessly build new musical structures out of phrases from songs recorded years apart from one another.

9. In July, Dua helped celebrate the 300th episode of Elton’s ‘Rocket Hour

“I’ll never forget when you played Levitating on your Rocket Hour. I absolutely lost my mind; I was so happy you liked the song. … I love how incredibly supportive you are of so many new artists and artists all over the world.”

10. ‘Cold Heart’ adds to the over 180 collaborations that Elton has appeared on with other artists, including…

A Tribe Called Quest
Gary Barlow
Tony Bennett
Bob Dylan
Fall Out Boy
Aretha Franklin
George Harrison
Bruce Hornsby
The Killers
B.B. King
Lady Gaga
John Lennon
Eddie Murphy
Olivia Newton-John
Ozzy Osbourne
Pet Shop Boys
Queens Of The Stone Age
Smokey Robinson
Scissor Sisters
Neil Sedaka
Ringo Starr
Cat Stevens
Rod Stewart
Kanye West
Brian Wilson
Steven Wilson

(This list is abbreviated.)