OCTOBER 26, 2017

Diamond Moments: ‘I’m Still Standing’

We are selecting Diamond Moments from Elton’s 50-year career to celebrate the November 10th release of Elton’s ultimate greatest hits collection, Diamonds.

Elton’s second single from his 1983 album ‘Too Low For Zero’ established his rightful place on the 1980s charts and its title has become a catchphrase for his career.

I’m Still Standing, issued in May (US) and July (UK) 1983, reached #4 on the UK Singles Chart and #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Having also placed on the Billboard Adult Contemporary and Rock charts, it topped the Canada and Switzerland singles charts and reached the Top 10 in five other countries.

'I'm Still Standing' – 1983. (Director: Russell Mulcahy; editor: Stephen Priest; choreographer: Arlene Phillips)

We had two days to do it, the first day of which we did the helicopter shot. And there were some other scenes that Russell went to do on his own – some dance sequences. He, unfortunately, fell off the edge of the pier with the camera and all the day’s film in it. So we had to do the whole lot in one day. It was a hell of a lot to do but the French kids were marvelous.

Elton (1983)

The song has entered the Elton lexicon and is often used as a headline for interviews and articles in magazines and newspapers.

As Bernie explains, “It’s perhaps one more example of the original idea being interpreted by everyone into something quite different. I think people see it as an anthem based on Elton’s strong sense of survival in the face of adversity. Which, believe me, is perfectly fine by me – and in fact it’s probably infinitely more interesting than what it was originally written about. Which, if my memory serves me correctly, was a sort of kiss-off to an old girlfriend. You know the sort of thing: ‘Don’t you worry about me, I’ll be perfectly fine.’ Unlike George Jones’ She Thinks I Still Care, where in fact he really did…I really didn’t.”

I’m Still Standing has been a part of Elton’s concerts, band and solo, since 1983 and is included in the set list for his current Million Dollar Piano residency at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas. The video that accompanies the song during that performance, different than the official video above, was designed by Sam Pattinson and shows various clips of Elton on stage and in promotional videos against a backdrop of an animated keyboard and other music-related graphics, offering the viewer on a visual smorgasbord of his career.