The 80s gave Elton the chance to tour Australia in partnership with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and later in the decade ‘Sacrifice’ became Elton’s first UK solo #1 single.


Left: Christmas Eve 1982 at the Hammersmith Apollo. (Photo: Mark Giles)

Right: A 1982 publicity shot.


Elton John - Sad Songs (Say So Much).


Introduced by his friend, Billy Connolly, Elton took to the stage at 8.50pm to perform to the Live Aid crowd in Wembley Stadium and around the world.

“We just got the news that this concert is being shown on 95% of the televisions on Earth. Say hello to the world! So, hello everybody on Earth...”

Billy Connolly


Tour de Force

From November 5 to December 14, 1986, Elton toured Australia with his 14-member band…augmented by the 88-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and conductor James Newton Howard, who had played keyboards in Elton’s band from 1975 to 1981.

The final show, at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, resulted in the live album Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

The Elton John band were a hard act to follow according to Phil Collins – lead singer of rock band Genesis – who was due to play the SEC after Elton’s run had ended.

“... as we came off stage, Phil Collins jumped down next to me and walked backstage with us and ... he turned to me and said, “Well, Charlie…how the f*ck do we follow that??”

Charlie Morgan - Drummer with the Elton John Band

Candle In The Wind - Live From Australia in 1986.


Elton releases his 23rd studio album

In the August of 1989, Elton released his 23rd studio album featuring his first UK #1 single: Sacrifice. The album was dedicated to his life-long song writing partner Bernie Taupin and featured two other #1 chart toppers for the billboard contemporary chart – Healing Hands and Club At The End of The Street.

Elton John - Sacrifice.