Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” Lyrics Meaning
In “Crocodile Rock”, Elton John focuses on the subject of the Rock music genre while conveying a message that rock in the earlier years sounded much better.
He asserts that when rock was younger he loved it better and had fun grooving to it always. He mentions hits like ‘Rock around the Clock’ which is arguably the first rock n roll hit, then implies that he and his then girlfriend Suzie, were also dancing to his own tune the ‘Crocodile Rock’. Elton further implies that song is irresistible and he never experienced a better time than that.
The singer also indicates that in his view, the rock genre faded out on its quality over the years.
After all is said and done, we guess it is safe to say this track was designed as a tribute to rock music from the years prior to its release.
What Elton John has said about “Crocodile Rock”
John himself has confirmed the above. In an interview with the Rolling Stone, he categorically stated that the song was a homage to all the fifties and sixties records that he used to love.
Inspiration for “Crocodile Rock”
Elton John was inspired to come up with this song by another hit track from 1971 entitled “Eagle Rock” by the Australian band Daddy Cool.
“Crocodile Rock” was Elton John’s firs #1 Hit in America
“Crocodile Rock”, which was written by Bernie Taupin and John proved to be Sir John’s first number 1 hit in the United States.
The track also topped the music charts in Canada, Italy, New Zealand and Switzerland.
And in Elton John’s home country, “Crocodile Rock” peaked at number 5 on the UK Singles Chart.
When did “Crocodile Rock” come out?
“Crocodile Rock” was initially released by DJM Records in the UK on 27 October 1972 as the first single from Sir John’s album “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player”. Its US-based release/publication was handled by MCA Records.
In fact this classic was the first song MCA Records released in the United States.
This track was one of the official singles from Elton’s #1 album “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player”. The classic hit “Daniel” was also one of that album’s singles.
It has since been featured on a number of John’s compilation and live albums, as well as a couple of movie soundtracks. A notable example is 1999’s “Four Weddings and a Funeral”.
Elton John is sued for Copyright Infringement
John and Taupin were sued in 1974 by Buddy Kaye, the composer of the 1961 track “Speedy Gonzales”, who alleged that “Crocodile Rock” illegally copied aspects of that song. A settlement was eventually reached between the parties.
Elton John isn’t fond of “Crocodile Rock”
Neither John nor Bernie, the writers of this classic, are particularly fond of this track. Interestingly enough, they have respectively referred to it as “disposable pop” and “pop fluff”, as in its intention was to serve as a temporary hit. Instead, it is considered as one of their many classics and is a fan favorite to this day.
Notable Live Performance
Elton John famously performed this classic on the children’s television program “The Muppet Show” in 1978. You can watch that iconic performance below: