Active TopicsActive Topics  Display List of Forum MembersMemberlist  Search The ForumSearch  HelpHelp
  RegisterRegister  LoginLogin
Chat Board
 Top 40 Music on Compact Disc : Chat Board
Subject Topic: "The Bitch Is Back" - Elton John Post ReplyPost New Topic
Author
Message << Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Todd Ireland
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 16 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4193
Posted: 05 December 2007 at 4:23pm | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

According to the database, CD entries for Elton John's "The Bitch Is Back" range widely from 3:32 to 3:44. Does anyone have any info regarding the actual vinyl 45 and LP run times? I'm wondering if we have another case of a difference in length between the two.

(On a side note, I'm still amazed to this day how a song with "bitch" in the title managed to go all to #4 on Billboard, given how strict radio was in 1974 with censoring lyrics that could be interpreted as offensive or inappropriate to a general audience. I realize it's not considered a bad word in Elton John's home country, but I still remain surprised over how the song attained seemingly widespread acceptance in the U.S.)
Back to Top View Todd Ireland's Profile Search for other posts by Todd Ireland
 
Hykker
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 30 October 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1030
Posted: 05 December 2007 at 4:38pm | IP Logged Quote Hykker

Todd Ireland wrote:

(On a side note, I'm still amazed to this day how a song with "bitch" in the title managed to go all to #4 on Billboard, given how strict radio was in 1974 with censoring lyrics that could be interpreted as offensive or inappropriate to a general audience.


Especially when you take into account that the same word was edited out of the 45 version of Billy Joel's "Worse Comes To Worst", which was out around the same time. Of course, Billy's career was just getting established in '74 while Elton was so hot at the time he could have flatulated into a microphone and still hit #1.
Back to Top View Hykker's Profile Search for other posts by Hykker
 
Todd Ireland
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 16 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4193
Posted: 05 December 2007 at 4:54pm | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Hykker wrote:
Elton was so hot at the time he could have flatulated into a microphone and still hit #1.


LOL Given the increasingly vulgar direction popular music has taken in recent years, Hykker, I wouldn't be at all surprised if some artist eventually implements your idea and turns it into a #1 smash.

Edited by Todd Ireland on 05 December 2007 at 4:55pm
Back to Top View Todd Ireland's Profile Search for other posts by Todd Ireland
 
BillCahill
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 13 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 164
Posted: 05 December 2007 at 5:38pm | IP Logged Quote BillCahill

Couple of interesting side notes on that song, some radio stations only called it "Elton John from Caribou".

Also the American Top 40 show made a rare exception and allowed stations that weren't playing it to edit the track off the show. Normally you were not allowed to edit Casey's show.

Back to Top View BillCahill's Profile Search for other posts by BillCahill
 
The Hits Man
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 04 February 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 611
Posted: 05 December 2007 at 5:40pm | IP Logged Quote The Hits Man

Todd Ireland wrote:

(On a side note, I'm still amazed to this day how a song with "bitch" in the title managed to go all to #4 on Billboard, given how strict radio was in 1974 with censoring lyrics that could be interpreted as offensive or inappropriate to a general audience. I realize it's not considered a bad word in Elton John's home country, but I still remain surprised over how the song attained seemingly widespread acceptance in the U.S.)
Back in 1974, where I lived, it wasn't even an issue. Maybe the country was still reeling from the Watergate Scandal, the lies of Nixon to care. The word was not even considered bad until very recently.

Edited by The Hits Man on 05 December 2007 at 10:40pm


__________________
Back to Top View The Hits Man's Profile Search for other posts by The Hits Man
 
jimct
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 07 April 2006
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3906
Posted: 05 December 2007 at 7:11pm | IP Logged Quote jimct

Todd Ireland wrote:
According to the database, CD entries for Elton John's "The Bitch Is Back" range widely from 3:32 to 3:44. Does anyone have any info regarding the actual vinyl 45 and LP run times? I'm wondering if we have another case of a difference in length between the two.
Todd, my commercial 45 has both a listed and actual time of (3:42). As mentioned earlier, Elton was absolutely "hot as a firecracker" at the time, but the word "bitch" was obviously a big concern for many stations. When I started working at the station a couple of years later, I asked a station veteran, who was there back in 1974, what the "inside story" was with this song. He said "We were in a tough spot. We had an older, conservative man as station owner, since 1947, and his office was right in our building. We had to ask him about 'The Bitch Is Back' the day it came in, fearing a possible firing if he'd heard the word 'bitch', airing on 'his' station, without having 'why' explained to him first. He really did understand the nature of Top 40 radio, though, and 99.99% of the time he would stay out of such things, and simply allow the Music/Program Directors to do their jobs." (I both listened to, and also own almost all of their old '64-'74 music surveys, and the ONLY big hit song that I remember them never playing at all, during all of those years, was 1967's "Society's Child" by Janis Ian, which I'd only known about because the "other" Top 40 station in town was spinning it.) Back to Elton John. "The PD/MD explained to the owner that he was currently THE #1 hottest act in Top 40, that he was scheduled to come to our city for a concert within 6-8 weeks, and that the station needed to 'stay on MCA's good side'. Our station was 'Presenting Elton John', which meant one of our DJ's got to go up on stage early on, and publicly thank all the people, both for coming AND, of course, for listening to our station! Things like ths were always VERY important image/ego 'gets' for radio stations. We were also hoping to receive absolutely as MANY free tickets from MCA as possible, for on-air giveaway." (Ironically, a few weeks later, this show would be cancelled!) "So, when all this was explained to the owner, he agreed to allow the song to be aired, unless a flood of negative listeners complaints came in about it (they didn't.) At the very least, though, he didn't want our own station's DJ's to actually SAY 'the B word'. Since the 'Caribou' album had already been out for more than two months, MCA had mentioned to us that some album rock stations, who had similar concerns, had long been using the 'Elton John From Caribou, alternative quasi-title' for 'The Bitch Is Back'. When the PD/MD told the owner of this option, he said 'fine'. They then put several big "Jocks: Do NOT say the actual title of 'The Bitch Is Back'; say 'Elton John From Caribou' instead! signs, inside the main studio, as well as another obvious warning on the cart itself. And that's the way the station handled this 'situation', for its entire chart run." Since I wasn't recording this conversation, I know EVERY word of my long quote couldn't possibly be 100% accurate, but I do know I that remember his story details, for this song, almost word-for-word.

Edited by jimct on 05 December 2007 at 7:20pm
Back to Top View jimct's Profile Search for other posts by jimct
 
eriejwg
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 10 June 2007
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2405
Posted: 05 December 2007 at 7:54pm | IP Logged Quote eriejwg

FASCINATING story, thanks for sharing!

I suppose if there had been a firestorm of complaints they could have recut the song as "The Witch is Back, but COULD YOU SEE Elton re-recording it? Not likely...

Edited by eriejwg on 05 December 2007 at 7:54pm
Back to Top View eriejwg's Profile Search for other posts by eriejwg Visit eriejwg's Homepage
 
Todd Ireland
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 16 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4193
Posted: 05 December 2007 at 9:01pm | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

eriejwg wrote:
FASCINATING story, thanks for sharing!

Ditto, Jim!
Back to Top View Todd Ireland's Profile Search for other posts by Todd Ireland
 
Brian W.
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 13 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2165
Posted: 06 December 2007 at 1:50am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Amazing story, Jim! I do remember them playing it on KJR, Seattle's main Top 40 station, but I don't recall whether the DJs announced the title or not.
Back to Top View Brian W.'s Profile Search for other posts by Brian W.
 
Brian W.
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 13 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2165
Posted: 06 December 2007 at 1:58am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Todd Ireland wrote:
Hykker wrote:
Elton was so hot at the time he could have flatulated into a microphone and still hit #1.


LOL Given the increasingly vulgar direction popular music has taken in recent years, Hykker, I wouldn't be at all surprised if some artist eventually implements your idea and turns it into a #1 smash.


Well, I must admit, I never thought there'd be a #2 smash ballad with the chorus, "I wanna f**k you," like there was last year.

Which reminds me of another thing that makes me feel old: As I was preparing to leave work tonight, I was singing '70s songs with a coworker (about my age) who'd just arrived for the graveyard shift. Somehow Helen Reddy's name came up, and my coworker said, "Oh, it's so nice to talk to someone who actually knows who Helen Reddy is. She was mentioned the other night in a show we were working on, and nobody on my shift had ever heard of her."
Back to Top View Brian W.'s Profile Search for other posts by Brian W.
 
Paul Haney
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 01 April 2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 953
Posted: 06 December 2007 at 7:28am | IP Logged Quote Paul Haney

Ah, the memories...I was 8 years-old when this song was a hit. I had 2 older brothers who got me hooked on AT40 right around this time (which pretty much set me on my future career path). Mom & Dad would let us listen to the local Top 40 station in the car. When our parents heard us sing along with this song for the first time they shut off the radio and that was it for KDWB in the car!

Flash forward to the fall of 1975...Neil Sedaka sang the offending "B" word in "Bad Blood" (which just happened to feature Elton!)...Mom was a big Neil Sedaka fan from the early 1960's, so all of a sudden that word wasn't so bad after all and KDWB was once again allowed in the family Buick.
Back to Top View Paul Haney's Profile Search for other posts by Paul Haney
 
Gary Mack
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 06 February 2006
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 158
Posted: 06 December 2007 at 9:42am | IP Logged Quote Gary Mack

I was program director of KLEO in Wichita then and I remember warning our GM ahead of time that we might have a problem. It helped that we were the #1 station in town and had been for many years (long before my arrival). He approved playing it and we instructed station personnel to immediately let us know about any complaints. My memory is that there were none! And Wichita was and still is a conservative city in the "Bible belt."

GM

Back to Top View Gary Mack's Profile Search for other posts by Gary Mack
 
The Hits Man
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 04 February 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 611
Posted: 06 December 2007 at 9:49am | IP Logged Quote The Hits Man

Man, I feel so alone at work. None of my fellow baby-boomers listen to music unless it's blues or country.

__________________
Back to Top View The Hits Man's Profile Search for other posts by The Hits Man
 
Todd Ireland
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 16 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4193
Posted: 06 December 2007 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Brian W. wrote:
Well, I must admit, I never thought there'd be a #2 smash ballad with the chorus, "I wanna f**k you," like there was last year.


Yep, you of course are referring to Akon featuring Snoop Dogg's hit which actually went all the way to #1 last year. Even though record labels have pretty much an "anything goes" mentality anymore with the music they produce and market, the labels realize the decency standards of today's commercial Top 40 radio stations haven't completely deteriorated to the point where radio will blatantly play a song featuring the "f-word". So Akon's label had him re-record the song as "I Wanna Love You" and that's how it officially charted on Billboard. Granted, the label still heavily promoted the explicit version at retail and many teens and pre-teens went out and bought it. Personally, I find it quite disturbing (and even frightening) to think that somehow over the past 40+ years, record labels have gone from marketing "I Want to Hold Your Hand" to "I Wanna F**k You" to young kids.

Edited by Todd Ireland on 06 December 2007 at 10:25am
Back to Top View Todd Ireland's Profile Search for other posts by Todd Ireland
 
bwolfe
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 24 May 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 192
Posted: 06 December 2007 at 11:14am | IP Logged Quote bwolfe

I recall the same "Elton John from Caribou" line too.
Also "that was/is Elton John" was popular too.

Wonder what the Kidz Bop Kids would do with that one?
They altered "Makes Me Wonder" by Maroon 5 recently.

Today's music has a lack of class.

I remember being afraid my parents would find my "Brown Sugar" single.
It was backed with "Bitch."
I was 8 years old.

__________________
the way it was heard on the radio
Back to Top View bwolfe's Profile Search for other posts by bwolfe
 
Brian W.
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 13 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2165
Posted: 06 December 2007 at 7:14pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Todd Ireland wrote:
   you of course are referring to Akon featuring Snoop Dogg's hit which actually went all the way to #1 last year.


Oops! I must have an error in my Word file. But, yeah, the download sales far and away favored the "explicit" version, if I recall correctly.
Back to Top View Brian W.'s Profile Search for other posts by Brian W.
 
sriv94
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 16 September 2005
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1281
Posted: 29 March 2014 at 3:49pm | IP Logged Quote sriv94

Thought I asked this once before, but danged if I can find it. On Elton John's GHV2 CD, "The Bitch Is Back" opens with a couple notes and some cymbal taps before launching into the guitar. On the T-L SOTS 1974 disc, the opening notes/cymbal taps are excised and it starts with the guitar.

Which way was it on the 45?

Edited by sriv94 on 29 March 2014 at 3:53pm


__________________
Doug
---------------
All of the good signatures have been taken.
Back to Top View sriv94's Profile Search for other posts by sriv94
 
Yah Shure
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 11 December 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1231
Posted: 29 March 2014 at 6:11pm | IP Logged Quote Yah Shure

sriv94 wrote:
On Elton John's GHV2 CD, "The Bitch Is Back" opens with a couple notes and some cymbal taps before launching into the guitar. On the T-L SOTS 1974 disc, the opening notes/cymbal taps are excised and it starts with the guitar.

Which way was it on the 45?


Doug, those notes and cymbal taps are present on all three of my 45s: U.S. DJ and stock MCAs and the U.K. DJM stock 45.

Looks like the T-L folks edited out the wrong part. ;)
Back to Top View Yah Shure's Profile Search for other posts by Yah Shure
 
The Hits Man
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 04 February 2007
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 611
Posted: 29 March 2014 at 10:10pm | IP Logged Quote The Hits Man

Todd Ireland wrote:
According to the database, CD
entries for Elton John's "The Bitch Is Back" range widely
from 3:32 to 3:44. Does anyone have any info regarding
the actual vinyl 45 and LP run times? I'm wondering if we
have another case of a difference in length between the
two.

(On a side note, I'm still amazed to this day how a song
with "bitch" in the title managed to go all to #4 on
Billboard, given how strict radio was in 1974 with
censoring lyrics that could be interpreted as offensive
or inappropriate to a general audience. I realize it's
not considered a bad word in Elton John's home country,
but I still remain surprised over how the song attained
seemingly widespread acceptance in the U.S.)
   

I guess it depends on where you lived in 1974. Where I
lives, radio hardly censored any records. The only one I
ever heard censored was "Fight The Power" by The Isley
Brothers.

My experience in the 70s was that radio was pretty
liberal in what they would play. We played it at school
functions and no one raised an eyebrow.

Edited by The Hits Man on 29 March 2014 at 10:11pm


__________________
Back to Top View The Hits Man's Profile Search for other posts by The Hits Man
 
edtop40
MusicFan
MusicFan


Joined: 29 October 2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4882
Posted: 01 January 2018 at 3:10pm | IP Logged Quote edtop40

so, was there ever issued a promo 45 that edited out the
word 'bitch'?

__________________
edtop40
Back to Top View edtop40's Profile Search for other posts by edtop40
 

Page of 2 Next >>
  Post ReplyPost New Topic
Printable version Printable version

Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot create polls in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



This page was generated in 0.0928 seconds.