Rocket Man Falls and Returns
In 1980, a short time after Bernie and Elton separated, the old team returned to the world of music with the albums 21 at 33 and The Fox. After collaborating with other artists and publishing a book of his own poems, called The One Who Writes the Words for Elton John, Bernie Taupin was ready to reunite the dynamic duo. Elton, for his part, was refreshed from his long hiatus from music. Both 21 at 33 and The Fox did very well on the charts. But Elton's music had changed.
The 1980s had caused Elton to calm down a bit musically and rely less on the pop sound. His music became slower, more mellow, and more bluesy. In reviews, his music was being labeled as adult contemporary, meaning Elton's audience was changing from youth to adulthood.
In 1981, Elton released Jump Up!, a new album that included a tribute song to John Lennon, called “Hey Hey Johnny.” Elton finally made peace with his friend's death in August 1982, when he performed the song at his sold-out show in Madison Square Garden with Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon. Then, in 1983, Elton made it huge again by reviving the enormous success of the ‘70s with his release of “I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues,” featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica. The song made it all the way to number four on the charts, placing Elton back in the popular music category. The song showed that Elton could still produce music everyone loved.