Harman Patil (Editor)

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

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B-side  "Shoulder Holster"
Format  Vinyl record (7")
Length  3:48
Released  1 November 1976
Genre  Soft rock
Recorded  Eastern Sound, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 22 March 1976

"Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. It was recorded by Elton John and released in 1976, both as a single and as part of the Blue Moves album. It was John's second single released by The Rocket Record Company. The song is a mournful ballad about a romantic relationship which is falling apart. The song is in the key of G melodic minor and G harmonic minor.


The song also appeared the following year on Greatest Hits Volume II, though for copyright reasons it no longer appears on the current version of that album. It now appears on Greatest Hits 1976–1986, The Very Best of Elton John and in Greatest Hits 1970–2002, as well as a number of other compilations.

The song is also featured prominently in the 1977 movie Slap Shot.

In December 2015, the song was used in a US holiday-themed commercial for Temptation cat treats.


  • Ray Cooper – vibraphone
  • Carl Fortina – accordion
  • James Newton Howard – electric piano, strings arrangement
  • Elton John – piano, vocals
  • Kenny Passarelli – bass
  • Commercial performance

    The song was a Top 20 hit, reaching No. 11 in the United Kingdom, No. 6 in the United States and No. 3 in Canada. In addition, the song went to No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart. In the US, it was certified Gold on 25 January 1977 by the RIAA.

    Blue version

    The song was covered in 2002 by English boy band Blue for their second studio album, One Love (2002). The song was recorded as a collaboration with Elton John, and was the second single from the album. It peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart on 15 December 2002.

    Track listing

    UK CD1
    1. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (Radio Edit) – 3:31
    2. "Lonely This Christmas" – 2:08
    3. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (Ruffin Ready Soul Mix) – 3:51
    4. "Recording Studio Footage" – 3:30
    UK CD2
    1. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (Radio Edit) – 3:31
    2. "Album Medley" – 5:44
    3. "Sweet Thing" – 3:38
    4. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (Video) – 3:31
    UK Cassette
    1. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" (Radio Edit) – 3:31
    2. "Album Medley" – 5:44
    3. "Sweet Thing" – 3:38

    Other versions

    "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" has been covered by a wide variety of artists from country to R&B. It has been recorded as a duet, in Spanish, and has even featured Elton John himself on a couple of versions.

    In 1991, Joe Cocker covered this song.

    In 1992, Argentine singer Pedro Aznar used the music to Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word and wrote his own lyrics to record a Spanish version with the title Ya no hay forma de pedir perdón ("There isn't a way to ask for forgiveness").

    In 1994, country singers Suzy Bogguss and Chet Atkins covered the song on their 1994 Simpatico. It was released as a single but failed to chart.

    In 2002, the boy band Blue recorded the song with Elton John (who received a featured artist credit). This version was produced by multi-platinum producer Ray Ruffin and was a hit throughout Europe and went to No. 1 in the UK, where it received a Silver sales certification and sold 315,000 copies.

    In 2004, Elton John and Ray Charles performed the song on Genius Loves Company.

    Sampling by Pnau

    In 2012, the Australian electron pop duo Pnau, signed by Elton John to his own management company, Rocket Music, produced a remix album of eight Elton tracks. The lead single of this album was Sad, which sampled Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.

    The single was the lead single for the eight-track remix compilation Good Morning to the Night in collaboration with Australian remixer Pnau, which came out on 16 July 2012.

    The "so sad" lyric, alongside with elements of previous hits was merged into Elton John's new single "Sad", which had its first play on Magic 105.4 on 9 July 2012.


    Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word Wikipedia

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