“The Immigrant” by Neil Sedaka – Classic Hit or Miss
Elton John and Sedaka met at a party in London in 1973. When John realized Sedaka had no American record label, John suggested he sign with Rocket, and Sedaka accepted the proposition. When John visited Sedaka’s London apartment, they discussed the plans for relaunching his career in the US.
John said he had “always been a Sedaka fan anyway”. He went on to say:
So the basic plan was as simple as finding out what he wanted to have on his album – which turned out to be a compilation from his British albums. It had been like Elvis coming up and giving us the chance to release his records. We couldn’t believe our luck.
Sedaka returned to the U.S. album charts with the release of Sedaka’s Back, a compilation of songs from three albums he had already recorded in the UK—namely “Solitaire,” “The Tra-La Days Are Over,” and “Laughter in the Rain.” It was only the second Sedaka album ever to chart in the U.S. Sedaka was known principally as a singles artist up to that point in his career; his only other American charting album was Neil Sedaka Sings His Greatest Hits, a compilation of his early singles.
Although the single was released in the autumn of 1974 and was very slow in building in sales and at radio, eventually Sedaka found himself once again topping the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart (February 1, 1975) with “Laughter in the Rain.” It was Sedaka’s second No. 1 single thus far at that point in his career (after 1962’s original version of “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do”) and solidly reestablished Sedaka’s popularity in America.
The third consecutive Billboard Top 25 hit from Sedaka’s Back was the uptempo rocker “That’s When the Music Takes Me” (US pop No. 25, US AC No. 7), originally from the 1972 Solitaire album. This song was a rarity at the time as it was one of the few songs Sedaka had written by himself, without a collaborator. It remains today his standard curtain-call concert closer.
“The Immigrant” is a 1975 single written by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody and performed by Sedaka. The single was the second release from his album, Sedaka’s Back. “The Immigrant” was dedicated to John Lennon and the immigration problems that he faced. The single peaked at number twenty-two on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent one week at number one on the Easy Listening chart in May 1975.