Build Your Own Best Of – Elton John

This post originally appeared on my now defunct My Thermos blog on September 5, 2008 and is being reprinted here with my own permission.

I’ve been a fan of Elton John for a long time. His writing collaboration with Bernie Taupin has created some of the greatest music of my generation. He is an amazing live performer, one I’ve seen countless times over the years. His string of 7 albums from 1971’s Madman Across The Water through 1975’s Captain Fantastic is a staggeringly amazing collection of songs. This amazingly prolific period is surpassed probably only by The Beatles for sheer quantity of quality work in such a short period of time.

But Elton is also one of those artists that I occasionally despise. You see, for every Tumbleweed Connection there was a Leather Jackets. For every “Amoreena” there was a “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” A quick scan of ratings in my library shows a tremendous number of 3 and 4 star entries along with a boatload of “never play this again” – it seems I either love him or hate him.

But when he clicks, it really is magic.

Elton John Charleston - 18

So once again inspired by Nat (now at Another Aging Hipster) the idea is the same as always:

Pick one of your favorite bands / artists and list 10-15 songs by that band / artist to compile your own best of compilation.

So here goes – The Best of Elton John as compiled by me:

  • “All the Girls Love Alice” – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • “Amoreena” – Tumbleweed Connection
  • “Burn Down The Mission” – Tumbleweed Connection
  • “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” – Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
  • “Empty Garden (Hey, Hey Johnny)”
  • “Grey Seal” – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • “Have Mercy on the Criminal” – Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player
  • “Indian Sunset” – Madman Across The Water
  • “Madman Across The Water” – Madman Across The Water
  • “Mellow” – Honky Chateau
  • “Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters” – Honky Chateau
  • “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)” – Honkey Chateau
  • “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” – Blue Moves
  • “Tiny Dancer” – Madman Across The Water
  • “Tower of Babel” – Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

I know many of your favorites are probably missing – what would be on your list?


(Thanks to Stroudm for the photo – what a great shot of the EJ attitude…)