I’ve known about Elton John ever since I was little. I remember “Crocodile Rock” on The Muppet Show and Elton’s crazy outfits. The Lion King was a big deal when I was growing up – so of course, we were exposed to Elton throughout 1994. As the years went by and as I discovered his albums, Elton John became a personal favorite and ranked high on my 2007 List.
The Backstory of Elton John and Me
Although Elton John has been a name I knew of from an early age, his music doesn’t resonate with a ton of memories. I don’t know when I first heard an Elton John song or when I decided that he was a big deal.
Grab All of the Elton John Records
One year after my father passed away, my mom and I had to move and downsize. We lived in a three-bedroom house and our ‘middle’ room was wall-to-wall with my dad’s records. I was 16 and obviously an idiot.
As we decided what items we would keep and what items would be disposed of, we discussed the record collection. Thankfully, I started getting a taste of good music (I wouldn’t fully evolve my musical preference for a few more years). I managed to grab all of The Beatles records, most of the solo albums by John and Paul (Wings included). I grabbed a few random records and also grabbed everything Elton John.
My guess is I discovered Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and realized that Elton John was a great artist. I know my friend Erik’s mom was a big Elton John fan; maybe he influenced me a bit. Tough to say, but I have his records
One of my biggest regrets in life is not securing these records. Other items I wish I would have held onto during the move:
- My brother’s original Kenner Star Wars action figures.
- He-Man toys and Castle Greyskull
- Old VHS tapes with recorded programs from The Disney Channel
I can be thankful that I did bring all my old trading cards, my Hasbro Wrestling figures, and my PWI magazine collection. I am not much of a packrat but do understand the importance of keeping select items.
Your Song, Her Song, Our Song
“Your Song” has been a favorite of mine for years. Lauren and I both enjoy this song ever since we watched Ewan Mcgregor sing it in Moulin Rouge! This was probably one of the first movies we watched together. This song was always approved for any joint playlist.
Many many years later, we had our lovely daughter – who is a diva. She loves to dress up, wear ridiculous outfits, and perform. She took up piano lessons and was able to pick a song for their ’70s Night Recital’. Guess what our obvious choice was?
Lainee had her chance to dress up like Elton John (we tried the whole white-feather look). Along with her instructor, she played “Your Song” for the crowd. For only playing for a month, she did a great job and we were super proud of her.
I am sure this won’t be her last diva performance.
Elton John Now vs. Elton John Rank In 2007
Obviously Elton has released some new music since 2007. Those records aren’t great (my opinion of course), but his 70s work was amazing. The rate Elton produced albums was insane – nearly one record per year. He didn’t crack my top ten in ’07 and truthfully didn’t think he would hit it NOW.
After a chain of really good albums in the seventies, I thought most of his stuff was mediocre at best. Besides his tracks on The Lion King Soundtrack, his nineties music was garbage. I for sure this would kill him in the rank.
Check out where they rank on my current list.
Elton John Metrics
By The Numbers
- Qualified Songs: 402
- Greatest Hits: 24
- Four Star: 111
- Three Star: 239
- Two Star: 27
- One Star: 1
A Deep Dive Into the Current Score
Turns out having a lot of 5-star songs will help outweigh the junk you produce. This seems about right; we tend to only listen to the good stuff. Elton hammered out some 5-star songs and even his worst music wasn’t considered noise (which tends to get the 1-star ratings).
At the moment, Elton has produced the most 2-star ratings than any previously ranked artist (The Beatles, Journey, The Moody Blues, etc…). Two Star songs and Three Star songs have very similar weight – both are songs I probably don’t want to hear. The fact is, Elton John has a lot of songs and a lot of songs I do want to hear. This is why he scores favorably.
Elton John Podcasts for Reference
Desert Island Discs – Elton John is the 12th artist I have covered and I have stumbled upon many of these Desert Island Discs podcasts – all of them being very good. This was from a 1986 interview and Elton covers some of his upbringing, influences, and favorite songs.
Strong Songs – The Host Kirk Hamilton is very good when it comes to breaking down songs. Granted, I have ZERO knowledge of how music is made, so he could be just making stuff up. I doubt that’s the case and his episode on Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was fantastic.
The 500 with Josh Adams Meyers – I’ve heard about the Rolling Stone magazine featuring the top 500 best albums several times now (during this ranking task). The host, Josh Adams Meyers, is actually going through all of these albums. I listened to 458 about Tumbleweed Connection.
Political Beats – This is the second time I was recommended Political Beats. They went through Elton’s discography and really did a great job highlighting some of the best songs and records. They might get a new subscriber out of me.
Elton John Videos for Reference
Classic Albums: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – (Amazon Prime) I love a deep dive and look behind the scenes of making ‘things’. This program doesn’t just look into the album, they tend to do a mini-career retrospect and that is always fun.
Rock Legends: Elton John – (AXS TV) I set my DVR to record all Rock Legends and they sit (unwatched) until I reach their name on my list. Finally, I was able to watch this program and it was so/so. Since Elton has had a career since the ’60s, I can’t blame AXS TV for not being able to do it justice in such a short program slot.
Elton John in the Movies
Rocketman (iTunes) – I understand Elton wasn’t officially staring in the movie – but biopics should count. This movie reminded me a lot of Across the Universe – lots of singing and dancing mid-scene. I do love a musical, so this was a good watch. Probably not going to watch it every year, but I did enjoy the story of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
The Battle of Elton John Albums
There were so many Elton John albums. I remember listening to all of these years ago and thought it would never end. I skipped around and found that Elton John was really hit or miss. Turns out if you listen in order, Elton was hit, hit, hit,….., miss, miss, miss. The early stuff is great.
I am really surprised Tumbleweed Connection didn’t rank higher – but knew Goodbye Yellow Brick Road would be the winner.
|Goodbye Yellow Brick Road||658.82%|
|Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player||240.00%|
|Songs From the West Coast||125.00%|
|Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy||107.69%|
|Madman Across the Water||100.00%|
|The Complete Thom Bell Sessions||75.00%|
|Victim of Love||57.14%|
|Rock of the Westies||50.00%|
|The Captain & the Kid||40.00%|
|A Single Man||37.50%|
|The Big Picture||36.36%|
|Too Low for Zero||30.77%|
|Sleeping With the Past||30.00%|
|Reg Strikes Back||18.18%|
|Made in England||18.18%|
|21 at 33||11.11%|
|Ice on Fire||9.09%|
|Wonderful Crazy Night||8.33%|
|The Diving Board||0.00%|
The Greatest Hit from Elton John
Elton John had more than 20 songs for the greatest hit list. At first glance, I had a feeling it would come down these two songs.
Previous Greatest Hit
This has always been one of my favorites. As referenced earlier, my wife and I like this song – probably one of our first “songs”. I think this song would rank in the top five for any Elton John fan.
“Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding”
The surprise of the century might be the initial track from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road winning the tournament. This is a deep cut and actually two songs for the price of one. “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” is a brilliant song with drama from start to finish. It was a tough choice but in the end – this prog-rock wannabe song is amazing.
Elton John might be having his farewell tour – but he’s not dead. Who knows if he releases more albums or songs and I have to go back and update the ranks. For the most part, Elton was easy to listen to in the first half of his career and landed a few good songs in the latter half. It might be a 50/50 split if you randomly played an Elton John song (good or bad). If you had the choice to make a greatest hits playlist, you would be very happy with your selection.
October 9, 2019
I don’t believe I was too rough on Elton for some of his songs. As I randomly listen to playlists, some of the songs ‘skip’ totals will decide if some songs drop to a 1-star.