Help me to get Elton John!

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Sgt. Abbey Road, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. Sgt. Abbey Road

    Sgt. Abbey Road Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Graz, Austria
    I‘m asking this question because I don’t completely get Elton John’s music! That seems strange to me because I’m a big Billy Joel fan. Moreover I think that Elton‘s best material like „Daniel“ or „Goodbye Yellow Brick Road“ is amazing. The main problem is that his catalog is so big that it’s quiet confusing:help:
  2. johnod

    johnod Forum Resident

    I like the early stuff myself, before he became Liberace.
    Elton John, Tumbleweed, and Madman.
    I think I'm in the minority though.
  3. plugmeintosomething

    plugmeintosomething Forum Resident

    Start with the self-titled and work forward. Up through Captain Fantastic it's (mostly) all good. Still many good songs after that but mostly spotty albums,
  4. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Forum Resident

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  5. Dandelion1967

    Dandelion1967 My Favourite Parks Are Car Parks

    Every album he released between 1970 and 1975 is essential, after that you can get off the bus.
  6. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    I'm with you. I was there for the early stuff and lost interest by 74. Nothing after Don't Shoot Me holds any interest for me.
  7. kundryishot

    kundryishot Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    after Don't shoot me it's all down hill
  8. Kaptain Beyond

    Kaptain Beyond Forum Resident

    Sounds like you’re quiet confusing
    Sgt. Abbey Road and a customer like this.
  9. AngusStanley

    AngusStanley Forum Resident

    Cedar Rapids IO
    Start with this.


    If you like that then get this.


    That’s probably enough.
    Rojo and Sgt. Abbey Road like this.
  10. musicfan37

    musicfan37 Senior Member

    I’m with you.
    timind and Sgt. Abbey Road like this.
  11. idledreamer

    idledreamer Still idle

    Boston, MA
  12. tonyc

    tonyc Forum Resident

    United States
    I don't think "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is downhill.
  13. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    That’s pretty much my take even though I stuck it through till Blue Moves. But prior to that point, and especially pre-Don’t Shoot Me, I consider him one of the most progressive 70’s singer-songwriters there ever was…truly a highly creative style all his own.
  14. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    I think DSM was actually a step down with GYBR taking it a significant step back up.
    AaronW, BeauZooka, timind and 3 others like this.
  15. Cemetry Gator

    Cemetry Gator Forum Resident

    Morristown, NJ
    If you're looking at Elton albums, it's a little tough since even at his peak, his albums could be mixed bags overall. There was always good and great material, but there was also a lot of middling stuff that filled up space on a record.

    So I'll give you three LPs to start with:
    1. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - it's a double but there's not a lot of filler. It opens with the absolutely killer "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" and from there he really gives it his all.

    2. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy - this was written to be an album and is all very personal and there's a lot of strong stuff. Someone Saved My Life Tonight is an amazing single, but Curtains is a stunning closer that will grab you and never let go.

    3. Too Low For Zero - much gets made about how Elton did his best work in the early 70s, but this album goes to show he never lost it. Released in 1983, it was a reunion album of sorts. Bernie was back as the only songwriter, he reunited his classic band from the 70s, and he put forth an effort that updated his sound to the 1980s but didn't feel like trend chasing. I'm Still Standing was an anthem, I Guess That's Why They Called It the Blues can stand toe to toe with his best work, and even the stuff that doesn't appear on his setlists today still has value. One More Arrow was a great ballad, Crystal sounds like a demo but has charm to spare, even Religion, which is a bit of a throwaway, is at least a fun joke. Kiss the Bride is another great rock track that was also a hit.

    From there, you'll have a good starting point and can dive in deeper.
  16. peteham

    peteham Forum Resident

    Simcoe County
    These are the kinds of assertions you have to strictly avoid.
    awizard, SRC, davenav and 5 others like this.
  17. crazywater

    crazywater Dangerous Dreamer...

    Rolesville, NC
    Here's what I think are "essential" Elton broken down by decade, that's not to say the other albums aren't worth listen since there are great tracks on every Elton album. I just think these are the must have Elton albums.

    70s - Everything up to 1976 Blue Moves
    80s - Too Low For Zero and Sleeping With The Past
    90s - The One and Made In England
    2000s - Songs from The West Coast and Captain and the Kid
    2010s - The Union
  18. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    Liberace comment? Probably in the minority.

    Preferring the earlier material? Not in the minority.
    johnod, Maurice, ARK and 1 other person like this.
  19. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident

    In your mind
    I can't help you. Like most artist's music, you either like it or you don't. It's best to focus on all of the music you do like and forget about Elton. Life's too short.
    no.nine, Bnk and timind like this.
  20. WolfSpear

    WolfSpear Music Enthusiast

    You should start with his self-titled album and move your way up through Rock Of The Westies. There are some solid pieces in the 80’s like Too Low For Zero and Sleeping With The Past, and I’m always a sucker for The Fox (underrated to me).
    serj and Dynamic Ranger like this.
  21. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    You don't get his music? What's there to get?

    For starters, every album released in the 70s!...
    DK Pete likes this.
  22. Bobby Morrow

    Bobby Morrow Forum Resident

    Start with Honky Chateau or Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player, play until you’re familiar with them and can appreciate the music, then move onto the next 2 albums and do the same. Do this until you’re on The Lockdown Sessions. It may take a while.:)

    If you can’t get into these pretty commercial records, maybe Elton’s just not for you. Try Ed Sheeran instead.:D
  23. a customer

    a customer Forum Resident

    Bernie Taupin was the songwriter
    I thought
    Sgt. Abbey Road likes this.
  24. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Master Guns

    NYC Man/Joy-Z City
    Not sure what would be confusing about it.

    There's not really anything to "get."

    Just work your way slowly through it.

    The only thing I'd say is that he tends to change enough from album to album that it's difficult to divide up his output into clear stylistic periods so that you'd only have to sample one album from a period to have a good idea that the others from that period will or won't appeal to you. But I'd say that short of checking out every single album, if you sample at least one album from each five year period--so something from 1969 to 1973, something from 1974 to 1978, then something from 1979 to 1983, and so on, that will give you the best idea what albums to concentrate on first for your tastes.
    MrJerry1876 and Sgt. Abbey Road like this.
  25. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    Bernie lyrics, Elton music. For me, it’s the way he set an already written set of lyrics to melody, chords, rhythmic pattern, etc. Amazing.

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