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Help me to get Elton John!

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

  1. jalexander

    jalexander Forum Resident

    Elton has a deep catalogue with some gems and some duds. Finding what you like can take some serious work (although as others have mentioned, it’s hard to go wrong with his early 70s stuff).

    But he’s one of those 70s artists that has a killer greatest hits collection that’s very accessible. Greatest Hits Vol I is a pure classic, on par with Abba Gold, Neil Young Decade, Anne Murray Greatest Hits, or the Eagles Greatest Hits. Easy to find, always cheap, and if you don’t like the songs on it, there’s no real need to dig deeper.
  2. crazywater

    crazywater Dangerous Dreamer...

    Rolesville, NC
    Agreed and GH Vol 2 is no slouch either.
  3. kundryishot

    kundryishot Forum Resident

    United Kingdom

    Some of my favourite EJ songs were never released as singles and never became hits
    Recordfan and Sgt. Abbey Road like this.
  4. jalexander

    jalexander Forum Resident

    Not disputing that at all… I think Tumbleweed, which many would rate a 5/5, isn’t represented on Greatest Hits. But if you don’t like Greatest Hits Vol I, you’re probably never going to like Elton.
    timind and Sgt. Abbey Road like this.
  5. EddieT

    EddieT Forum Resident

    London UK
    The problem with his career is that if you listen to Tumbleweed Connection and then Reg Strikes Back it's hard to even contemplate it's the same artist. There's not much consistent identifiable sound running through from start to finish.

    That is because even early on, once he had recorded, the producer(s) finished the albums - I have long thought he was too disconnected from his own output (some might say a tad lazy).

    But then he came from a session background where he was doing sessions for others and didn't have to care much about the end product.

    So how to "get" him is a biy tricky. Choose an album from a year when an album from another favourite artist was released and compare?

    Whilst I am a fan the number of albums of his I actually listen to diminishes year on year. I listen to more Billy Joel more often I must admit.
    Sgt. Abbey Road likes this.
  6. hkam

    hkam Forum Resident

    From "Elton John" through to Rock of the Westies, Elton's albums were uniformly excellent... spotty after that. Perhaps he became so excessive in all his vices over the period that he lost all good sense to edit himself, and yet so powerful a commercial force that his producers and managers didn't dare question him or his decisions regarding what to release to the public. All of this is covered well in book "Me" and the movie Rocketman which at one point tells you he represented 5% of the world's record sales.

    Billy Joel has never been anywhere near as prolific... even if you look at the rarities released in box sets... Elton has albums' worth of unreleased music in "Jewel Box" and Billy had just a handful of unreleased songs on "My Lives." And Billy knew when his muse had dried up and had the good sense to call it quits for new music back in the mid 1990's

    On the other hand, Elton's had a bit of a renaissance that started with the truly excellent Songs From The West Coast.
  7. Sgt. Abbey Road

    Sgt. Abbey Road Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Graz, Austria
    I even have that Greatest Hits in my collection and like it! I only have problems to understand his discography because he recorded so many albums:)
    ARK and jalexander like this.
  8. Yes...this is sound advice. Not only his best album but one of my favourite albums, a stunning collection of songs.
    EddieT and Sear like this.
  9. Kent Gray

    Kent Gray Resident

    I'm pretty much with you. As piano-based artists go, Joel's music appeals to me much more than John's. In both cases, I like the earliest material the best.
    ARK and Sgt. Abbey Road like this.
  10. Brudr

    Brudr Forum Resident

    West Virginia
    nor is Captain Fantastic..... For me Elton's Best fall in two distinct periods . First , the "early years" consisting of S/T, Tumbleweed, Madman, Friends Soundtrack, and 11-17-70 (and some of Empty Sky). Second, his Classic "pop" period consisting of Honky Chateau , Don't Shoot Me, Goodby Yellow Brick Road, Caribou and Captain Fantastic. While I enjoyed Rock of The Westies and Blue Moves, the music suffered without Dee Murray and Nigel Olson.
  11. drbryant

    drbryant Senior Member

    Los Angeles, CA
    Rock of the Westies is his best rock album. I agree that things are very inconsistent once you get past the mid-70's. However, almost every Elton album has one or two tracks that remind you how good he can be - great tracks like Empty Garden, Sartorial Eloquence, Sad Songs, Sacrifice, Blessed, so many more. I recommend a good Greatest Hits comp that covers later years.
    Sgt. Abbey Road likes this.
  12. plugmeintosomething

    plugmeintosomething Forum Resident

    I'm a big Elton fan, but outside of a few songs never cared for Billy Joel.
  13. intv7

    intv7 Senior Member

    Boston, MA, USA
    Two words: Tumbleweed Connection.

    That was the album that sold me -- just within the past few years, after decades of feeling like I was missing something. I liked Elton, but didn't know his catalog outside the hits, and never really got why he was SOOOO revered.

    All of the albums up through 1975 are pretty much excellent (with a couple that are slightly subpar), and really should be listened to as complete albums, to chart where he was going during that period. Just hearing the massive, ubiquitous hits on their own kinda does them a disservice. Tumbleweed Connection doesn't have one of those universally-known songs. You can just take in ten tracks that are of superior quality, without having any preconceived notions about the music it contains. Honestly, if you aren't compelled to check out more of his stuff after that, then he's just not for you.
  14. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

    He's got so many songs go with all of them.
    plugmeintosomething likes this.
  15. Recordfan

    Recordfan Misfit Among Misfits

    The good news is that he was so popular that there are tons of copies of everything...
  16. kundryishot

    kundryishot Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    Funny how we all have different takes on EJ. I Bought Rock of the Westies when it came out. I played it once, and have never played it again. I hated everything on it
    CatchAsCan likes this.
  17. Maltman

    Maltman Somewhat grumpy, but harmless old man.

    Vancouver Canada
    I agree. I might add Honky Chateau.
    johnod likes this.
  18. JamesRR

    JamesRR Trashcan Dream

    Listen to these

    Elton John
    Tumbleweed Connection
    Madman Across the Water
    Honky Chateau
    Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
    Captain Fantastic
    GH V2
    Too Low for Zero
    Made in England
    Songs from the West Coast

    If you aren't serious about really diving into his catalog, just listen to this

    Elton John's Greatest Hits 1970-2002
    brucej4 and MikeManaic61 like this.
  19. JamesRR

    JamesRR Trashcan Dream

    Elton's catalog features much more piano-based music than Billy Joel's. And I've worn out both catalogs.
  20. crazywater

    crazywater Dangerous Dreamer...

    Rolesville, NC
    I love it... one of my go to Elton albums. It's not earth shattering stuff but its just a damn fun album.
  21. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Totally agree.
  22. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    My "newest" Elton album is currently "Rock Of The Westies" but I might rectify that next time I come across "Jump Up!". :D
  23. Actually...
    Steve, our generous host, can!*
    Elton John - Your Songs
    "Your Songs" a Hoffman mastered collection, may be a 'sound' introduction to start you on to a more specific journey.

    * proverbial 'Can't Believe Anyone Hasn't Posted This Yet' post!
    Sgt. Abbey Road likes this.
  24. egebamyasi

    egebamyasi Forum Resident

    Worcester, MA
    Cheese and Apples. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has a little bit of everything.
  25. Penny24

    Penny24 Forum Resident

    Los Angeles, Ca
    I would if I count. Aside from the occasional single like Benny and the Jets, Philadelphia Freedom, Nikita, etc., I can't stand his music.

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