Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Compilation Nation: Elton John - Greatest Hits

Only one of the best album covers of all time!
When it comes down to bare essentials, this 1974 compilation of Elton's early 70s hits is about as bare and essential as it gets. Upon it's original pressing, it was graced with just 10 tracks. The US and the UK versions differed slightly, with "Candle in The Wind" replacing "Bennie and The Jets" on the latter. Even more puzzling was the omission of tracks from Elton's Madman Across The Water album such as "Levon" and "Tiny Dancer" in favor of "Border Song" from the Elton John LP.

Yet, as an album it is most definitely a strong and satisfying listen. In my opinion, these are Elton's strongest hits. This was when he was at the top of his game. Sure, he would become even more successful after this album, but from "Your Song" to the concluding "Crocodile Rock", this is the tops.

Presented in a non-chronological order, Greatest Hits flows remarkably well from track to track. Having grown up with the US version, I was surprised when I first purchased the CD incarnation years ago and found that "Candle in The Wind" had been added to the track list. While it was interesting to hear a track that I had previously only heard as a live cut on the Live In Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra album, it did interrupt the flow for me. Therefore, I think the US version is tops while the UK version runs out of gas in the second half.

NOTE: "Candle In The Wind" was a hit in the UK and "Bennie and The Jets" was a hit in the US, hence the difference between the two countries.

Breif it may be, but it serves as the best introduction to the vast world of Elton John's music. Buy it for your kids. They'll thank you for it years later.
  1. Your Song
  2. Daniel
  3. Honky Cat
  4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  5. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
  6. Rocket Man
  7. Bennie & The Jets
  8. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
  9. Border Song
  10. Crocodile Rock

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