Since he started his music career in 1967, Elton John has released over 40 albums. Elton John released plenty of great albums throughout his 40 years stretch in the music business. Here is a list of the 10 greatest albums of Elton John.
10) Too Low For Zero
The 1980’s is regarded as Elton John’s down years. Though he was still able to produce hits, the continuity of the songs were lagging. Too Low For Zero was Elton John’s saving grace, after releasing some less than stellar albums. It proved to the world that Elton John was still the master of the mid tempo pop love ballad.
Standout Tracks: “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” “I’m Still Standing” “Cold As Christmas”
9) Tumbleweed Connection
Though Tumbleweed Connection did not contain any hit singles, it is regarded as one of Elton John’s greatest albums of all time. One would never imagine that this album could be written by two naive wankers from England. But it was. And it’s legendary. Many of the songs on the album were later covered by contemporary country artists like Keith Urban and Earl Scruggs.
Standout Tracks: “Burn Down The Mission” “My Fathers Gun” “Where To Now St. Peter” “Amoreena” “Come Down In Time”
8) Made In England
After the massive success of The Lion King movie, Elton John followed up that acclaim with Made In England. The album in considered an unofficial autobiography. The songs run the gammut of emotions. There is the somber song House, the upbeat “screw you” ode Made In England, and a tune about war called Belfast. The album was a critical hit and did fairly well on the charts.
Standout Tracks: “Believe” Blessed” “Cold” “Made In England”
7) Madman Across The Water
Though Tiny Dancer didn’t become a major hit until Cameron Crowe featured it in his movie Almost Famous, it was still a minor hit amongst fans. Tiny Dancer was the opening track on Elton John’s 1971 Madman Across The Water album. The biggest hit from the album was Levon. Madman Across The Water was a nine track LP that was heavy on strings and experimental in a sense that you could see Elton John starting to move into a more commercial song writing pattern. He was breaking away from the folk like music that propelled him into the mainstream. Years later, standout track Indian Sunset, would be sampled for Tupac Shakur’s hit Ghetto Gospel.
Standout Tracks: “Tiny Dancer” “Levon” “Indian Sunset”
6) Songs From The West Coast
Elton John marked a return to form when he released the 2001 album Songs From The West Coast. Featuring instant classics like The Beatles-esque I Want Love and This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore. The album rechristened Elton John as a true master of his craft. Although it wasn’t a huge hit on the charts, it did fairly well. Plus, Elton John received a ton of airplay for his videos I Want Love, This Train Don’t Stop, and Original Sin. His star studded videos featured Robert Downey Jr, Mandy Moore and Justin Timberlake. Songs From The West Coast was a return to form, and also gave him some airtime in front of a younger demographic.
Standout Tracks: “I Want Love” “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore” “Original Sin” “American Triangle”
5) The Union
Everybody involved in The Union knew the album was special. After all, it was an album that Elton John and Leon Russell created out of pure adulation for one another. But nobody could have predicated its success. The Union was the most successful album for Elton John since his mid 70s albums. The Union debuted at number three on the Billboard charts. Critics everywhere gave the album five stars. There were no bad songs on the album.
Standout Tracks: “If It Wasn’t For Bad” “Gone To Shiloh” “I Should Have Sent Roses” “Jimmie Rodgers Dream” “Best Part Of The Day “Never Too Old”
4) Honky Chateau
The bouncy bluesy Honky Chateau album was released by Elton John in 1972. It featured the hit single Rocket Man, as well as the less popular but still well known Honky Cat. The tin sounding piano harkens back to his old pub days, and adds to the rustic feel of the album. You can really see the difference in production when comparing this album to the cleaner over produced albums of the late 70s.
Standout Tracks: “Mellow” “Rocket Man” “Mona Lisas And Madhatters” “Hercules” “I Think I’m Gonna Kill Myself”
3) Elton John
Although the self titled Elton John album was actually Elton’s second album, it was the album that skyrocketed Captain Fantastic into the limelight. The album is very heavy on folk music. It’s very piano heavy and the songs are orchestrally arranged by Paul Buckmaster. It’s a different side of Elton John. Young and naive. The innocence in his voice. The uncertainty of what the future will bring. It’s a sweet youthful album.
Standout Tracks: “Your Song” “The King Must Die” “The Greatest Discovery”
2) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Widely considered the quintessential Elton John album. If you want to introduce someone to Elton John, this is the album you tell them to pick up. It has a mix of everything. Ballads, pop masterpieces, big radio hits, classical and pure rock and roll. The album featured four hit singles, plus several notable album tracks. Several tracks are still played on radio stations across the country. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is Elton John at his most successful and pop friendly.
Standout Tracks: “Funeral For A Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” “Candle In The Wind” “Bennie And The Jets” “Harmony” “Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting” “Roy Rogers” “All The Young Girls Love Alice”
1) Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
In 1975, Elton John released the autobiographical album Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy. It was the first album in history to debut at number one on the Billboard charts. The ten track album only featured one radio single release. And it was a massive success. Someone Saved My Life was a huge hit in 1975, and was a major factor in Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy becoming Elton John’s greatest album of all time.
Standout Tracks: “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” “We All Fall In Love Sometimes” “Curtains” “Better Off Dead” “Bitter Fingers”