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June 2, 2020 June 2, 2020

Autobiography a revisit of the Rocket Man

Posted on April 16, 2020 by admin

By Cole Parkinson
Taber Times
cparkinson@tabertimes.com

I got Elton John’s autobiography titled Me for Christmas but due to my backlog I didn’t get to it until late March but boy, was the wait worth it.

The book was incredibly interesting to hear from the man himself exactly what he got up to in the 70s and 80s, and spoiler alert — it wasn’t good.

If you are an Elton fan, I couldn’t recommend this book enough and even if you aren’t, I can guarantee it will be an interesting read.

I’ve been a big fan of Elton John’s for as long as I can remember. My parents are huge fans so ever since I was young, I’ve been listening to Elton.

Once finishing the book, I did another deep dive into his music and it got me thinking about my favourite Elton John songs.

Of course, you can’t go talking about your favourite Elton John songs without mentioning the great Bernie Taupin, Elton’s longest collaborator who wrote a ton of Elton’s lyrics.

So, here we are and I’ll take you through my top 10 favourite Elton songs as of today because this could easily change this time next year.

I mean, Elton John has put out 30 studio albums and hundreds of songs so cutting it down to 10 was extremely tough.

There will be some hits, there will be some deep cuts and there may even be a few songs you don’t know if you aren’t a big Elton John fan.

10. Amoreena (Tumbleweed Connection, 1970)

Number 10 was the toughest selection for me as I had probably five or six songs that could have been here. Eventually, I went with Amoreena, though Madman Across the Water was really, really close to taking this spot.
I really like the way the guitar and piano play off each other in this track. Elton’s piano playing is always fantastic but man, this song takes it to another notch for me especially during the chorus.

9. Philadelphia Freedom (Elton John’s Greatest Hits II, 1977)

While only released as a single. Philadelphia Freedom was written as a favour to tennis star Billie Jean King and released in 1975.

This is a song that can immediately put a smile on my face no matter the kind of day I’m having. It has to be one of the best singalong songs of all time.

8. Bennie and the Jets (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)

And speaking of sing-a-long songs who hasn’t cranked out Bennie and the Jets once or twice in their lives?

I can’t imagine living a life where you haven’t screamed along “buh, buh, buh Bennie and the Jets”.

And if you haven’t, give it a try during self-isolation, it will almost certainly make you feel better.

7. Street Kids (Rock of the Westies, 1975)

I did plenty of research of other Elton John top 10 lists and not one of them featured 1975’s Rock of the Westies best song — Street Kids.

It really is a shame this song isn’t that well-known as obviously, it’s one of my favourites.

It’s one of Elton’s best straight forward rock and roll songs in my opinion and if you haven’t heard this one, do yourself a favour and put it in one of your streaming playlists.

6. Levon (Madman Across the Water, 1971)

Levon is such a great song and it’s probably my favourite vocal performance from Elton.

It may not be the most well-known song to general fans but it’s a definite fan favourite and for good reason. The string section backing Elton is also fantastic and really adds that extra element to an already great song.

5. Are You Ready For Love (2003 remix)

While originally an eight-minute and 20-second song, it was remixed down to three and a half minutes which resulted in a much better track.

The newest version is perfect and cuts out all of the filler the original version had and it resulted in being one of my favourite Elton songs. The chorus is incredibly catchy even if it is only repeating the name of the song.

4. The King Must Die (Elton John, 1970)

While Elton John’s 1970 self-titled album features great songs like Border Song, Your Song and Take Me to the Pilot, the closing track is my favourite by far. The King Must Die is an epic five and a half minute song driven by Elton, his piano and his fantastic vocal performance.

Again, it may not be one of those songs that everyone knows but it deserves to be in the upper echelon of Elton John songs.

3. Rocket Man (Honky Château, 1973)

What is there left to say about Rocket Man?

Elton and Bernie Taupin created one of the greatest songs of all time for 1973’s Honky Château and it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t like this song.

2. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (Honky Château, 1973)

While Rocket Man may be the most influential and popular song from Honky Château, I would argue Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters is just as good, if not a touch better.

The song is Taupin’s take on New York City and it resulted in arguably one of Elton’s best songs.

Hell, even Elton has stated this is one of his favourites. Pretty hard to argue with the man there.

1. Tiny Dancer (Madman Across the Water, 1971)

Tiny Dancer was the first song I remember truly loving and it still remains my favourite song of his.

And not just that, I would put it in my top five songs of all time and it truly is one of the best songs of all time.

Like Rocket Man, there isn’t much else to say about it as most people have heard this gem a time or two.

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