Elton John
The Very Best Of


4.5
superb

Review

by Mark Stebbing USER (36 Reviews)
September 19th, 2005 | 12 replies | 4,410 views


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist


4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Elton John's worldwide record sales exceed one hundred million, and more than he has released, seven have been consecutive U.S. number ones from 1971 - 1990. He also became the first ever artist to enter the US album chart at number one, and for a decade he spent more time in the UK charts than any performer. His legendary partership with lyricist Bernie Taupin is celebrated in this collection, which reflects a career of remarkable achievement that already spans over twenty years. This compilation contains 30 of the very best Elton John has done between 1971 - 1990.


Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (born March 25, 1947) is a British rock music singer, songwriter, and pianist, who is one of the most successful solo artists in music history. He has recorded a long string of records and participated in a number of musical projects over a career that is approaching its fifth decade. His flamboyant fashion sense, on-stage showmanship, and public struggles with his private life have combined with his talent to make him a legend to his many fans around the world.

-----------------------------------------------
The albums that were included in this compilation (14 in total):

1. Elton John (1971)
- Your Song

2. Honky Chateau (1972)
- Rocket Man
- Honky Cat

3. Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player (1972)
- Crocodile Rock
- Daniel

4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
- Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
- Candle In The Wind
- Bennie And The Jets

5. Caribou (1974)
- Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
- The Bitch Is Back

* Non-Album Releases
1974 - Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
1975 - Philadelphia Freedom

6. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975)
- Someone Saved My Life Tonight

* Non-Album Releases
1976 - Pinball Wizard
1976 - Don't Go Breaking My Heart (with Kiki Dee)

7. Blue Moves (1976)
- Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

8. A Single Man (1978)
- Song For Guy
- Part Time Love

9. Jump Up! (1982)
- Blue Eyes

10. Too Low For Zero (1983)
- I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
- I'm Still Standing
- Kiss The Bride

11. Breaking Hearts (1984)
- Sad Songs (Say So Much)
- Passengers

12. Ice On Fire (1985)
- Nikita

13. Reg Strikes Back (1988)
- I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That

14. Sleeping With The Past (1990)
- Sacrifice

* Compilation Release
1990 - You Gotta Love Someone

* Exclusive Song
1990 - Easier To Walk Away
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This is yet from me, another long review that has been split into two separate reviews but in one whole page.


--- The Review Part I --- Disc 1

"Your Song" is the first Elton John hit way back on his first days of his career. The song was written in 20 minutes which the outcome is great. It has some beautiful piano work and vocals to die for. The lyrics are very linkable to each other and the whole basis of the song is very heart-warming. The chorus is very nice to listen to and the guitar is a hitting touch to the song. I would say that this is a moderate moving ballad but it is not dramatic. A classic song from Elton.

"Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time)" is another well known hit from Elton. The start is very beautiful with it's dramatic piano and vocals that are very emotional towards the lyrics. It's about a man in space that misses his wife and the world in his timeless flight but he is proud to be a "Rocket Man" by the words of this song. The music is very picturesque with some dramatic effects in the background making that loneliness feeling. The song is beautiful with an energetic chorus.

"Honky Cat" is a more funky feel than to the previous song. This starts with a jumpy piano and some touching vocals. The main body of the song is very lively painting that street feeling in the 70's. The vocals all the time here is very clever with some emphasis used to make some great sounds in the song. Overall, the song is very fun to listen to.

"Crocodile Rock" is another lively song. Starts with a corny start on the keyboard which really cringes my fist as I hate it a lot. But the body of the song is excellent though, the chorus is very Rock n' Roll Style but I really hate the After-Chorus with that annoying "La-la-la-laaaa". Aside from that, the song is very good but that annoying bit really pushes you away at times.

"Daniel" puts us back at the ballad scene of Elton John. It has some beautiful keyboard sounds and very relaxing tunes. The vocals are very emotional with some sad lyrics and really sets that sad scene. The music though really puts that feeling through with that keyboard making that blissful sound. This is another great ballad.

"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is another lonely sound in a ballad way. It has very sad vocals on the lyrics and the music is very emotional making the scene very atmospheric. The string arrangements just blows you away with Elton wailing away with it. Just a beautiful song.

"Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting" is a very popular song among radios. It is a true Rock n Roll style song with some kind of angsty on the guitar but in a friendly way. The vocals are very powerful and it really pushes the song along swiftly. The drums also shine on this song with some great fills on here. Another classic song from Elton.

"Candle In The Wind" is the most successful selling single ever created, that's because:

A) It is such a beautiful song
B) It was dedicated to the late Marilyn Monroe
C) Then dedicated to the late Princess Diana in 1998

This has been re-issued but had some re-work on the lyrics so it would actually go directly to the dedicated person. This is the original lyrics and the musc is beautiful. The vocals are just excellent to the lyrics that are also very picturesque. The chorus is the highlight with some of the most engrossing lyrics and vocal work ever. Needn't I say more of this classic?

"Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" is another well known song that was sung with George Michael in 1991. This is the original with just Elton singing here. This starts with a lonesome piano part then goes to some heartful vocals. It has a slow start but it picks up when it approches the chorus, the whole basis of the song is sung beautifully and the music accompaining it is very relaxing and also very energetic as well making this song a must listen.

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" starts with a very slow introduction. The song tends to be very boring most of the time but the chorus is the most uplifting on here. This is not the original as ths was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, the vocals are very good but the whole song itself is not that intriguing to be honest compared to the others that was recently played, but this song is still pretty good.

"Philadelphia Freedom" starts with some string arrangements and some jumpy brass instruments. The song is again not intriguing to be honest with it's same logic all the way through with some bland music at times that tend to bore you and the vocals are not up to standards. This is definitely not one of Elton's best songs, I think it is rather average.

"Someone Saved My Life Tonight" is another ballad in a slow pace. The piano here is very emotional and the vocals are very serious here trying to pull out the emotion by the lyrics and the outcome is excellent. The lyrics tend to be very corny talking about the person being a butterfly and to fly away, it sounds very bad but sung well though so that cancels that out. The whole song overall is very heart-warming and nice to listen to.

"Pinball Wizard" is written by Pete Townshend of "The Who" and this song remains one of Elton's famous songs. This song starts with some choir singing dramatically then goes to an energetic piano play and some powerful guitaring all the way through the song. The vocals are very good with loads of seriousness in it trying to bring out the power of the song. The outcome of the whole song is excellent and one of the highlights of Disc 1.

"The Bitch Is Back" has a powering guitar riff at the start and some rock n roll style to it. The vocals are great and the music is very thought through with some memorable riffs and some great lyrics about the attitude of bitch obviously. The song is rather brief but there is a special saxophone soo here that really puts the style of the song up. This is great song to listen to and ends Disc 1 with an energetic song.


--- Overview of Disc 1 ---

Ratings:

1. Your Song - 5/5
2. Rocket Man - 4.75/5
3. Honky Cat - 3.75/5
4. Crocodile Rock - 3.25/5
5. Daniel - 4/5
6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - 5/5
7. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting - 5/5
8. Candle In The Wind - 5/5
9. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me - 4/5
10. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - 3.5/5
11. Philadelphia Freedom - 3/5
12. Someone Saved My Life Tonight - 4.25/5
13. Pinball Wizard - 4.75/5
14. The Bitch Is Back - 4/5


Overall, Disc 1 has many moments of beautiful ballads like "Candle In The Wind" and we have some great rock n roll moments as well like "Pinball Wizard". Disc 1 is the highlights of his first 4 years of his career with 14 hits that all did extremely well and some that were reasonable. Disc 1 gets:

Rating: 4/5

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--- The Review Part II --- Disc 2


"Don't Go Breaking My Heart" is sung with Kiki Dee as a duet. This song is another well known song by Elton. The song is very uplifting and it has a beat to it. The vocals by both are great and together are outstanding at the chorus as there is a kind of harmonisation there. The music is very poppy with some guitar moments in it. Overall, the song is great to listen to and opens Disc 2 very nicely.

"Bennie And The Jets" is back to 1973 which is 3 year backwards to the recent song. The song starts with an audience cheering then some excellent piano playing and drums as well. The vocals are excellent here with some great emphasises on the song and the music is so beautiful, this song is not a ballad. The chorus is perfect with its stutter on the Bennie. The piano solo is a lovely touch and Elton's falsetto near at end is also perfect. Overall, this one of my favourites out of the whole compilation.

"Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" is a dark and also sad song with some excellent piano playing. The strings here really add that sadness but the vocals really give that sadness factor here with some of the most emotional singing ever here. It just sounds amazing. The chorus has a great technique of overlapping Elton's voice at times. The whole song is beautiful but it is also dark as well, it's another highlight of the compilation.

"Song For Guy" is just an instrumental that consists of just a piano and some drum machine effects and keyboard effects that are slight. The song sounds very nice but the song will bore you eventually. When you get the chance to listen to it fully, you will realise the beauty behind the music.

"Part Time Love" is an uplifting song that has that 70's classic rock sound. The vocals aren't up to standards here as the music doesn't really resemble Elton's nice voice so there is an uneven mixture of egos here. The song to be doesn't really strike so it is an average song.

"Blue Eyes" is very sad again with some beautiful vocals as it reaches it's low notes here and it just sounds so nice to the lyrics and the music is very relaxing. The chorus is very starry with it's keyboard effects and the vocals are very heart-warming. This one of my favourites again.

"I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" is a million seller by Elton so you can tell it is a classic song. The piano is very bluesy so it refers to the song but the vocals are different to the blues, it sounds more poppy but it works well to the song. The chorus is great with it's emotional lyrics and it's music really shines here. I reckon the piano really shines on this song with it's beautiful riff.

"I'm Still Standing" is a pop song that was again popular in the 1980's. It's the beat that it has that really appeal to the people and the bass line really moves the beat along with it's powerful sound. The vocals are very fun with the chorus showing it. The music is very good and the lyrics are just great.
This is another classic song by Elton.

"Kiss The Bride" is extremely different by Elton. It is actually a rock song full stop. The song revolves around the guitar and the bass. The vocals really suit the song with some great falsettos at times. The guitar riffs used here are excellent and the lyrics are fun. Another great song.

"Sad Songs" is supposed to be sad but it is so uplifting, so it is totally opposite to the title name. The music has a great beat and the vocals really give that power to the song. The lyrics are very meaningful as it really reaches out to the listener saying that Sad Songs really give out the truth about what life is about. It is a brilliant song to listen to.

"Passengers" is just a really strange song. It consists of bongos playing and some wierd keyboard effects. It has a strange beat to it and the vocals are very clever with some crazy accent to it. The chorus shines through with the vocals being clear and it is really great. The song remains wierd but in a good way.

"Nikita" is a very 80's sound with the keyboard giving that Russian sound to the song. The vocals are very direct and emotional, especially on the chorus when the song picks up to some beautiful backing vocals and Elton's voice shining through. The song is rather repetitive but there is a sense of beauty on the song. This is another great song from Elton that borderlines between a ballad and just a normal pop song.

"I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That" is a very energetic song with a great production on it. The vocals are very good with some original sounds on it and Elton still holding his unique voice. The song has that pure 80's sound with some great lyrics. It is yet again a repetitive song but the basis of the song still keeps you occupied.

"Sacrifice" is a beautiful song that has one of the most greatest sounds for a ballad ever. The lyrics are very sad:

"Cold Cold Heart/Hard Done By You/Some Things Look Better Baby/Just Passin' Through.

The vocals really pull that emotion across perfectly with Elton's voice here being the best in the whole compilation. The music are just beautiful with the effects being very emotional and I really like that soft drum machine that gives that "chrosch" sound. The song picks up with a great guitar riff that follows the main riff on the keyboard. The song is a classic and one of my favourites.

"Easier To Walk Away" starts with a great drum fill then it goes to some powerful vocals by Elton that sounds rather different, it sonds more lower and more forced out but it still has that unique voice. The music is very 90's and the bass moves the beat. The whole song is very good and has moments on it that have great vocals.

"You Gotta Love Someone" starts with a bautiful piano start and the notes are very emotional. The vocals are powerful with Elton's style changed to that so that the voice suits it comfortably. The song starts very slowly but it gradually picks up, the song isn't much of a kick but it still has that Elton magic in it and the guitar solo gives a beautiful shine on it. Overall the song is great but not excellent. This ends the compilation well.


--- Overview of Disc 2 ---

Rating:

1. Don't Go Breaking My Heart - 4/5
2. Bennie And The Jets - 5/5
3. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - 5/5
4. Song For Guy - 4.25/5
5. Part Time Love - 3/5
6. Blue Eyes - 5/5
7. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues - 5/5
8. I'm Still Standing - 4.25/5
9. Kiss The Bride - 4/5
10. Sad Songs - 5/5
11. Passengers - 4/5
12. Nikita - 4.5/5
13. I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That - 4/5
14. Sacrifice - 5/5
15. Easier To Walk Away - 4/5
16. You Gotta Love Someone - 3.5/5

Overall, Disc 2 has more consist classics on here, the disc has more of a pop/rock feel to it and there are less average songs then Disc 1. This disc has shown that Elton was experimenting in a way so that he can find a new style that would not be dated, he found it near the end of Disc 2 and it sounds great. Disc 2 gets:

Rating: 4.5/5

--- Overview of Very Best ---

Overall, this has many classics and so much emotion is shown on here with the songs that were ballads. The ballads really shone the most on here as Elton's voice really suits it not the pop songs and the rock songs. Elton's voice really outshines the music with his unique voice that really puts the emotion across mostly. If there was a battle of who's best between Billy Joel and Elton John though, I would say that Billy Joel would win hands down in my opinion, just check out my review on his greatest hits and you'll see why. Anyway this is an awesome compilation that will please any person:

Final Rating: 4.5/5



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user ratings (11)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Final Origin
September 19th 2005



344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know, this was the last of the double discs that I have thank god.

Elton John is a great artist once you get behind the criticism of his homosexuality and all the other stuff about him. I find Billy Joel more unique in a way that he writes so much more meaningful songs and that he has in my opinion a better voice but there's not much in it.

Thanks for your support anyways and keep the comments coming people!!!

temporary
September 19th 2005



207 Comments


Great review!

Final Origin
September 19th 2005



344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thank you, much appreciated!

Final Origin
September 20th 2005



344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, it's easier if you review a damn long CD by track-by-track. The album is actually over 2 hours long so it kinda pissed me off trying to review it track-by-track but it had to be done.

Thanks for the good feedback by the way, you write great reviews yourself.

morrissey
Moderator
September 20th 2005



1688 Comments


I like Elton John.

biografiend
September 21st 2005



55 Comments


As do I. This compilation, though, has left out my favorite Elton John song, Tiny Dancer.

Good review.

Final Origin
September 21st 2005



344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

When was that made though as this was, bearing in mind, released in 1990?

morrissey
Moderator
September 21st 2005



1688 Comments


It's on Madman Across the Water... 1970 or 71 I think.

Final Origin
September 22nd 2005



344 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh right, probably he, Bernie Taupin and the record company didn't really think it was all great and probably these songs are the ones that were released so maybe that's why it's not on here.

zorrone
February 4th 2006



1 Comments


It is a very good review. Only thing is , is billy joel doesn't hold a candle to the wind to ELTON JOHN, hince the capitals ,smiles. I like the way you critique the songs. Overall a very good job. This Message Edited On 02.04.06

Reywas
February 5th 2006



148 Comments


Can You Feel The love Tonight?

MadnessUnhallowed
February 14th 2008



403 Comments


Ohhh Elton John and his crazy ol' 70/80's glasses.

Only song I like is "Your Song"



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