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VINE VOICEon May 15, 2000
Elton John seemed at his most creative and prolific the first five years of his career, releasing deep, thematic albums like "Tumbleweed Connection," and "Honky Chateau" seemingly two at a time. The singles from those early albums touched so many different styles so well (sometimes within the song!), that a quality greatest hits collection was a foregone conclusion.
"Greatest Hits" concentrates most on 1972-74, with Elton's almost uncanny series of classic pop singles ("Honky Cat," "Crocodile Rock," "Candle In The Wind," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road") These hits prove that few performers used pop culture touchstones (Marilyn Monroe, the 50s, the French quarter, doo-wop), musically and lyrically, as well as Elton and Bernie Taupin. The release also complements Elton's best band (Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson, the late Dee Murray) and the outstanding engineering skills of Ken Scott and Gus Dudgeon.
The playing has never sounded brighter, Elton's piano (electric and acoustic on "Honky Cat") more up-front, or the pop arrangements and harmonies stronger (hear the previously muzzled strings on "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road") than here. This collection does everything a greatest hits collection should do, and effortlessly. Thus, it remains essential to any pop collection.
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on September 24, 2001
Elton John was to the 70's what The Beatles were to the 60's. He was the undisputed king of the 70's. This brilliant and timeless collection proves why. You get a huge chunk of Elton's first batch of hits from the early to mid 70's. You get the gorgeous ballads like "Your Song", "Daniel", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and the overlooked "Border Song". Then there's the uptempo rockers like "Crocodile Rock", "Bennie And The Jets", "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" and more. Elton showcases his brilliant genius of melodies and chords. Bernie Taupin, as Elton's lyric writer, is one of the best lyricists ever. Some people I've come across say "Crocodile Rock" is silly and weightless. Is that supposed to mean something?. Is that supposed to actually matter?. Of course not. It's catchy, bouncy, fun, and has fun lyrics. You don't need more than that. It's no surprise that this collection is one of the top 10 highest selling albums of all time. It should be. Greatest Hits 2 and 3 are also top choices to check out. Elton John is, and always will be, the true king of pop.
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on June 10, 2000
This is one of the best Greatest Hits packages released by any artist. Every song is a genuine classic. The titles here represent the best of the early Elton years when his voice was at its apex and Bernie's lyrics spoke to your heart and soul.
"Daniel" remains one of the great songs written in the last thirty years. You can listen to this song 10,000 times and never weary of it. None of these songs are dated, they stand up beautifully through the years. If you are a teenager or someone who has never sampled Elton's early work, this is *the* CD to purchase, it will confirm to you that Elton John was a genius!
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When Elton John released his first greatest hits collection in late 1974, he was the biggest rock act in the world. He was riding a streak of four straight number one albums and Greatest Hits would be his fifth in a row. In fact the album spent a career high 10 weeks at the top. The album is populated with some of the biggest hits of the first half of the 70's including the number one hits like his ode to a glam rocker, the rollicking "Bennie & The Jets" and his ode to the 50's, the fun and punchy "Crocodile Rock". Other classics include the orchestral "Goodbye Yellowbrick Road", the beautiful "Your Song", the funky "Honky Cat", the soaring "Rocket Man" and the heartbreaking "Candle In The Wind".
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on June 12, 2000
This compilation is definitely the best of Elton John. Though later albums are enjoyable, nothing comes close to these classics and being digitally remastered make them all the more better.
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on September 14, 2015
What a 70's Icon Elton John was . His Song writing Partner Bernie Taupin's Lyric's were Stellar ! Elton Became a Living Legend . The Voice, The Songs , Outrageous Costumes and Signature Piano Made Reginald Dwight ( Real Name ) a Superstar ! His TV and Concert Tours were always Heavily Anticipated ! Captain Fantastic and His Exceptional Band always Sold Out ! This is EJ's first Compilation Record of Hits Top 10's and # 1's ! It is Some of Elton's Absolute Best ! Not a Bad Song in the Bunch ! All the Material is still Played on Various Radio Stations Today ! Elton still Plays to Sell out Crowds Now ! You can't go wrong with this Greatest Hits Package from the Pinball Wizard . This is Classic Rock at it's best with unmatched Ballads and Good time Rock and Roll Tunes ! 70's Music that still Resonates Loud and Clear . So Grab a Beer and do the Crocodile Rock ! Excellent Studio Production throughout ~
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on March 11, 2005
Elton John has certainly cemented his place in the history of music. He is a legendary performer who has rode a wave of success unlike any artist. Elton John first came on the music scene in 1969. Once his 1970 hit "Your Song" of his self titled "Elton John" (his second) album was released, it would begin one of the most consistent music careers in the history of music. In fact, from 1969 until 1991 - there wasn't a calendar year that passed without the release of some sort of Elton John album. Even after that, Elton would only miss 2 calendar years without a release between 1991 and 2004 (those years being 1998 and 2003). On the plus side, not only has this given Elton John a level of consistency that has been unsurpassed, but it also has allowed him to build up an incredibly large music library. There is a minus side: With such frequent album releases, Elton's albums are often diluted. While there have been dozens of legendary tracks by Elton John, there aren't too many "complete" Elton albums that I would dub of legendary status. In other words, his albums usually contain 1 to 2 great tracks with the remainder of the tracks being lukewarm at best. It is this scenario that makes a Greatest Hits album very attractive to the Elton John fan - namely because it allows one to have a collection of those legendary tracks in one place. One such collection is the first Greatest Hits collection that Elton released entitled "Elton John Greatest Hits".

Elton has certainly no shortage of Greatest Hits albums as he has released several of them. There is this collection - "Greatest Hits", but there is also "Greatest Hits Volume 2", "Greatest Hits Volume III" (this one is a tough find), "Greatest Hits 1976-1986", and "Greatest Hits 1970-2002". Other compilations include: "To Be Continued" Boxed Set and "Love Songs" collections. "Elton John Greatest Hits" focuses on the early part of Elton's career - 1969 - 1974. It is worth noting that all of the songs that are contained on this collection are also found on the "To Be Continued" Boxed Set (although "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and "Candle in the Wind" are live versions on the boxed set). With the exception of "Border Song", all of these songs are found on the "Greatest Hits 1970-2002" set. The good thing is that "Greatest Hits" focuses on that early period in Elton's career - and this makes it a very attractive collection to have these songs. However, I would still be tempted to go for one of the two broader collections - either "Greatest Hits 1970-2002" or "To Be Continued" despite some of the minor differences.

For "Greatest Hits", there are 11 songs taken from 5 Elton John albums. For 1974, this is a pretty good sized collection of music to be available on a single album (This was before the days of CDs that could fit more music on a single unit). These albums are: "Elton John" ("Your Song", "Border Song"); "Honky Chateau" ("Honky Cat", "Rocket Man"); "Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player" ("Daniel", "Crocodile Rock"); "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" ("Candle in the Wind", "Bennie and the Jets", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting"); Caribou ("Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"). As you can see, the pattern with Elton John not having depth on his albums seems to apply - except for the case of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (but this had 17 tracks - more than most albums during that time).

Looking at the time period of 1969 through 1974, there are some glaring omissions of songs. For starters, there are no tracks from Elton debut "Empty Sky". "Empty Sky" might not be a well-known Elton John album, but there are other more obvious omissions. There are no songs taken from the better known albums such as "Tumbleweed Collection" (namely "Burn Down the Mission") and "Madman Across the Water" ("Tiny Dancer" and "Levon"). Also missing from "Caribou" is the popular track "The Bitch is Back". Much of these omissions go back to the fact that Elton probably wanted to put out a Greatest Hits album as a single entity. As a result, just two years later Elton would release another Greatest Hits album entitled "Elton John Greatest Hits Volume 2". This second collection would include some of the tunes that were omitted from this collection - namely "Levon" and "The Bitch is Back". However, the omissions of "Burn Down the Mission" and "Tiny Dancer" are too much to overcome. I consider these two of the best Elton John songs he has ever done. While I do realize songs like "Daniel", "Honky Cat", and "Crocodile Rock" are close to the hearts of Elton John fans, I would have easily traded any of these songs to have those two omitted songs to be included.

I'm also disappointed the collection is not in chronological order of the release of the songs. The reason I prefer this is because it allows me to see how the artist progresses over time. The songs seemed to be "mixed" in an order for some reason, but I haven't been able to decipher what the logic was behind this particular ordering.

The liner notes do contain some information, but not a lot. For each of the tracks, each of the musician credits are included along with a couple of production credits. They also tell the dates the songs were recorded, but they don't tell the album that the song was contained on. As with most Greatest Hits collections, there are no lyrics included with this collection. Even with some of the flaws, this was a good collection during its time. However with some of the more recent releases, if you are a serious of casual Elton John fan, you are probably going to want to consider some of the more complete collections.
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on April 18, 2016
The album is great! I love the songs on here. It is a good collection of greatest hits. The record was marked as in good condition, the sleeve is pretty messed up. However, the record plays great, so at least there is that.
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on August 23, 2015
Some music is there to challenge and some is there to comfort and while Elton John’s music is definitely in the latter category, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. This is easy listening, perhaps to a fault, but it’s also a lot of fun. I suppose there’s a good case to be made that his music is simple and generic, but almost every track here is a blast of some sort; I would liken this collection to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours: on some level, it’s auditory comfort food, but on another level, it’s really good auditory comfort food.

I’ve always liked Elton John, but I’ve also found most of his albums to have a very hit-and-miss feel. He lacked the AOR ambitions of many other artists from his era, and as a result, most of his best stuff truly is the stuff you hear on the radio. Of his albums, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road seems to get the most love, and while it’s a perfectly solid and listenable album, I find it a little bloated and lean towards thinking this collection does a nice job at collecting the highlights; the title track is a gem, "Bennie and the Jets" and "Candle in the Wind" are terrific, and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” is one of the few Elton John tracks that truly rocks.

Overall, Greatest Hits is a really strong collection of some of Elton John’s best work. The only song that doesn’t work is “Border Song,” an unfortunate dud in an otherwise lovely album. Still, this is a strong introduction that is well worth listening to.
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on August 20, 2014
I guess when it says "reissued" it doesn't mean "remastered." The 3 stars are not for the contents. I love it. I owned the original LP, and the first CD release of this. I was looking for a recording with a little more volume and better sound. A remastered version. No such luck. I compared the tracks one after the other with the original CD. No difference. The only plus is "Candle in the Wind" has been added. The LP and first CD didn't have it.
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