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Elton John Diamonds Greatest Hits Collection includes newly remastered “Your Song”, “Rocket Man”, “Bennie and the Jets” and more! This 2CD format contains 34 tracks, and 10 page illustrated booklet by contemporary artist Richard Kilroy. This hits compilation is out on November 10th.
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I would recommend this collection to anyone, who is truly a fan. I'm sure it was difficult to decide what songs would be included. I think it's a great cross section. Several hours to sit back and enjoy the memories and also the new songs too.
I hope Elton John continues to make music, for many years to come.
A fan always!
The 3-disc "Diamonds" box set is diminished by its absence... Still a great selection, but "Levon" should have been included, it's one of his signature songs...
The new Elton John collection "Diamonds" is released in not one, not two but three formats: there is the 1 CD overview for the most casual (?) Elton John fans, there is a robust (but don't call it definitive) 3CD 'deluxe' set, and then there is this: a 2CD set, which immediately begs the question: is this better than the previous 2CD "Greatest Hits 1970-2002" release from 10 years ago?
"Diamonds" (2CDs, 34 tracks), as it turns out is remarkably similar to the prior 2 CD collection. a whopping 27 of its 34 tracks overlap with "GH 1970-2002" so we need to look at the few differences to figure out if there is a marked quality difference between the two. Let's start with the biggest, and possibly key, difference: for reasons only the Diamonds compilers could surmise, it misses "Levon", a key hit that is track 2 on CD1 of "GH 1970-2002". "Diamonds" also technically misses another key hit, namely the original "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me", although it does include the 1991 live duet with George Michael. The only other sizeable absence I see here is "The One", which is 1 of only 4 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits that Elton scored after 1990 (the other three: the already mentioned George Michael duet, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight", and "Candle In the Wind 97"). The remaining differences are absolutely minor. "GH 1970-2002" also included "Believe", "Blessed", "Written In the Stars", "I Want Love" and "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore", all latter day tunes.
Besides the George Michael live duet, other "Diamonds" tracks that are missing from "GH 1970-2002" include ""Song For Guy", Blue Eyes", "Area You Ready For Love?", "Electricity", "Home Again", and "Looking Up". Most of these area also latter day tracks, and hence not of great interest to most masses, who'd rather hear "classic" (1970-1990) Elton John tunes.
In this titanic struggle of "Diamonds" vs. "Greatest Hits 1970-2002", it seemed we were heading into a tie, but in the end, I cannot overcome the exclusion of a classic like "Levon" from "Diamonds", so "Greatest Hits 1970-2002" wins by a nose.
Disc One is a pretty straight forward package of Elton’s hits up through 1980. It leaves out some essential tracks – Levon, Pinball Wizard, and Lucy in the Sky – for reasons I cannot fathom. The original Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on me is omitted to avoid repetition with the live version. The songs are mostly chronological, except Someone Saved My Life Tonight is flipped with Island Girl.
Disc Two continues along the same lines starting with Song For Guy (which was released before Little Jeannie (disc one)). Now that we are out of Elton’s truly superstar era, the definition of a hit is a bit amorphous, and the decision to leave out The One, The Last Song and Club at the End of the Street for Home Again and Looking Up is confounding (though two versions of Candle in the Wind are also left out, I can understand why they’d be seen as redundant). Again these are in chronological order, save for the two Lion King songs, inexplicably mixed in with the post 2000 releases.
The third disc fixes some of the earlier omissions (the One, Lucy in the Sky, Pinball Wizard), but since this is only included with the deluxe edition, some fans will miss out. This disc is promoted as some of Elton’s personal favorites, which may be the case, but it also looks a lot like a compilation of lesser “hit” single releases, rather than a delve into the deeper parts of Elton’s catalog.
In the end we are left with an odd assortment of greatest hits, with some glaring omissions in the 2 disc set, and an incomprehensible order with fewer (but still notable omissions) in the deluxe edition. A bit too much for the casual fan (the older 2 disc release is a better option), but not comprehensive or daring enough to satisfy the die hard fans.
This is a real missed opportunity,to either give us a truly exhaustive singles retrospective (which would likely span 4 discs), or to mine fan favorites (Funeral For a Friend, Take Me to the Pilot), deeper cuts (Ticking, Danny Bailey, One More Arrow, Porch Swing in Tupelo, etc), non-album releases (particular the songs scattered across numerous film soundtracks) and never released material.