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Elton John's Best Albums

John Kwok
The list author says: "Elton John is still composing brilliant pop and rock and roll songs, even if he no longer enjoys the ample critical and popular acclaim he earned back in the 1970s. It's impossible for me to select a "Ten Best" list for Elton John's albums, since he has composed many memorable songs over a musical career which now spans four decades. For most of that time he has worked closely with his long-time partner, lyricist Bernie Taupin, but he has also written memorable songs with lyricists Gary Osborne and Tim Rice too. He has also been blessed working with many of the same musicians and producers over these years; for example, his original touring band comprised of bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson (Guitarist Davey Johnstone would join the band officially in 1972 for the "Honky Chateau" recording session; he has the longest tenure of anyone in the current Elton John Band, serving now as its musical director.) performed with him from 1970 to 1975, and again, from 1980 to 1984 (Since 1997 the Elton John Band has consisted of keyboard musician Guy Babylon, bassist Bob Birch, guitarist Davey Johnstone and percussionist John Mahon; drummer Nigel Olsson officially rejoined the band in 2000.). Others who have toured extensively with Elton include drummers Roger Pope, Charlie Morgan and Curt Bisquera, bassists Kenny Passarelli and David Paton, guitarists Caleb Quaye, Fred Mandel (also on keyboards), and John Jorgenson, and percussionists Ray Cooper and Jody Linscott. In the 1970s, Elton's principal album producer was Gus Dudgeon; in the 1980s and 1990s, it was Chris Thomas. My list of Elton's best albums is arranged chronologically, from the earliest to latest, based upon the album's original issue date."
Elton John
Elton John
"Elton John's second, folk/gospel-influenced studio album, featuring the hits "Your Song" and "Border Song" with splendid orchestral arrangements from Paul Buckmaster."
Tumbleweed Connection
Tumbleweed Connection
"Early country/folk rock masterpiece from Elton John and Bernie Taupin in which they pay tribute to Americana, especially the Old West. Original bandmates bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson appear for the first time on an Elton John album."
Madman Across The Water
Madman Across The Water
"Early Elton John/Bernie Taupin album most noteworthy for adding guitarist Davey Johnstone as a session player (He would join the band officially on its next album "Honky Chateau".), superb orchestral arrangements from composer Paul Buckmaster, and the hits "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon"."
Elton John - Honky Château
Elton John - Honky Château
"Best Elton John/Bernie Taupin folk rock album for over thirty years (until the release of their 2006 album "The Captain and the Kid"), which is noteworthy for the hits "Rocket Man" and "Honky Cat"."
Dont Shoot ME Im Only the Piano Playe
Dont Shoot ME Im Only the Piano Playe
"Classic early Elton John/Bernie Taupin album that's most notable for yielding the hit single "Crocodile Rock", but there's a lot of other, lesser-known songs herein worth listening to, many with excellent orchestral arrangements from Paul Buckmaster."
Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
"Widely acclaimed as the Elton John/Bernie Taupin pop masterpiece featuring hits "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Bennie and the Jets", "Candle in the Wind" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"."
Captain Fantastic (Deluxe Edition)
Captain Fantastic (Deluxe Edition)
"The autobiographical Elton John/Bernie Taupin classic rock and roll concept album, which is more desirable in the Greg Penny-remastered two-CD deluxe edition, featuring a live performance of the entire album by the new Elton John Band in the summer of 1975, which featured early studio session musicians guitarist Caleb Quaye and drummer Roger Pope."
Elton John: Rock Of The Westies
Elton John: Rock Of The Westies
"Elton's best rock and roll album, worthy of comparison to anything from the likes of the Rolling Stones at their peak, recorded with his new band comprising of Davey Johnstone and Caleb Quaye on guitars, bassist Kenny Passarelli, percussionist Ray Cooper, drummer Roger Pope, and James Newton Howard on keyboards and synthesizer. The album's best known song is the hit "Island Girl"."
Here And There [2 CD Remastered]
Here And There [2 CD Remastered]
"Elton John's first great live concert album, with two 1974 concerts from London and New York City with his original band (Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson, Davey Johnstone, Ray Cooper); the New York City CD is noteworthy for including John Lennon's last live performance."
Jump Up
Jump Up
"Elton John's first consistently good 1980s album, and one of his best from the decade, featuring "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)", his memorial tribute to John Lennon co-written with Bernie Taupin, and "Blue Eyes", his tender ballad with lyrics by Gary Osborne."
Too Low for Zero
Too Low for Zero
"Yet another fine 1980s Elton John album that's noteworthy for being a musical reunion with lyricist Bernie Taupin and the original Elton John Band (guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson), and for yielding the classic hits "I'm Still Standing" and "I Guess Why They Call It The Blues"."
Live In Australia w/The Melbourne Symphony (Remastered)
Live In Australia w/The Melbourne Symphony (Remastered)
"Elton's early music career is featured in this live recording, the last with his 1970s producer Gus Dudgeon. Long-time associate - former band member and - composer James Newton Howard conducts the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra."
Sleeping With The Past (Remastered)
Sleeping With The Past (Remastered)
"Elton John's and Bernie Taupin's musical homage to the Motown sound, and their best concept album since "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy", which is notable for the hit single "Sacrifice"."
The One
The One
"Elton's best 1990s album, which is notable for the hit singles "The One" and "The Last Song", but unlike most of his other albums, is consistently excellent with one superb song after another."
Made in England
Made in England
"Splendid Elton John/Bernie Taupin pop masterpiece featuring superb arrangements from composer Paul Buckmaster, and the hit singles "Believe" and "Blessed". The first album made with his touring band since "Live in Australia"."
Elton John And Tim Rice's Aida (1999 Concept Album)
Elton John And Tim Rice's Aida (1999 Concept Album)
"Elton John's 1999 studio recording of his musical with lyrics from Tim Rice, orchestral arrangements from long-time band member Guy Babylon, and duets with others, including LeAnn Rimes (on the hit "Written in the Stars".). Produced by Phil Ramone, who would also produce the "One Night Only" live album."
One Night Only
One Night Only
"Elton's 2000 live concert album recorded at New York City's Madison Square Garden, featuring the return of his original drummer Nigel Olsson to the band. Quite possibly his best live concert album.""
Songs from the West Coast
Songs from the West Coast
"Elton's musical rediscovery of his storied 1970s past, blessed with fine lyrics from Bernie Taupin, orchestral arrangements from Paul Buckmaster, and an excellent assortment of studio and touring band musicians, including long-time associates Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson, yielding the Grammy-nominated hit "I Want Love"."
Peachtree Road
Peachtree Road
"Elton John's and Bernie Taupin's heartfelt musical tribute to the American South, and his first album recorded in his adopted hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. It's also the first Elton John album to use the current Elton John Band for the entire recording session."
The Captain and the Kid
The Captain and the Kid
"Elton John's and Bernie Taupin's memorable sequel to their 1975 album, sounding more like an early country/folk rock album of theirs like "Tumbleweed Connection" than a musical twin of "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy"; musically it is their best album since "The One"."
The Union
The Union
"Elton's best 21st Century album is a splendid return to his musical roots, courtesy of a long overdue collaboration with his idol and mentor Leon Russell. Will remind listeners of "Tumbleweed Connection" and producer T Bone Burnett has produced the best Elton John acoustic album since Elton's early period with producer Gus Dudgeon."