Issue Date: 3/9/2019
Celebrating one of the UK’s greatest music legends on the 50th anniversary of his first album and as he continues his final tour – Farewell Yellow Brick Road. Elton john has achieved 38 gold and 27 platinum albums and has been awarded 12 Ivor Novellos, 5 Grammys, 4 BRITS and an Oscar. He has also written the award-winning and much acclaimed soundtracks to the Lion King and Billy Eliot. In recognition of his contribution to music and for his charity work he was knighted in 1998, having been awarded a CBE two-years previously.
- 1st class: Honky Chateau – Recorded in the Chateau d’Herouville near Paris, Honky Chateau was Elton John’s breakthrough pop album, home to ‘Rocket Man’, one of three songs he composed on the morning of the first day of recording.
- 1st class: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – A double album that perhaps represents the artistic pinnacle of Elton’s 1970s’ career, a teeming, eclectic song writing masterclass that features ‘Candle in The Wind’, ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’ and ‘Bennie and the Jets’.
- 1st class: Caribou – His fourth consecutive US number one album, Caribou, is best-known for ‘The Bitch Is Back’ and the epic ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’, but its most striking moment might be ‘Ticking’, the eerie saga of an armed siege in a bar.
- 1st class: Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy – A concept album on which lyricist Bernie Taupin recounts the early days of his and Elton’s career, complete with a vivid depiction of Elton’s 1968 suicide attempt, ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’.
£1.55: Sleeping with The Past – The last album Elton John made before going into rehab was intended as a homage to the soul and R ‘n’ B music that had inspired him in the 1960s, in ‘Sacrifice’, it produced his first UK solo number one single.
- £1.55: The One – The cover designed by Gianni Versace, its lyrics haunted by the unfolding AIDS crisis and Elton’s battle with drug addiction, The One re-established the now clean and sober Elton John.
- £1.55: Made in England – Largely recorded live in the studio, Made in England’s upbeat title track – a hit single in 1995 – masks the rest of the album’s mature mood, which features reflections on ageing both positive and negative.
- £1.55: Songs from The West Coast – “Going backwards to go forwards”, as Elton put it, Songs from the West Coast returned to the ward sound of his early 1970s’ albums and offered his and Taupin’s strongest collection of songs in years. A latter-day triumph.