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YMMV / Elton John

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  • Awesome Music:
    • "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding", the first track of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Apparently, according to The Other Wiki, it is the kind of music he wants played at his funeral.
    • Listen to "You're So Static" from the Caribou album. It features the Tower of Power horn section at its best. Pure. Unadulterated. Awesome.
    • The soundtrack to The Lion King.
    • The classic 1969–76 period, which produced many songs which stand up as standards of the rock era: "Skyline Pigeon", "Tiny Dancer", "Levon", "Crocodile Rock", "Daniel", "Candle in the Wind", "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", "Philadelphia Freedom", "Bennie and the Jets", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", "Rocket Man", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", "The Bitch Is Back", "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", "Your Song", etc.
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    • Album-wise, Madman Across the Water, Honky Chateau, Tumbleweed Connection, Elton John, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road are frequently included in lists of the best albums of all time.
    • The soundtrack to The Road to El Dorado.
    • His big hits tend to get the most attention for the obvious reason that Elton is a master of the Ear Worm, but he has a rather large amount of albums without a bad cut on them. Thus key album cuts like "Come Down in Time", "My Father's Gun", "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters", "Sixty Years On", and "Ticking" are well worth listing here as well. The period from 1970's Elton John to at least 1975's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy seems to have been a period where Elton was constitutionally incapable of writing a bad song, and it's worth noting how prolific he was during this period - a staggering nine LPs' worth of studio material (or about six and a half hours of music without even counting non-album tracks and outtakes, which are also often well worth the price of admission). Some fans would throw Rock of the Westies (also from 1975) and Blue Moves (1976) into this list as well, which would bring him up to 12 LPs of almost consistently brilliant material in slightly over six years. That's a staggering accomplishment.
  • Crazy Awesome Up to Eleven: His increasing flamboyant stage shows of The '70s. One show at the Hollywood Bowl in 1973 involved a frilly costume, a long staircase, celebrity impersonators, Linda Lovelace as MC and five differently-colored pianos on stage spelling E-L-T-O-N on their sides. They opened up with doves flying out of each one. Later on, his engineer played organ on "Crocodile Rock" while a live crocodile on a leash roamed the stage.
    • Also, his role in Tommy as the Local Lad, the character who sings "Pinball Wizard". There's a really good reason that his role in it is considered to be one of if not the most well-known parts of the whole movie, even though his part is only about five minutes long.
    • Not to mention his Donald Duck costume at the free televised Central Park concert in 1980.
      • The gigantic Louis XIV costume (especially the wig) he wore for his 50th birthday party also counts. He had to travel in a giant truck for that one.
  • Ear Worm: The chorus of "Levon":
    He was born a pauper to a pawn on a Christmas Day, when the New York Times said, "God Is Dead", and the war's begun, Alvin Tostig has a son today
    • "Rocket Man", "Your Song", "Philadelphia Freedom", "Bennie and the Jets", "Crocodile Rock", "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "I'm Still Standing"...he is a master of the ear worm.
    • His cover-version of the already ear worm-ish "Pinball Wizard". It still is the only cover of a Who song to be a Top Ten hit.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: There are many, many debates over the meaning of "Levon".
    • He and Bernie Taupin mocked the trope in the Caribou cut, "Solar Prestige a Gammon". Naturally, that song was also over-analyzed, a la "I Am the Walrus".
    • Plenty of their other songs were closely analysed too. One interpretation of "Madman Across the Water" is that the madman of the title is Richard Nixon and that the song is a protest against The Vietnam War. Several reviewers have noted the parallels; see, for instance, Allmusic. Taupin is apparently aware of this interpretation and has never confirmed or denied it.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Most Elton John fans are also fans of Billy Joel, as both artists are singer-songwriter pianists who are staples of classic rock radio. It helps that both artists are good friends and the two often perform together.
    • John and Ellie Goulding's fans seem to get along well. This is probably because her cover of John's "Your Song" brought the song back to mainstream attention after almost 40 years.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Besides the Edinburgh 1976 "I want them to know I'm an alcoholic" quote, any humorous moment Elton had with longtime manager John Reid or personal assistant Bob Halley in Tantrums and Tiaras, since due to various scandals/business disagreements Elton had both men excised from his life/career. Thankfully Elton and David Furnish have stayed together.
  • Growing the Beard: Elton John is almost universally considered a vastly better album than Empty Sky. The beard-growing was complete with the next album, Tumbleweed Connection, which, despite not being as commercially successful as some of his other efforts from the same period, is almost universally recognised as a masterpiece.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • He had a name picked out for his son, but added "Levon" to it, after his son was born on Christmas Day.
    • The "I'm Still Standing" music video goes from Narm to a Heartwarming Moment when the film Rocketman recreated it to show Elton singing triumphantly and gaining his spirit back after checking out of rehab.
    • Before he was famous, he performed a cover of Aretha Franklin's "Young, Gifted, and Black." A few years later, not long after his first US album was released, Franklin covered Elton's "Border Song." The two would become close friends.
    • In "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters", Elton sings, "This Broadway's got/ Its got a lot of songs to sing./ If I knew the tunes I might join in." Since then, Elton has written the music to several Broadway musicals.
  • Sequel Displacement: Not many people have heard of Empty Sky, except for Americans (it was released in the US in 1975). His self-titled album is often considered his debut although it was his second album.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: "American Triangle", about the real-life murder of Matthew Shepard, who was beaten and left to die for being gay.
    'Western skies' don't make it right
    'Home of the brave' don't make no sense
    I've seen a scarecrow wrapped in wire
    Left to die on a high ridge fence
    It's a cold, cold wind
    It's a cold, cold wind
    It's a cold wind blowing, Wyoming
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Many Western listeners were/are unaware that "Nikita" is a male name in Russian, and this wasn't helped by the music video depicting the titular Soviet soldier as a woman. Though the lyrics themselves are basically gender-neutral, Word of God confirmed that he always knew it was a man he was singing about.
  • Win Back the Crowd: This seems to have happened twice: first with 1983's Too Low for Zero, where he reunited full-time with Bernie Taupin and his backing band after a series of unevenly received efforts, and later with 2001's Songs from the West Coast, which restored his reputation after a series of albums that, while fairly commercially successful, were not as well liked.


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