Elton John Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits Review

Compilation. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

On the whole this is as solid a compilation as anyone who lacks a bit of Sir E in...

Chris Jones 2007

With his stock amongst all generations being higher than ever, it’s time for Reg to trot out yet another hits package. Coming only 3 years after the double Greatest Hits, we now get The Definitive… Apart from the inclusion of some DVD extras on the bonus disc edition it’s up to you to spot the differences. Yet there are advantages to having Elton’s hits reduced to a single disc.

Like many of his contemporaries, no amount of revisionism can detract from the fact that by the 1980s Elton’s output was floundering somewhat. Even Mr Dwight would probably allow that there’s no shame in admitting that your best output came before the excesses (and the loss of lyricist Bernie Taupin) started to dull the creative juices. Luckily this means that this collection dispenses with the soggier end of his back catalogue.

We get no Disney-sponsored schlock or weak-kneed Nikita. We do get the cream of everything from Madman Across The Water to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (as well as his Philly gems). Every one of them is a testament to the fact that, in their day, no one could turn out AM and FM-friendly numbers like Elton and Bernie.

From ''Your Song'' onwards, they crafted a winning almagamation of piano-led ballads and Americana-lite that made them superstars on both sides of the Atlantic. It’s a shame that anything from Captain Fantastic is sacrificed for the obligatory latest ‘hit’ (''Tinderbox''), but his recent return to form means this is still preferable to ''Song For Guy'' etc. On the whole this is as solid a compilation as anyone who lacks a bit of Sir E in their collection could wish for.

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