Top 10 Elton John Songs
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Top 10 Elton John Songs

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Sean Harris.

Born on March 25th, 1947 in Pinner, England, Elton John has been active in music since 1964. He's been a cultural icon for as long as we care to remember; his flamboyance is legendary, and his costume designers are modern-day artists! For this list, we've chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist's fan's favorites, and their most commercially successful songs. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the top 10 Elton John songs.

Special thanks to our users kingawesome99, Jason Lundgren, Mike Smith, Al Bebak, wdessonv@slu.edu, cjgumpy82, aldqbigsquare, Steve Johnson, pacman1865, Hussein Osseiran and Zane Smugala for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript

Top 10 Elton John Songs


Script written by Sean Harris.

He’s been a cultural icon for as long as we care to remember; his flamboyance is legendary, and his costume designers are modern-day artists! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Elton John songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan’s favorites, and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”
Too Low For Zero (1983)

We’re ‘80s bound at number 10, for a record that’s as depressing as it is delightful. “The Blues” represents the reunion of Elton John with his long-term song-writing partner, Bernie Taupin. Taupin is said to have been inspired to pen the lyrics by his then-wife, Toni Russo, and the song is applicable to near enough every loving, lustful relationship that anyone could ever have. It’s an ‘absence makes the heart go fonder’ tune, in all its sing-a-long glory!

#9: “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”
The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1994)

While “Circle of Life” is also an amazing cut, it’s this love theme that was lavished with awards, which really stands out to us as the soundtrack to Disney’s “The Lion King.” John put the music to Tim Rice’s words this time, and the result is one of his most famous records. If you were born in the ‘90s, then this song will probably have you dreaming wistfully of your childhood; if you’re older or younger than that, then it’s still a classic. It’s Simba’s pride, and our joy.

#8: “Crocodile Rock”
Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player (1973)

Another Taupin/John collaboration, this one pays homage to the rock ‘n’ roll era that preceded it. Sir Elton himself has described the track as ‘disposable pop’ and ‘a rip-off’, while Taupin admits that he wouldn’t like to be remembered for it... But, it has remained one of the most iconic songs of the ‘70s anyway! It’s toe-tapping, body-jiving escapist music at its very, very best - the kind of record that’ll get anybody, any age, onto any dance-floor!

#7: “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

It may not strike you as a typically Elton sentiment, and that’s because it isn’t. Whereas Taupin would usually write his lyrics to represent John, these are very much from his own experience. A working class lad growing up, Saturday night and beer were the perfect combination - and dancing led to fighting very quickly. John’s vocals are a perfect, angsty match though, and the guitar riff is about as iconic as any glam rock ‘n’ roll hook out there.

#6: “Candle in the Wind”
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

Some songs truly reach iconic status, and “Candle in the Wind” is one such record. Originally recorded in 1973, the lyrics are specifically for Marilyn Monroe, but generally speak to all public figures who die young as well. John captured Taupin’s meaning with a perfectly melancholic melody, and his voice really understands the heartbreak of the words he’s singing. When the song was rewritten in honor of Princess Diana in 1997, an audience of 2.5 billion watched Elton’s one and only live performance for ‘England’s Rose’.

#5: “Bennie and the Jets”
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

In the UK, this was originally released as a single with the previous entry, “Candle in the Wind,” but it was in the U.S. that “Bennie and the Jets” really became a standout track. Elton himself is said to have been completely surprised by the success it achieved stateside. The song prompted an appearance on “Soul Train:” and John remains one of only a few white musicians to have performed on the TV show. The chorus stutters, and the song shudders with style.

#4: “Rocket Man”
Honky Château (1972)

In 1972, space travel was big, big business. David Bowie had already proven that the space race translated into pop music with his 1969 album Space Oddity, and Elton galvanised the galactic theme with a signature sound and hook. A classic piano rock record, “Rocket Man” tells a lonely story of a spaceman who misses his friends, family, and real life. The message has often been projected onto the celebrity lifestyle – which is an equally alien world.

#3: “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)

It’s a testament to just how strong Elton’s discography is that this song should only take third. Another composition where songwriter Taupin writes from his own experiences rather than Elton’s, it’s a track that retraces the steps to fame and fortune, and wishes to rewind time. John’s vocals are quite phenomenal here, though, as he bounces between high-pitched and low tones with apparent ease. It’s sad and spectacular, all at the same time - a wonderful, wizarding record!

#2: “Tiny Dancer”
Madman Across the Water (1971)

It’s the longest record on our list – and an all-round beauty of a ballad! Written by Taupin following his first visit to America, it pays homage to the beautiful, care-free girls of California. The pair had never come across such women in the UK, and Taupin felt he must memorialize them in verse. “Tiny Dancer” was a big hit, and is an almost ever-present addition in any Elton show. It also confirmed him as a superstar, after he’d broken through with our number one record...

But, before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “I’m Still Standing”
Too Low for Zero (1983)
- “Sad Songs (Say So Much)”
Breaking Hearts (1984)
- “The Bitch Is Back”
Caribou (1974)
- “Daniel”
Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player (1973)
- “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding”
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)
- “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”
Caribou (1974)

#1: “Your Song”
Elton John (1970)

John Lennon described it as the first ‘new’ thing since The Beatles, and “Your Song” is widely regarded as one of the best British records of the era. A track that was written and composed by John and Taupin within a day, it altered the landscape of music, and ushered in many more emotional chart efforts. The lyrics are almost immature, but so appropriate at the same time. “Your Song” is ‘our song’, ‘his song’ and ‘her song’ – and it’s essential, exemplary Elton!

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite Elton John song? For more era-defining Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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