Sir Elton John is a singer and pianist with a musical style ranging from Hard Rock romps to Soft Rock ballads. With a career dating from the 1960s, in partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin, Elton John boasts a bountiful back catalogue and is one of the most successful artists in the music industry.
10. Bennie and the Jets (1974)
Bennie and the Jets is a Soul-oriented Rock song, produced by Gus Dudgeon, lyrics by Bernie Taupin. A light arrangement of piano, vocals and drum for much of the track, it is nevertheless one of Elton John’s heavier songs due to his raw, aggressive vocal delivery. Attaining number 1 in the American and Canadian charts, it also reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles chart.
9. I’m Still Standing (1983)
I’m Still Standing is a an upbeat Pop anthem, produced by Chris Thomas and written by Bernie Taupin. A Top 40 hit in 8 countries, getting to number 1 in Switzerland and Canada.
8. Daniel (1973)
Daniel is a Soft Rock ballad, produced by Gus Dudgeon, written by Bernie Taupin, about a blinded Vietnam War veteran returning to America and wanting to return to the life he had known before going to war. A Top 10 hit in 7 countries (number 1 in Canada) and in the Top 40 if three other countries, it was one of Elton John’s most successful releases.
7. Tiny Dancer (1972)
Tiny Dancer is a Soft Rock ballad produced by Gus Dudgeon, featuring a symphony orchestra melded with Rock instrumentals. Bernie Taupin’s lyrics refer to beautiful women in 1960s counter-cultural California. It was a Top 20 hit in Canada and Australia.
6. Rocket Man (1972)
Rocket Man is a Space Rock number produced by Gus Dudgeon. Bernie Taupin’s lyrics explore the toils of interminable space travel, from the perspective of an astronaut who experiences conflict between his role as rocket man in space and family man back on earth. It attained number 2 in the U.K. and number 6 in three other countries.
5. The Bitch Is Back (1974)
The Bitch Is Back, one of Elton John’s Hard Rock numbers, was a commercial success despite being eschewed by radio stations due to its title. With lyrics by Bernie Taupin inspired by his then wife, this Gus Dudgeon production featured horn arrangements in the instrumental mix. It was number 1 in Canada, number 4 in America and number 15 in Britain.
4. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me (1974)
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me, produced by Gus Dudgeon, is a Soft Rock ballad with verses dominated by piano and vocals, building up to harmonizing backing vocals and other instrumentation in the chorus. Bernie Taupin’s lyrics deal with rejection by an intimate associate. It was a Top 40 hit in 5 countries, peaking at number 1 in Canadia.
3. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (1973)
Saturday Night’s Alright for fighting is one of Elton John’s more up-tempo Rock and Roll releases. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, with lyrics by Bernie Taupin recalling the alcohol-fuelled weekends of his youth, the single reached Top 10 in U.K. and U.S. charts, despite some radio stations refusing to play it due to concerns it would incite violence.
2. Your Song (1970)
Your Song is a Soft Rock ballad with a light arrangement, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, produced by Gus Dudgeon. This love song reached the Top Ten in the American and British charts.
1. Candle in the Wind (1974)
Candle in the Wind is a mournful ballad in tribute to the late Marilyn Monroe and a celebration of her memory, lyrics by Bernie Taupin, produced by Gus Dudgeon. “Goodbye Norma Jeane,” opening line of the first verse, refers to Marilyn Monroe’s birth name, fitting with the theme of appreciating the human being behind her public image of sex symbol and pop culture icon. The media is criticised for mistreating her, in life and even after death. The arrangement features Elton John’s voice accompanied by piano and a muffled drum, with a gradual built up throughout the track, with choral backing vocals and electric guitar licks included in the mix. Reached number 11 in Britain.