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The Best of the Best

Elton John : Biography

In 1972, Elton released 'Honky Chateau' which became his first American number on album and spent five consecutive weeks at the top of the charts. From 'Honky Chateau' was spawned the well known hits, 'Rocket Man' and 'Honky Cat'.

In 1973, Elton started his own record label (Rocket Records - distributed by MCA) and released the well received pop album, 'Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player' from which came his all time hits, 'Crocodile Rock' and 'Daniel'. Shortly would follow, 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' (a double album), which topped the charts and was considered by many Elton's best album, (although not everyone would agree). From 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' came the number one hits, 'Bennie And The Jets' and 'Candle In The Wind' (which was written about Marilyn Monroe and later the lyrics would be changed slightly and dedicated to Princess Diana Princess of Wales, being named 'Goodbye English Rose'). Along with the beautiful ballad, 'Candle In The Wind', with its slow soothing theme came 'Funeral For A Friend, Love Lies Bleeding' and the bone shaking, rock hit, 'Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)'. Consequently, already enjoying an eight million dollar contract, Elton chose not to record on Rocket but remained with MCA. It has been stated that he started Rocket Records to sign and produce acts like Neil Sedaka and Kiki Dee.

Elton teamed up with John Lennon in 1974 and together produced the covering of The Beatles', 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' and 'One Day At A Time'. Elton featured on John Lennon's 'Whatever Gets You Through The Night' and a surprise joint concert performance of the two hits as well as the Beatles classic hit, 'I Saw Her Standing There'. Elton would convince John to perform these songs at Madison Square Garden in what would be John's (Lennon) last public performance. Two years later the concert album would be released, accompanied by another live recording of 'Here & There'. That same year, Elton became the director of a professional soccer team - the WFC (The Watford Football Club), and released 'Caribou' and 'Elton John's Greatest Hits' both albums becoming a phenomenal success. Although 'Caribou' was not as well accepted and considerably of a 'lower quality' than Elton's other hits, it demonstrated his ability as a rock performer with the hit, 'The Bitch Is Back' and 'Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me'. During this time, Elton was asked to play a character called 'The Pinball Wizard' and perform a song of the same name by the British band 'The Who' for their rock opera 'Tommy'. Elton's version was recorded and used for the movie release in 1975 with the single being released in 1975 in the US and 1976 elsewhere. 'Pinball Wizard' hit number 7 on the UK charts. Elton's version of 'Pinball Wizard' (although originally released by 'Who') would be the one most remembered.




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