I saw Elton John in concert on 15 September 1998 with my coworkers Mary and Anne at what was then the Pepsi Arena, ne the Knickerbocker Arena, now the Times Union Center. We had what I had thought were not very good seats, in a balcony, practically stage left. But actually they turned out to be great; we could see him making entrances and exits, and what we couldn’t see, we could catch on nearby monitors.
It was a wonderful show. I don’t specifically remember the set list, though I doubt it was much different than what he played a month later at Madison Square Garden. What I do recall is that, even then, he had others sing the highest parts of what he managed to do on his own a quarter century earlier, which is no big deal.
Some years ago, my online buddy
Johnny BacardiDavid Jones put together reviews of the Elton John songs that saw release on the 11 albums between 1969 and 1977, plus select singles. I was a big fan of this project. I’m not similarly motivated to replicate it, but I do notice that most of the songs I picked as my favorites primarily cover the same territory.
The Elton John (EJ) album, which I had thought at the time was his first album, I played a LOT. Tumbleweed Connection (TC), with this Wild West motif, is even more poignant now, since my father died. Madman Across the Water (MATW) was probably my favorite, though Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (GYBR) challenged it.
If memory serves, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy opened on the Billboard charts at #1 in 1975, and it wasn’t my favorite collection. The single, Someone Saved My Life Tonight I did not like. “Sugar bear” reminded me of pre-sweetened cereal. So my prime EJ period may be shorter, though I probably have more tolerance of the later Disney songs that David has.
Elton John made minor news recently when he walked into Vancouver record store and asked for gangster rap.
Here are 20 songs, my favorites roughly last. I could have picked 20 different ones.
Border Song (EJ) – this, and Your Song, probably suffered from too many covers that wore on me
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (GYBR)
Don’t Let the Sun (Caribou)
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters (HC)
Your Song (EJ)
Where To Now St Peter (TC)
Tiny Dancer (MATW) – undoubtedly enhanced by its appearance in the movie Almost Famous
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (GYBR)
Take Me To the Pilot (EJ)
Madman Across the Water (MATW)