Elton John – Rocket Man: Number Ones

I’m not really sure why I bought this disc at work , except probably it was cheap and it was still in the shrink wrap with the HMV $10.00 price sticker on it (I paid $1.50). One wonders why something like this would even turn up donated to a thrift store. Did someone shoplift it and have a pang of conscience? It can’t have been a gift to someone – usually people remove price stickers before giving gifts… Maybe someone bought it and, before even tearing off the shrinkwrap, decided they didn’t want it, or discovered they already had it (and in that case, why not return it?), or… I just don’t know. But it happens often enough that one wonders.

The internet tells me that this set was released to celebrate Elton’s 60th birthday (in 2007), the first-ever compilation to cover the first 35 years of his career. There was also a limited edition version that had a DVD with some live performances and videos on it. I got just the CD version. A quick look at Wikipedia shows 17 different versions of the set released worldwide.

Anyway, I didn’t really need this disc. I already own all three of Elton’s Greatest Hits sets, and while there are a couple of newer songs here, most is stuff already on those other three sets. Still, there’s a part of me that snaps up anything Elton John that I don’t already have (like I did with this set). It’s interesting to see what was chosen and, let’s be honest, there’s really no way to write about Elton John’s hits without just being amazed at what he and Bernie Taupin have accomplished. It’s otherworldly. The sense of melody and the strong songwriting, even whether you like all the songs or not, are all arguably part of our fabric and culture. Surely, not everything they have done has been a hit, but when you get some of the big guns collected together like this, all you can do is marvel.

And this one, well, it was a pleasure to listen to. As always.

Track Listing:

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Bennie & The Jets
Crocodile Rock
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Philadelphia Freedom
Island Girl
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (w. Kiki Dee)
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me (w. George Michael)
Can You Feel The Love Tonight

Your Song
Tiny Dancer
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)
Candle In The Wind
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)

10 thoughts on “Elton John – Rocket Man: Number Ones

  1. J. says:

    Nice find, but unfortunately there’s a bit too much of his bland ‘regular John’ stuff on here for my liking. Always a risk with sets like this, I guess – greatest hits and number ones are never as good as the more interesting deeper album cuts.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      You’re right, of course. There’s a danger in making these sets. Slap all your Number Ones together and it paints a picture of popular appeal. Elton has a boatload of songs equally if not more deserving of being here in his long career, they just went bloody-minded and stuck with results. Mind you, with 17 versions of this set out there depending upon which country in which you bought it, I suppose there might be a better set out there for each individual…

      When it comes to him, though, I’ve even thought that the three volumes of Greatest Hits that have come out over the years weren’t enough. He’s one of those guys you can’t capture in one disc, or two, or three, or six. You just need the albums. If I knew people would be into it, I could do what I did with my week of Top Songs by bands as voted by our Readers. Remember that? Metallica, Iron Maiden, on and on. Do people know enough Elton to be able to pick through it all and do it? I dunno! I’d be willing to try, though, if folks seemed willing.

      It brings to mind the Tragically Hip (many things do, for me!) when they released their Hits set called Yer Favourites. They let the fans pick the songs. It ended up being a 2CD set, with a new song at the start of CD1, and a new song at the end of CD2. Cool beans.

      Neil Young, on the other hand, his Greatest Hits was kind of like this one of Elton was… “On the rear cover of the album, Young comments that the tracks were selected “based on original record sales, airplay and known download history.” (Wiki)

      I dunno. There are probably ten other Elton Hits sets out there, but this one did OK for me. It was sorely missing I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues (which appeared on other versions) but that’s North America for you, I guess! 🙂

      And I’ve written a novel. Thanks J.!


      1. J. says:

        Yeah – I’m not a big fan of the best of / greatest hits / essential / number ones type shenanigans, as they very rarely offer anything of value (maybe a new or unreleased track – good for $1.50, but not full price!). But yeah, Elton’s early stuff is definitely worth investigating, for sure … I’m three albums in and have a couple more to go, but I already have a point that I wont go beyond (Rock of the Westies), though my interest has been slowed somewhat by my disappointment in Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (more on that at a later date (hopefully!)).


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