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Album Review

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: 40th Anniversary Box Set

March 25, 2014

On his milestone seventh album, Elton John left behind his sepia-toned singer-songwriter reality for a far brighter Hollywood-inspired rock & roll fantasy. At times, the diverse but filler-free 1973 double album's vivid Technicolor tunes – from...

Album Review

The Diving Board

September 13, 2013

Tabloid fixture, Las Vegas institution, movie producer, duet partner with everyone from Lady Gaga to Queens of the Stone Age – even in his sixties, Elton John still thrives in the spotlight. Yet musically, his priorities have shifted. When he released...

Album Review

The Union

October 12, 2010

The Union is a rare gesture in a dying business: an act of gratitude. Elton John repays a long-standing debt of inspiration to Leon Russell — particularly the rowdy merger of soul, country and gospel rapture Russell perfected as a writer, pianist...

Album Review

Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy (Reissue)

September 4, 2008

Elton John was a lot of things — sideman, session man and flop, with a long tail of failed solo releases, including the 1969 LP Empty Sky — before 1970's Elton John made him an overnight star. He wasn't afraid to admit it. John packed a bonus...

Album Review

Tumbleweed Connection (Deluxe Edition)

September 4, 2008

Elton John was a lot of things — sideman, session man and flop, with a long tail of failed solo releases, including the 1969 LP Empty Sky — before 1970's Elton John made him an overnight star. He wasn't afraid to admit it. John packed a bonus...

Album Review

Songs From The West Coast

September 17, 2001

It don't always work when veteran rockers try to conjure their classic albums' old black magic. Going back to your roots and whatnot sounds good on paper, but your voice and reflexes change, recording techniques evolve and fashions shift. Maybe you've...

Album Review

Elton John & Tim Rice's "Aida"

April 1, 1999

On Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida — Giuseppe Verdi's agent didn't have enough clout to get him into the credits, obviously — a host of superstars perform songs from a new stage musical composed by the songwriting team that brought you The...

Album Review

Something About Way You Look Tonight / Candle in 1997

December 19, 1997
Not Rated

Comparing the record-breaking success of "Candle in the Wind 1997" — Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" is now the second-best-selling single of all time — with the more modest impact of The Big Picture is pointless and churlish. John's latest...

Album Review

The One

January 29, 1997

Buying an Elton John album these days is like investing in a mutual fund: You won't get a huge payoff, but you probably won't get burned either. As with recent portfolios offered by bankable rockers Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton, audiences buy into John's...

Album Review

Reg Strikes Back

October 6, 1988

Okay, folks, here's the real comeback. After a successful throat operation, Elton John is back with urgent shouting and playful crooning. The forty-one-year-old songster has also discarded his flamboyant image, including the dandy outfits. A throwback...

Album Review

Too Low For Zero

June 9, 1983

Elton John and Bernte Taupin have written some great hit singles, but since the early Elton John LP, they have never produced an album of consistently first-rate material. And although Too Low for Zero is a big step up from losers like Blue Moves and...

Song Review

"Home Again"

July 15, 2013

John is describing his T Bone Burnett-produced 30th album as a return of sorts to his early-Seventies sound. Its first single is as lushly sentimental as ever, with a burdened mood of forlorn nostalgia that grounds its cascading melody. "Never tiring...

Song Review

"If It Wasn't for Bad"

September 19, 2010

Russell is an Oklahoma-bred singer who wowed John 40 years ago and later fell off the map. The lead track from their duets album is a wise-cracking lament, with John echoing Russell's distinct nasal twang. The song transitions to an Electric Light Orchestra-style...

Album Review

Elton John (Deluxe Edition)

September 4, 2008

Elton John was a lot of things — sideman, session man and flop, with a long tail of failed solo releases, including the 1969 LP Empty Sky — before 1970's Elton John made him an overnight star. He wasn't afraid to admit it. John packed a bonus...

Album Review

The Captain and The Kid

September 18, 2006

The Captain and the Kid is the third album in a career-resurrecting run that began in 2001, when Elton John took the novel approach of sitting down at a piano and writing songs that sound a lot like Elton John. The album is a sequel to 1975's chart-topping...

Album Review

The Road To El Dorado

April 13, 2000

The opening number of Elton John's latest soundtrack for an animated flick begins, "Our glorious city/Was built by the divinities, by gods." Somehow, Captain Fantastic manages to turn the plot-point lyrics of The Road to El Dorado into melt-in-your-mouth...

Album Review

Made In England

February 2, 1998

It's been 20 years now since Elton John hit his artistic peak with Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. Since then his output has been disappointingly unpredictable. For every fine piece of pop craftsmanship like "I Guess That's Why They Call...

Album Review

The Big Picture

December 19, 1997
Not Rated

Comparing the record-breaking success of "Candle in the Wind 1997" — Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" is now the second-best-selling single of all time — with the more modest impact of The Big Picture is pointless and churlish. John's latest...

Album Review

Duets

December 9, 1993

Unfortunately, little of the glorious schmaltz that made Elton John and his songwriting collaborator Bernie Taupin the Rodgers and Hammerstein of the rock era is evident on Duets, a new collection of songs pairing John with an eclectic array of singers....

Album Review

Ice On Fire

January 30, 1986
Not Rated

It's too much to expect a substantial album from Elton John at this point, but with the return of his longtime producer, Gus Dudgeon, for Ice on Fire, there was the hope that he might at least whip up a few frothy singles. Though the riffs abound, they're...

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