Home Music Music Lists

Readers’ Poll: The Best Elton John Songs of All Time

Your picks include ‘Levon,’ ‘Your Song’ and ‘Rocket Man’

Elton John

Chris Walter/WireImage

Between the release of his 1970 debut and 1975’s Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, Elton John basically owned the pop charts. Fans who dug deeper into his albums discovered that, if anything, the non-singles were even better than the hits. For every “Tiny Dancer” and “Levon,” there was a “Madman Across the Water” and a “Rotten Peaches” to discover. Last week, we asked our readers to vote for their favorite Elton John songs of all time. More than 100 songs got at least one vote – kudos to the one guy who voted for “My Father’s Gun” – but the top 10 songs all come from the golden period of 1970 to 1975. Click through to see the results, and listen to a playlist of your picks below. 

Play video

1. ‘Tiny Dancer’

This wasn't even a close contest. "Tiny Dancer" got nearly twice as many votes as the next most popular song. The song has always been a fan favorite, but after it was so memorably used in Cameron Crowe's 2000 film Almost Famous it got a huge second life. The song, which dates back to Madman Across the Water, didn't even crack the Top 40 in America. The fact that it's over six minutes long didn't help it get a lot of airplay at the time, but time has been very kind to it.

"It's had a nice shelf life," says Taupin. "As regards the true meaning, that's almost always been misread. The biggest misconception about the song is that it was written about my first wife." The song was originally dedicated to her, but Taupin swears he didn't write it about her. He says he wanted to capture the free spirits of the women he met in California on his first visit to America in 1970. "They were so different from the women I knew in England," he said. "They'd mother you and sleep with you. It was the perfect Oedipal experience."