ESSENTIAL ELTON; 10 SONGS THAT DEFINE HIS CAREER
Your Song (1970): colloquial and direct, with a beautiful melody, this song about songwriting remains one of the greatest ever written. (Incidentally, I went to see Elton in 1970 at the Festival Hall in London. He was wearing a bright red tracksuit, with his signature enormous specs). (http://www.eltonjohn.com/band/1970-1971/)
Tiny Dancer (1972): A free-flowing time-shifting country-and-gospel-flavoured paean to love on the road. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoskDZRLOCs)
Rocket Man (1972): Elton's strung-out melody and yearning vocals carry Bernie Taupin's tyric of a lonely working astronaut into deep, emotional spaces.
Someone Saved my Life Tonight (1975): Singing about his own recent suicide attempt, with added Queen-style multilayered harmonies, Elton transforms his darkest hour into a life-affirming anthem.
Don't Go Breaking My Heart (1976): Cheerfully banal yet irresistible in its soaring melodic uplift, this is the only bit for which Elton wrote music first Taupin added lyrics later. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQmRgFzg0jI)
Blue Eyes (1982): one of those pure Elton ballads that sounds like a song that has always existed, his voice gliding on a jazzy breeze of piano and strings.
I'm Still Standing (1983): One of the definitive anthems of survival delivered with exuberant joy over a pounding piano rhythem. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHwVBirqD2s)
Candle in the Wind (1997): Elton remade his elegiac 1973 classic to commemorate the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. With more than 33 million sales, it became the biggest selling single of all time.
This Train Don't Stop There Any More (2002): Mining the rootsy Americans of his Seventies pomp, this is a magnificently stately parade through Elton's career, bidding farewell to the excesses of his past in grand style.
Home Again (2013): A slow, deep anthem of memory and longing on which Elton's piano-playing is fluid and expressive, his baritone rich and emotional. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsuHAn54wPs)
(From a list compiled by the Daily Telegraph, 2016)