To sum Elton John up so simply may seem unfair, however this is the first ever Elton John record ive ever bought and it does sum up 1970-2002 quite adequately. Id always had an aversion to Elton John, the recent hits were fairly mundane and it felt like id be betraying Bowie,Bolan,Ferry,Eno etc.
On the strength of the song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, i decided to buy the Greatest Hits (which i know is quite lazy but it was on sale.)
Cd One charts 1970-76. Everything from "Your Song" to r n b classic "Bernie and the Jets" is fantastic 70s funk/pop (except by now mawkish Candle in the Wind) The rock out numbers dont work quite as well as the ballads; Daniel and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road are amazingly put together while Tiny Dancer is gorgeously simple.Others acts (Bowie,Eno,T Rex,Roxy Music..) did rock so much better than Elton John but The Bitch is Back is fine with its nagging chorus. CD 1 holds up really well, although Sorry Seems to be Hardest Word is still as bad here as it was with Blue last year.
Cd Two is however a different story. The subtle melodies and organic production gives way to big fat sing along 80s choruses, such as Im Still Standing and bland MOR ballads such as Nikita, Blue Eyes, Made in England etc. Its just so dull compared to the creative and vibrant music making of the early 70s. Its not all awful; what gives Elton John fans hope is that the strongest tracks are the recent I Want Love and This Train Dont Stop There Anymore with warm 70s ballads feel and the closer; Song for Guy is a simple instrumental (from the 70s i may add)
Its not a bad Greatest Hits; i mean most of the 70s stars went off in the 80s (Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen...). Id recommend the early albums,(i bought Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on the strength of cd1) but if youre into 80s pap as well as 70s gold, youll adore this.