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Rocket Man - The Definitive Hits

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Album Review

Hard to believe, but there's never been a good single-disc overview of Elton John's biggest hits available in America until 2007's 18-track Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits. (The American release subtracted one track and was titled Rocket Man: Number Ones.) He's had plenty of collections, including a good single-disc European set that circulated in the late '90s, but Rocket Man is the first to really offer a solid career-spanning overview as a single-disc set. Of course, even though this pulls number ones from various charts in the U.S. and U.K., there are big hits missing — whether it's classics like "Honky Cat," which never reached the pole position in the U.S., or latter-day number ones like "I Don't Want to Go on You Like That," which did top the adult contemporary chart — but it's hard to argue with what's here (with the possible exception of "Sacrifice," which does represent his late-'80s/early-'90s adult contemporary work but isn't one of his best hits). All the big songs — "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Bennie and the Jets," "Daniel," "Crocodile Rock," "Philadelphia Freedom," "Can't You Feel the Love Tonight," "Your Song," "Candle in the Wind" — are here, which will satisfy the casual fan for whom this is designed. Those who would lament the absence of "Levon," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," "Mama Can't Buy You Love," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," or "I'm Still Standing" should turn to another compilation: this is not the set for them. But for the fan who wants a good sampling of Elton throughout the years, this is ideal.

Biography

Born: 25 March 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early '70s. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers with equal aplomb. He could dip into soul, disco, and country, as well as classic pop balladry and even progressive rock. His versatility, combined with his effortless melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and flamboyant stage shows, made him the most popular recording artist of the '70s....
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