14 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Led by the glam-slam party starter “The Bitch Is Back,” this underrated 1974 release takes comforting sonic turns. There’s an acoustic guitar and piano love ballad (“Pinky”), a guitar-driven pop-rock gem (“Grimsby”), a country music spin (“Dixie Lily”), and a cinematic sojourn (“I’ve Seen the Saucers”). “Ticking” is a sobering vocal-piano song about violence, and the album’s centerpiece, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” (which features two Beach Boys on backing vocals), is a betrayed lover’s plea that rises on a bed of exquisite harmonies. Here, Elton tests the era’s rock ’n’ roll boundaries, expertly mixing breakup balladry with mood-setting grandeur and fist-pumping rock.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Led by the glam-slam party starter “The Bitch Is Back,” this underrated 1974 release takes comforting sonic turns. There’s an acoustic guitar and piano love ballad (“Pinky”), a guitar-driven pop-rock gem (“Grimsby”), a country music spin (“Dixie Lily”), and a cinematic sojourn (“I’ve Seen the Saucers”). “Ticking” is a sobering vocal-piano song about violence, and the album’s centerpiece, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” (which features two Beach Boys on backing vocals), is a betrayed lover’s plea that rises on a bed of exquisite harmonies. Here, Elton tests the era’s rock ’n’ roll boundaries, expertly mixing breakup balladry with mood-setting grandeur and fist-pumping rock.

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