My Top 10 Favorite Elton John Songs

What a pretty picture! I've decided this is my favorite photo of Elton.

What a pretty picture! I’ve decided this is my favorite photo of Elton.

In honor of Elton’s upcoming concerts at Madison Square Garden, one of which I will be attending (!!!!), I’ve decided to post my top 10 favorite of his songs. Since I haven’t been listening to him for that long, I only have a few of his albums on my iPod. However, the albums I do have are mostly his older ones, so I think I probably have most of “the good stuff” if you know what I mean. 🙂 This list was EXTREMELY difficult to narrow down to just 10, which is why I’ll include a bunch of honorable mentions at the end of this post. I may decide to revisit this countdown in the future, but for now, here it is, the not-so-definitive list!

10. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

This is the title song of what I’ve already decided is one of my favorite Elton albums. I love this song because, like all of Elton’s songs, it’s so beautifully crafted. Starting out with just acoustic guitars, it builds and builds until it’s a full-on rock song, and then it goes back to just acoustic guitars again. I find it hard to believe how anyone could dislike this song, because it’s so fantastic!

9. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (with Kiki Dee)

This is definitely one of the catchiest songs I know, and I can totally see why it was a huge hit back in the 70s. It’s so likable and infectious, and I dare anyone to hear it and not want to start dancing and singing along! It’s so happy and fun!!!

8. Your Song

This is his practically his signature song, so of course I had to include it here! I absolutely love this song and consider it to be one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.
I realized a while ago that this song, like the Beatles’ “Something”, doesn’t have the word “love” in it! But it’s so beautiful anyway!!! How wonderful life is when Elton’s in the world! 🙂

7. (tie) The Bitch is Back/Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting

For whatever reason, in my mind I lump these two songs together, and I couldn’t decide which one I liked better! So I made it a tie! Anyway, both of these songs rock, a lot. I guarantee that when Elton plays these at the concert in December, I will be out of my seat dancing along!!!

6. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

The intro to this song is possibly my favorite piano riff ever! And the rest of the song is awesome! I absolutely love the harmonica solo, played by Stevie Wonder. This is one of those songs I fell in love with as soon as I listened to it. Whenever it comes up on my iPod, a smile instantly goes across my face. Elton John’s music just makes me so happy!

5. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

I included this clip of Elton on The Muppet Show for two reasons. One, even though it’s not the full song, it’s the best version of this song I have yet to discover, including the official album version. Two, watching this exact part of his appearance on the Muppet Show is where I first fell in love with him and his music. I know, I know, cue the “Awwww”‘s… 🙂
But seriously, this is a really beautiful song. I sing this to myself all the time! I am determined to learn this on the piano one day.

4. Madman Across The Water

This song just hypnotizes me in a way that no other Elton song does. I feel like a madman, or I guess a madwoman, when I listen to it, because it’s so dark, moving, and powerful, just like the entire album of the same name. I think it’s a true masterpiece in his large catalog of amazing songs.

3. Tiny Dancer

This song amazes me by how perfect it is, every time I hear it. It should honestly be the prototype for how to write a great song on the piano, and I could listen to it over and over again. As I’ve said, one of the things I love most about Elton John’s songs is how beautifully crafted they all are, and this song is a perfect example of that. This, like so many of his songs, has a timeless quality about it that makes it so well loved by so many people.

2. Bennie and the Jets

Okay, I’ll just cut to the chase. I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!!! It’s so catchy and fun to sing along to, and it has a very unusual beat for a pop song that makes it really unique. I’ve been trying to learn this on the piano, and for a beginner like me, it’s pretty hard, but definitely doable. Anyway, I just love listening to this song and pretending to be a rock star. This song rocks!!!!!!

And…

1. Someone Saved My Life Tonight

As soon as I first listened to this song, I knew it would become my favorite. The story it tells is a true one about how one of Elton’s friends and former bandmate, Long John Baldry, saved him from committing suicide in 1970. Because of this, it’s more personal than a lot of Elton’s other songs, but that’s just one of the many things that make it a great song. This song is so powerful and builds up to such a degree that by the end, I always feel empowered, like I’ve just finished a long hike and am standing at the summit of a tall mountain. Still, I don’t think my words will do this song justice, because it’s brilliance speaks for itself. This is the only Elton song at the moment that I can play all the way through on the piano, and that makes me love and appreciate it even more! This song sure takes me for a ride, but at the end, I’m always glad I went on that ride!

Like I said, there are A LOT of awesome Elton songs out there! Here are some more that aren’t my most favorites, but that I still love!
Crocodile Rock
Burn Down The Mission
Harmony
I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself
I’m Still Standing
Razor Face
Philadelphia Freedom
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Rocket Man
Island Girl
Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

Wow, that was a LOOONNNGGGG post. Sorry about that. But I hope you enjoyed the post, and have a wonderful week!

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What’s happening in Paul McCartney/Elton John Land

I. Love. Them. :)

I. Love. Them. 🙂

So, this past week there has been a lot going on with two of my favorite musicians, Paul McCartney and Elton John! First, both of them performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas last weekend, and while I was not in attendance, I loved watching both of them perform via a live online stream! They were fantastic as always and performed many awesome songs, two of which I will share with you in this post!
Here’s Elton John doing a rousing rendition of Tiny Dancer on Day 1 of the festival:

And here’s Paul McCartney performing a great song, “Save Us”, off of his new album on Day 2! I cannot wait for this album to come out in October!

I loved watching the Emmys this past Sunday, because not only did my favorite actor, Jim Parsons, take home another award, but Elton John also performed! He did a “tribute” to Liberace, which was nice except that it seemed more like a plug for his new single, “Home Again”, than a tribute to a fallen musical legend. Oh well, he was great anyway and I love the song!

So after that, Paul made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Monday night, giving a hilarious interview and performing a free concert on Hollywood Blvd for 10,000 lucky fans! I watched that as well, and Paul amazed me with his unbelievable talent as he always does. Here’s Paul performing his new single, “New”, from that concert!

I also enjoyed watching Elton John’s appearance on the Ellen show on Wednesday. Here’s a funny clip of him talking to Ellen about Miley Cyrus’s controversial performance at the VMAs this year. He is just hilarious!

So I didn’t think this week could get any better, but then it did! I had been not-so-subtly dropping hints to my family that I really wanted to get tickets to one of Elton John’s upcoming concerts at Madison Square Garden in December. Well, just as I was writing down instructions to my parents about how to get the online presale tickets, my dad informed me that via the Chase Pre-Presale, they had already gotten two tickets to his concert on December 3rd!!!! That’s right folks, I’m going to an Elton John concert!!! YAY!!!!!! I’m so excited!!!! Thanks mom and dad! 🙂
I honestly can’t believe that we’ve been able to obtain tickets to see not one, but TWO Sirs in one year! What incredible luck! In honor of this amazing situation, I’m planning on posting my top 10 favorite Elton John songs tomorrow!
Have a great weekend!

Saturday Night’s Alright For Blogging!

Well, here I am. It’s Saturday, I will be in the presence of Paul McCartney in exactly 9 days, and over the past week, I have fallen in love with yet another legendary male British musician whose career peaked over 30 years ago. And as the title of this post subtly suggests, this person is Elton John!
I must admit, I think I’m a little late to the party with this one. After all, Elton John has been a world famous musician for over 40 years, and just now, almost 16 years into my life, I’m discovering him. Even being a hardcore fan of Beatles music and classic rock in general for well over a year, somehow I’ve never become a fan of his. I’m not suggesting that I’ve been completely oblivious to his music for my whole life; I watched “Elton John week” on American Idol a few years ago, and I’ve vaguely known some of his songs for a while. But that all changed last Monday, when my family and I were driving back from Virginia. My sisters and I were watching an episode of The Muppet Show, of which I am a huge fan, and I was intrigued when I saw that Elton John was one of the guest stars. We ended up watching that episode, and it took me exactly 10 seconds into it to become an Elton John fan.
The first thing I thought when he came on the screen was, “I love his sunglasses!”, and the second thing I thought was, “Hey, he’s the guy who sings ‘Crocodile Rock’!” And after that, as I watched the episode, I realized that he was one of my new favorite people. In this episode, he is cute, funny, and sings and plays piano amazingly. Observe…

So yes, it’s official. I love Elton John and his outrageous outfits, amazingly beautiful voice, and unreal piano playing skills! Not more than I love the Beatles, of course, but he is definitely one of the most talented artists of our time.
And there is a notable connection between Elton and the Beatles! He and John Lennon were good friends in the 1970s, and they co-wrote and sang on “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” in 1974. They made a deal that if it went to #1, John Lennon would come onstage to perform it with Elton at Madison Square Garden. John hadn’t performed onstage in a while and never thought it would go to #1, so he agreed to it, but it did go to #1, and he came onstage to sing it! Apparently, there was a 10 minute standing ovation for him when he came onstage. I’m not surprised.
I affectionately refer to their friendship as “Elton John Lennon”. 🙂

I’m still trying to decide my favorite Elton John song. It’s tough, because they’re all so good! I’ve listened to a bunch of them, though admittedly not all that many, and I haven’t heard one that I haven’t liked. If I HAD to choose, I’d probably go with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Tiny Dancer, or Bennie and the Jets, but even then, I have no idea which would come in first.
One thing that I’ve noticed right away about Elton John’s music is that it’s actually better when he sings it live as opposed to on the record. I’m not saying that the recorded songs aren’t good, but with his amazing voice, everything sounds better in a live format. These next two clips of him are two of my favorites, and feature him singing live on Soul Train. He is such an entertaining, charismatic performer!

I love the funny faces he makes in this video. And his voice is unbelievably good!

He’s bopping and smiling throughout the entire song! I guess even he can’t resist how catchy his songs are!

So yeah, that’s all for now. I think I’ll do a post about great covers of Beatles songs tomorrow. Either that, or my favorite Sheldon Cooper moments on The Big Bang Theory. I guess we’ll have to wait and see… 🙂