Sir Elton John is perhaps one of the greatest musical artists of all time. With a career spanning decades, filled with great music and glamorous outfits, the Rocket Man will go down in history as a music icon. And after seeing the new biopic chronicling his rise to stardom, it inspired me to create this list of essential hits for the young person new to the world of Elton John.
1. "Bennie and the Jets"
"Bennie and the Jets" epitomizes Sir Elton's glam rock that makes him so unique from other artists. It tells the story of a person admiring a fiction glam rock band from which the song gets its name. The song sounds so distinct from other rock songs, which may explain why this song is so addicting to listen to, especially due to the fact that every cover of the song sounds somewhat different than the original.
2. "I'm Still Standing"
John wrote this song in response to finding out he was still relevant as the 1980s came. This song also captures John's glam rock in the sense that it carries a much more flamboyant tune not found in traditional rock songs. And as Pride Month comes to a close, it provides a good anthem for the LGBTQ community, especially as John struggled with his sexuality around this time.
3. "Your Song"
This is probably the song that started it all for Sir Elton, and for that reason everyone knows this song. Despite all of this, I couldn't help but add this song because it truly is a timeless classic. Plus Taron Egerton's performance of this song in "Rocketman" was just phenomenally brilliant and chilling.
4. "Rocket Man"
Much like "Bennie and the Jets" and "I'm Still Standing," "Rocket Man" is another song that metaphorically explains John's dealing with stardom. Telling the "high" feeling of being famous, and just how it's like space travel, "Rocket Man" is truly the perfect song to just mellow out.
5. "Crocodile Rock"
John notably called this song "disposable pop," and truthfully this song does sound like a recycled pop song. But you have to remember with Elton John, this is the kind of content he intends to make, all in the name of making some kind of message about the music industry. Although John has said he hopes to never perform this song as much in the future, "Crocodile Rock" makes a good song if you just want to recklessly dance.
6. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"
"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is John's way of trying to reconnect with his roots, away from the superficial nature of the music industry. Although most of us probably can't relate to living a life of stardom, we can all empathize with the message that we should always stay true to our passions as we find careers and plan for the future.
7. "Candle in the Wind"/"Candle in the Wind 1997"
John wrote the original version of this song in memory of Marilyn Monroe, and later rewrote the song in memory of Princess Diana in 1997 (a version which he only performed at her funeral). Both versions chronicle the lives of two people who died all too young, and perhaps can teach us that living fast and dying young is something that we shouldn't normalize.