Elton John Albums Ranked from Worst to Best Ever

Enjoy Elton John Albums Ranked from Worst to Best

Elton John is an all time great that has released over 30 studio albums.  But given that he has released such a large amount of music, there are bound to be a few misses to accompany his classics. So let’s explore all of Elton John’s albums ranked from worst to best (and let’s see if you agree with our rankings, as well).

Elton John Albums Ranked (from Worst to Best)

Let’s begin with what we consider to be the “worst” album in Elton’s amazing discography: The Diving Board.

31) The Diving Board

Coming in at the bottom of the list is John’s 2013 release The Diving Board. This feels like a transitory album for John; his voice has changed, but the songs feel like they are yearning for a time long passed. The presence of autotune is noticeable at several points, making John’s voice sound a bit tinny. Some of the more charming moments of the album peak through on the instrumental tracks, particularly “Dream #3.” 

But what puts this in last place is the lack of a clear standout song. Although it is always nice to hear new music from Sir Elton, perhaps he should have left his swimming trunks at home and skipped The Diving Board.

  • Best Songs: “Oceans Away,” “Dream #3”

30) The Captain & The Kid

It does not bode well for an album when it opens with a song about Richard Nixon, but that’s exactly how The Captain & The Kid begins. After a couple of opening songs, the album does start to show potential with John’s ode to New York City, “Wouldn’t Have You Any Other Way.” A particularly touching moment appears halfway through the album on “Blues Never Fade Away,” John’s tribute to friends and loved ones that have passed.

In the title track, John sings that “you can’t go back / and if you try it fails.” The irony lies in this whole album feeling like John is stuck with his gaze in the rearview mirror, and indeed failing to go back.

  • Best Songs: “Blues Never Fade Away,” “I Must Have Lost It On The Wind”

29) Victims of Love

Have you ever wondered what Johnny B. Goode would sound like as an 8-minute-long disco-funk song? If by chance you have, I have good news and bad news: Elton John made it happen, and it is terrible.

His 1979 disco album Victims of Love was not commercially well received, but it is at the very least entertaining. This album does have one redeeming quality: Marcus Miller’s outstanding bass playing. If this album would have been an isolated bass track, it may have found itself into the top ten.

  • Best Song: “Born Bad”

28) Leather Jackets

After dominating the mid 70’s, John quickly came back with a resurgence in the 80’s, recording several standout hits. Unfortunately, Leather Jackets was not one of them. The whole album sounds, for lack of better terms, aggressively 80’s, and not in a particularly good way. 

  • Best Song: “Angeline”

27) Peachtree Road

There isn’t much to say about John’s 2006 album Peachtree Road. While themes of acceptance complement his aging voice, most of the album seems to fade into the background.

  • Best Song: “Turn The Lights Out When You Leave”

Standout Moment: The passionate “Meow!” in “They Call Her The Cat.”

26) Songs From The West Coast

Much like Peachtree Road, Songs From The West Coast does not inspire a lot of exposition. The standout definitely lies in the heartbreaking song “American Triangle,” which was written about Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was murdered in 1998. Otherwise, the album is fairly run-of-the-mill. 

  • Best Song: “American Triangle”

25) Wonderful Crazy Night

After The Diving Board, expectations were set low. But the 2016 album Wonderful Crazy Night is oddly charming. It felt like John had fun making this album, and while there aren’t any particularly profound moments, it is good to have a Wonderful Crazy Night with Sir Elton. 

  • Best Song: “Tambourine”

24) Rock of the Westies

In his earliest albums, John seemed to pick the perfect first song. It was either the most famous and clear standout song on the album, or it was a grand, lengthy track that set the stage for something exciting. Rock of the Westies breaks the streak, as the opening medley is lackluster in comparison to some of the grander intros heard on albums like Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

“Dan Dare (Pilot of the Future)” is one of the better tracks, although the talk box intro makes you feel more like you’re listening to a Peter Frampton song. “Island Girl” was the hit off of the album, but it doesn’t stand out as very memorable. “Feed Me” feels like if Elton John wrote a cut song from Little Shop of Horrors. 

All in all, it’s easy to understand why Rock of the Westies isn’t hailed among his best work. But the reissue of the album redeems itself at the last minute, closing with the classic hit “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” a feel-good bonus track.

  • Best Song: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (Bonus Track)”

23) Reg Strikes Back

John’s 1988 release Reg Strikes Back was supposed to be a comeback after undergoing throat surgery but didn’t have quite the impact that he had hoped. Most of the songs fade in with other tracks in his 80’s catalogue, although there are more melodically interesting moments in songs like “Heavy Traffic.” 

John’s Beach Boys tribute “Since God Invented Girls” does pay homage to the music legends, although the lyrical content is a bit amusing coming from Sir Elton. All in all, Reg Strikes Back was a solid attempt, but didn’t hit the high bar set for John. 

  • Best Song: “Heavy Traffic”

22) The Fox

Although it was recorded in tandem with the commercially successful album 21 at 33, The Fox mostly flew under the radar. While the album does not feature any of John’s signature showstoppers, it’s still a nice way to spend 45 minutes.

  • Best Songs: “Just Like Belgium,” “Heels Of The Wind”

21) Ice On Fire

In a similar vein to the two previously discussed records, Ice On Fire is a wash of 80’s synths. The commercial hit “Nikita” is an accurate reflection of the album: enjoyable at points, but easily forgettable.

  • Best Song: “Tell Me What The Papers Say”

20) The Big Picture

Released in 1997, The Big Picture closes out John’s legendary career in the 20th century. Immediately, strange instrumental choices start to detract from the album. The echoey percussive elements sound very dated; parts of the album sound a bit like stock music from late 90’s commercials. 

That aside, songs like “Live Like Horses” highlight John’s specialty in grandiose power ballads. “Something About The Way You Look Tonight” is particularly loveable, in a way that you “can’t explain.”

  • Best Song: “Something About The Way You Look Tonight”

19) Caribou

Ready to go on a wild music ride? Then listen to Caribou, an album that starts fiercely with “The B*tch Is Back” and four songs later has devolved into “Solar Prestige A Gammon,” a gibberish song opening with the lyrics “Oh ma cameo molesting.”

Trying to figure out where this album ranks in the mix is a near impossible task. After all, an album with “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” surely would go in the top five, right? But then you have songs like “Stinker,” which may be awful, but accurately sum up the majority of the album.

  • Best Songs: “The B*tch Is Back,” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”

18) Sleeping With The Past

Deep in the throes of John’s 80’s albums, you’ll find tracks that long for his glory days on the aptly titled Sleeping With The Past. “Healing Hands” was an interesting pick to one of the double-A side singles, as it doesn’t sound very Elton-ish. It is still a bit charming, but pales in comparison to the other single, “Sacrifice.” 

Managing to be one of John’s underrated hits, “Sacrifice” is effective in telling a gut-wrenching and bittersweet story. Bad tracks bring the album down (notably the questionable bonus track “Love Is A Cannibal,”) but there are still endearing moments if you are willing to look past the weak spots. 

  • Best Song: “Sacrifice”

17) The One

Following up a string of hit-and-miss albums in the 80’s, The One brings a refreshing change. The star-studded tracks on the album, “Runaway Train” featuring Eric Clapton and “Understanding Women” with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour on guitar, are far from the standouts. Instead, lyrically interesting tracks like “Emily” or the painfully nostalgic “The Last One” steal the spotlight. 

There are lighter moments in the mix; “On Dark Street” features a fun sitar solo similar in feel to B.J. Thomas’ “Hooked On A Feeling.” Even the lyrically questionable “Fat Boys And Ugly Girls” is catchy, bringing an upbeat close to John’s first album of the 90’s. 

  • Best Songs: “Emily,” “The Last One”

16) Made In England

The 1995 album Made In England is packed with nostalgia. The title track celebrates John’s youth and the impact his musical heroes had on him, while the following song “House” cherishes the safety home provides. Perhaps the album seems a bit sappy to some, but after being pelted with synths and talk boxes in the 80’s, the tenderness is appreciated. 

  • Best Songs: “Made In England,” “House”

15) A Single Man

John’s 1978 album A Single Man marked an interesting moment in his career: it was his first release without Bernie Taupin. Instead, Guy Osborne stepped into the lyricist role. Despite this major shift, most of the songs are on-brand for John. John’s soulful ballad “Georgia” makes you want to abandon your daily life in favor of solitude. The fierce track “Madness” provides an energizing break from some of the more mellow songs. “Part Time Love” is catchy, although it does feel like a rewrite of “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

The album as a whole is solid, but lacks a refreshing edge, perhaps due to Taupin’s absence. It does sound a bit like someone was tasked to write the most “Elton” sounding songs they could, and then John decided to record it himself. The songs are all good but lack some of the shine found in the decade’s earlier hits. 

  • Best Song: “Georgia”

14) Jump Up!

John’s 1982 album Jump Up! gets a bad rap – especially from Bernie Taupin, who was certainly not a fan. But the hate seems undeserved. A nice break from ballad heavy albums, Jump Up! is upbeat and peppy. “Dear John” is a catchy opener, followed by the equally fun “Spiteful Child.”

There are gentler moments on tracks like “Empty Garden” and “Princess,” but the album switches back to a faster pace for “Where Have All The Good Times Gone.” There are still flaws – weak tracks like “I Am Your Robot” keep the album from ranking higher. But overall, Jump Up! has more good songs than flops. 

  • Best Songs: “Where Have All The Good Times Gone,” “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)”

13) 21 at 33

Much stronger than The Fox, which was recorded during the same sessions, 21 at 33 was John’s underrated turn of the decade album. The album’s hit, “Little Jeannie,” is sweet lyrically and fits into Elton’s mid-tempo ballad specialty. But although a tender love song might have been the hit, the album itself features more punchy moments than “Little Jeannie” would lead you to believe

Tracks like “Chasing The Crown” and “Two Rooms At The End Of The Hall” are driven by a more energetic rock sound, swapping out the primary piano focus for electric guitars. “White Lady White Powder” seems to mask the lyrically dark content with a catchy, lighthearted melody, a juxtaposition found in many of John’s 70’s songs. While there are a few weak tracks, the solid songs push this album into the top half of John’s discography.

  • Best Song: “White Lady White Powder”

12) Too Low For Zero

1983’s Too Low For Zero spawned two of John’s most iconic and celebrated songs. First you have “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” which has rightfully earned its place among John’s top works. Everything about it is perfectly executed: it’s one of those songs that gets better with every listen, and you can constantly discover something new to love about it. Another hit is “I’m Still Standing,” a fitting anthem for John’s life and career characterized by perseverance. 

Outside of the hits, there are a few hidden gems here, notably the laid-back bonus track “Dreamboat.” “One More Arrow” is the obligatory sentimental piano ballad, but it does prove to be endearing and highlights a side of John’s voice not often heard in the 80’s. “Kiss The Bride” and “Whipping Boy” are among tracks that bring the album down, replacing some of the more genuine moments with a cheesier, dated feel. But the strength of “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” alone is enough to boost this album towards the top of John’s discography. 

  • Best Songs: “I’m Still Standing,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”

11) Breaking Hearts

Released in the middle of John’s string of 80’s albums, Breaking Hearts is the best and by far the most underrated of the crop. The opening track, “Restless,” falsely leads you to believe that the album will be fairly ordinary. But track two, “Slow Down Georgie (She’s Poison)” quickly puts that idea to rest. Beginning with gentle guitars, the track quickly explodes into a catchy uptempo that will end up stuck in your head for days. 

“Who Wears These Shoes?” provides insight into that point in John’s life with wit and charm. The lasting hit from the album is “Sad Songs (Say So Much),” a song John has continued to perform all the way up to some of his final shows on his farewell tour. “Sad Songs” is simply infectious and very hard not to love, speaking truth with the simple lyrics “when every little bit of hope is gone / sad songs say so much.”

The challenge of the album is that none of the songs are better than “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” but there also aren’t any weak moments. It might not top the greatest songs from select albums, but as a whole work, Breaking Hearts is a standout.

10) Regimental Sgt. Zippo

Released in 2021, Regimental Sgt. Zippo is a time capsule buried over 50 years ago. Despite the album’s recent release, it was actually recorded mostly in 1968. John scrapped the album, instead releasing Empty Sky in 1969, but this hidden gem has finally made its way into the world after being released for Record Store Day. 

Immediately, the Beatle’s influence is prominent. Right down to the title, the whole album feels like an imitation of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles stay in mind the whole album – the opening notes of “When I Was Tealby Abbey” sound like they could have been sung by John Lennon, and “Tartan Colored Lady” could have been a cut baroque-pop song on The White Album.

There may be many moments of emulation, but the album is legitimately good. Although early in his recording career, John was already a seasoned performer and a standout musician. He had already worked as a session musician, toured with the band Bluesology, and was desperately trying to make it as a songwriter. His musicianship was already outstanding, and this was just the beginning. Regimental Sgt. Zippo has its flaws, but it is a fascinating glimpse into a whole other side of Elton John. 

  • Best Song: “Turn To Me”

9) Empty Sky

After abandoning Regimental Sgt. Zippo, John released his first solo album, Empty Sky, in 1969. Vocally, John’s voice sounds like amalgamation of the greats of the time, combining his instantly recognizable voice with traces of his musical heroes. “Val-Hala” feels particularly Dylan-esque, as though John still had not yet figured out where his voice fit into the pop-rock mix.  

John himself seemed to think the album was a bit much, writing in his 2019 autobiography Me that “if you listened carefully, you could hear the kitchen sink being dragged into the studio.” But while there may be a few too many harpsichord and flute solos, there is no doubt that the album is fascinating, with new things to discover with each listen. 

The biggest hit was “Skyline Pigeon,” which does stand out in all of its harpsichord driven, baroque-rock glory. The Beatles’ influence still has a hold on the guitar riff in “Western Ford Gateway,” which also melodically feels like it could have been an inspiration for Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger.” You can practically hear the kitchen sink being drug in on the title track and “Gulliver/It’s Hay Chewed,” which appears halfway through the album but for some reason reprises all of the songs that had already been played. Despite the chaos of some of the tracks, Empty Sky is a good glimpse into the beginnings of John’s brilliance. 

  • Best Song: “Western Ford Gateway”

8) Tumbleweed Connection

The 1970 Americana album Tumbleweed Connection felt like an ode to John’s musical heroes The Band. While his music crossed a variety of genres, this album stood out as being his most country defined – something clearly evident by one of the standout tracks “Country Comfort.” 

This album maintains the sense of musical play found in some of John’s earliest works. But Tumbleweed Connection feels more grounded in the unique elements of John’s musicality. It didn’t feel like John was imitating The Band, or for that matter, anyone else. Instead, it feels like a group of musicians ready to try on a new sound and have a bit of fun while doing it. 

The album closes with the first version of “Madman Across The Water,” leaving you with a preview of an era that would become legendary. 

  • Best Song: “Burn Down The Mission”

7) Elton John

Elton John was a turning point, not just for John himself, but for music as a whole. Released in 1970, this was the album that caught the world’s attention, leading to his legendary performance at the Troubadour and his first major success. 

The album’s challenge is that it opens with the most famous song, “Your Song.” A gentle ballad with lyrics that strike a fine balance between being simple but mature, it’s easy to understand why “Your Song” has become one of John’s most popular hits. 

John himself felt insecure about it at the time, reflecting in his journal entry for the day he wrote the song that his writing session was unproductive, writing that he “didn’t do anything in the end. Wrote Your Song.” Clearly, his judgement of the track’s beauty was off a bit, as he now has stated that it’s a “perfect song.” 

But the downfall with such a strong opener is that the rest of the album is held up to the same standard, and not every song can compete. The driving rock and roll gem “Take Me To The Pilot” easily holds its own, as does “Border Song.” But the Rolling Stones parody “No Shoe Strings On Louise” feels disingenuous after “Your Song.” 

Despite the heartfelt opener, there’s darker side to Elton John – both the album and the person. “Sixty Years On” is a haunting tale about the plight of a former soldier. It is a disorienting break on the album, with the once grand orchestra turning sinister. Although John is telling a fictional story, he sings with such conviction that you hang on to every word as though he is recounting his own life. While it’s hard to top “Your Song,” the album holds many gems and was a captivating introduction to one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. 

6) Honky Château

Released in 1972, Honky Château was the first in a streak of seven consecutive #1 albums in the United States. The opening, “Honky Cat,” sets a playful tone for the rest of the album. “Mellow” lives up to expectations, adding some of John’s laid-back charm to balance out the opening song. While “I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself” and “Susie (Dramas)” showcase a tongue in cheek, honky tonk flair, it’s “Rocketman (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)” that steals the show on side one. 

Striking a balance between effortless and passionate, this is vocally one of John’s strongest performances. The lyrics are effective in painting a clear picture, while the harmonies and synthesizers add the out-of-this-world feel. 

While overshadowed in popularity by “Rocket Man,” “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” is the clear standout. Written about Taupin’s experience visiting New York City, the “Spanish Harlem” inspired song manages to be both lyrically stunning and refreshingly honest. Charming, playful, and genuine all at once, Honky Château is among John’s strongest works. 

5) Blue Moves

Closing the streak of #1 albums in the United States is John’s 1976 release Blue Moves. The album was criticized by some for being “pretentious” and a touch dramatic, which holds a bit of truth. The double album was incredibly grand, sometimes needlessly so, and could have been a touch shorter. But it’s a shame to discount the whole album based on a few excessive moments, since in doing so, you overlook some of John’s greatest hidden gems.

“Your Starter For…” is the opening instrumental track that introduces the unique progressive rock sound heard throughout the album. This track sounds as though it could have been a Yessong, although other tracks featuring the same style on this album sound a bit like someone trying to cover Rush on a xylophone. The unique instrumental choices work well in some spots and less so in others but are ultimately effective in breaking John out of his comfort zone. 

There are plenty of charming moments on this album, but there are two clear standouts. “Cage The Songbird,” featuring David Crosby and Graham Nash singing backup, is one of John’s most stunning compositions. The trio sound beautiful together, and the subtle synthesizers add a bit of John’s flair to a folk-leaning song. “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word To Say” is right up John’s melancholy piano ballad alley, but despite following themes he has already explored, manages to break your heart once again. 

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is one of the most unique albums in John’s discography. Blue Moves placed #5 overall, but certainly wins the prize for most underrated. 

  • Best Songs: “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word,” “Cage The Songbird”

4) Captain Fantastic And The Dirt Brown Cowboy

The autobiographical album Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy, alter egos for Elton John and Bernie Taupin respectively, may be the most charming pick in John’s discography. The album reflects on John and Taupin’s early days as a writing duo in the late 60’s/early 70’s. Written a few years down the line, the album has had enough time and distance to gain clarity, resulting in tracks that are witty, humorous, and self-aware, but also bold and honest. 

John tended to hide behind his larger-than-life-persona to mask his struggles, but “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” is refreshingly vulnerable. The song recounts John’s suicide attempt, something he discusses in more detail in his 2019 autobiography Me. These vulnerabilities continued to peak through throughout the album, especially regarding John’s tender adolescence discussed in the title track.

A particularly endearing moment is “Writing,” an ironic telling of Taupin and John’s daily songwriting routine. This song, among others, is a charming exploration of the friendship and legacy of one of the greatest songwriting duos of the 20th century. But not all of the tracks are vulnerable or sentimental. “Philadelphia Freedom,” written for tennis player Billie Jean King, is a grand and upbeat, shedding the insecurities John once had and instead singing out in full confidence. 

Captain Fantastic And The Dirt Brown Cowboy pulled off an impressive feat; it managed to look back on the past through an honest lens without romanticizing it or getting trapped in bitterness. 

  • Best Song: “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”

3) Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player

If you thought Honky Château was fun, just wait for Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player. The album’s biggest hit, “Crocodile Rock,” makes “Honky Cat” look boring. Some have criticized the album for being flashy, but this feels like the first moment when John fully realized how to pay homage to his idols without impersonating them. The result is John’s magnificence improving upon rock and roll styles from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, not just copying them. 

His snarky sense of humor is able to take center stage, evident on the mocking and witty “Texan Love Song.” “Have Mercy On The Criminal” feels like an intentional poke at “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos, but somehow still doesn’t feel like impersonation. “High Flying Bird” is a stunning closer, falling right into John’s midtempo specialty. 

But by far, the album’s standout is the opening track “Daniel.” The song manages to perfectly walk a series of fine lines: it tells a compelling story while still leaving mystery, it features complex and unusual instruments without being distracting or experimental, and hits the perfect balance between melancholy and serenity, resulting in something genuinely bittersweet.  Between the lyrics, instrumental choices, and vocal performance, “Daniel” may be the most perfect thing Elton John ever recorded. 

Although the beginning sets a high bar that the rest of the album never quite reaches, Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player as a whole does not disappoint. 

2) Madman Across The Water

John’s 1971 album Madman Across The Water has found its way to the #2 spot – something that is understandable after listening to side one. The album opens with John’s classic “Tiny Dancer,” which may be among Taupin’s best lyrical compositions, painting a crystal-clear story through beautiful imagery. It’s important that the lyrics hold so much of the song’s weight, as it takes quite a while to get to the iconic chorus. But the payoff is well worth it, landing the song among John’s most famous hits.  

At first, you think he has yet again opted to open with the standout. But then comes “Levon,” a song that may be slightly less popular than “Tiny Dancer,” but blows it out of the water. While “Tiny Dancer” might win for better lyrics, John’s passionate performance gives “Levon” the leg up. Closing out side one are “Razor Face” and “Madman Across The Water,” which both continue to showcase John’s vocal growth and musical passion. 

“Indian Sunset” is a fairly strong start to side two. Though there are a few historical inaccuracies, the song showcases John and Taupin’s growth and maturity as songwriters. The two weakest tracks, “Rotten Peaches” and “All The Nasties” are packed together halfway through side two. In honesty, they bring down the album quite a bit, which is understandable since side one is a hard act to follow. 

But about the time you are thinking that maybe Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player should rank higher, John closes with “Goodbye,” a track that feels like it would fit into the melancholy of his self-titled album. “Goodbye” is just so haunting, so sad it seems to cling to you for a moment after the album ends. Perhaps a more jovial person would not award points to an album for leaving you with a sense of unease, but I cannot give a song any higher praise than by saying it has the power to completely shift my thoughts and feelings – for better or for worse. 

What ultimately puts this album so high up on the list aren’t the songs themselves, it’s the freeness of John’s voice. This felt like the first moment of his career where he let go of inhibitions and let his voice soar. He doesn’t sound like the timid 22-year-old that released Empty Sky. He allows his voice to wonder and run, finally breaking into his signature falsetto without reservation. 

As good as some of the tracks on Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player are, none are quite as vocally committed as “Levon” or “Madman Across The Water.” For vocal performance alone, Madman Across The Water has soared to almost the top of the list. 

  • Best Song: “Levon”

1) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Once you get into the top ten Elton John albums, they become nearly impossible to rank. The amount of quality work he released over his 50+ year career is astonishing, and trying to pick from among the best is not an easy task. But there was no debate over the number one spot, as Elton John’s 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road isn’t just his best, it is one of the best albums of the 20th century. 

While John released impressive and lengthy opening tracks over the years, they all pale in comparison to “Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.” That track alone would have put this album in the top five, but rather than start with the best and be forced to sink lower from there, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road keeps getting better.

The second track, “Candle In the Wind,” is one of John’s most revered songs, and rightfully so. The song is an ode to Marilyn Monroe and poignant commentary on the exploitations that follow fame. But there is no pause to reflect after the song’s end, as the next track is yet another hit, “Bennie And The Jets.” It’s hard to pick a song that fully captures the wide breadth of John’s work, but “Bennie And The Jets” is as close as you can get. It is one of the songs encapsulates him as a performer, not just as a recording artist. You can feel his glamour and boldness seeping through the music. 

And still from there, the album maintains its integrity. Side two opens with the classic title track, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” a song that still remains a favorite. The lyrics are rather strange, but take a backseat to the captivating melody. John’s voice is at a peak here as he effortlessly explores his full vocal range. But even after the song ends, the album’s hits keep coming. 

This album seems to have it all. There are fast-driving songs like “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” that get you on your feet, and more underrated, relaxed tracks like “Sweet Painted Lady” that balance out the high energy. It is impossible to pick a standout song from this impressive track list. Even the most dubious song on the album, “Jamaica Jerk Off,” would have been a standout had it been released on Leather Jackets. There are no shortage of dazzling highlights from Elton John’s career, but Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is an album that cannot be topped. 


While John may be retiring and wrapping up the final shows of his farewell tour, he is leaving us with one of the most impressive discographies out there. Looking at all of these Elton John albums ranked gives us a glimpse into the wild and wonderful career he has had. His career may be coming to a close, but his legacy is far from burning out. 

This article was written by Carissa and edited by Michael.

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