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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets

Elton John – digging deeper…

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Elton John
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Elton John’s album catalogue is a monument to his inexhaustible creativity. For four and a half decades, and almost always with his writing partner Bernie Taupin, he has produced music of the highest quality, at an incredible rate of productivity: last year’s excellent ‘The Diving Board’ was the 31st studio album to be released in a span of 44 years. He’s more than worthy of being uDiscover’s next candidate for a playlist of some of his lesser-played treasures. Welcome to Elton John – digging deeper…

Just as with our playlists for the Carpenters and ABBA, our goal here is not to dismiss Elton’s brilliant collection of world-famous hit singles, but to complement it with a hand-picked selection of superior album tracks. We’ve dug into every period of his recording career, calling on early releases such as the self-titled 1970 album that featured the striking ‘The Greatest Discovery,’ with a beautiful orchestral arrangement by Paul Buckmaster. From ‘Tumbleweed Connection’ we have ‘Talking Old Soldiers,’ and from ‘Madman Across The Water’ the equally vivid ‘Indian Sunset.’

The list includes tracks from many of Elton’s best-loved albums, but also some of those that don’t get quite as much attention, including ‘The Fox,’ ‘Breaking Hearts’ and ‘Reg Strikes Back,’ which offered one of the very best Beach Boys tributes ever recorded, ‘Since God Invented Girls.’ The track was made all the more authentic by the addition of backing vocals by Carl Wilson, Bruce Johnston and “associate” Beach Boy Adrian Baker.

The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then

Elegant ballads like ‘Idol’ and ‘Blue Avenue’ sit alongside the retro-soul mood of Elton’s version of ‘Three Way Love Affair,’ from the Thom Bell sessions that produced ‘Are You Ready For Love.’ Coming up to date, we have the delightful ‘The Best Part Of The Day’ from the collaboration album with Leon Russell, ‘The Union,’ and ‘The New Fever Waltz’ from last year’s ‘The Diving Board.’

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  1. James

    August 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I’ve been a fan since the beginning. All of these tracks were my favs at some point or another. Great selection!

  2. al

    August 21, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I thought “In Neon” and “Dear God” could have made the list.

  3. Robert Phillips

    August 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Song’s on this list I already know and love ! A good list

  4. J D Lee

    August 21, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Who says these are undiscovered gems. Been listening to these forever and are some
    of my favs. The standards that got airplay and constant concert playlists are good, but Elton
    has many “B” side songs that are as good or better. Indian Sunset is awesome and thank
    god he played it during the Million Dollar Piano show. Even “Friends” from wayback is
    pretty good. Keep listening to all his albums, I’m sure you’ll find some great songs you
    forgot about or never really paid attention to that will become one of your favorites.

  5. Rivahcat

    August 21, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    As a 40+ year fan of Elton’s, I must agree with your choices! There are remarkable tracks on every one of his albums that make me wonder why THEY didn’t hit the charts, but I consider them my private treasures. One I would nominate for this list would be “Latitude” from the “Made in England” album; it was arranged by George Martin, the brilliant arranger of so many Beatles tunes.

  6. Julie McDonald

    August 21, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    I have been saying for years and years … I have loved and been an Elton John fan since 1973 … even with the number of Great Radio Hits that he has produced over the years … Elton John has 10 unknown songs for each “HIT” that are 10 times better! Your list is very, very good. There’s a few that I don’t know, so I will find them and give a listen … however, you hit the nail on the head with TWO OF MY VERY, VERY FAVORITES: IDOL and CARLA/ETUDE – FANFARE – CHLOE !!! I got chills just thinking of those songs. Thank you.

  7. Cindi Mowers

    August 21, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I think the song Ticking is one of his very best. Certainly one of my favorites.

    • Pat Ronan

      August 21, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      I agree

  8. Steve Martinez

    August 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    I so love The Last Song, Teacher I Need You, Song for Guy and The Greatest Gift!

  9. Brenda Kovacevic

    August 21, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Rapt that you have put out this selection of songs so they may be discovered by everyday music fans. We “Elton scruffs” adore these lesser known gems & have always considered some as favourites. Only trouble is, you could add so many more Elton tracks to your list – perhaps in a second compilation.

  10. Jack Clifford

    August 21, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Great list! Blue Eyes would have been a good add on.

  11. keith

    August 22, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Several of those songs are tear jerkers, like indian sunset and greatest discovery. Feel like a bullet and talking old soldiers are also two of my many favorites. I would also have liked to see sugar on the floor among these and there was another one from Blue Moves, I don’t know the name about a guy leaving a letter in prepartion of comitting suicide, oh and ticking and I’ve seen the saucers from Don’t Shoot Me…. the list is endlesa.

  12. Rivahcat

    August 22, 2014 at 1:43 am

    I see you added “Latitude” to the mix! Now let me suggest “Love’s Got a Lot to Answer For”, from ” The Big Picture”…

  13. Paul A.

    August 22, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Can’t believe no tracks from the underrated Friends soundtrack! Can I put You On, Michelle’s Song, and Seasons are fantastic. Okay, so the cover sucks. The content does not.

  14. Tiffany

    August 22, 2014 at 3:05 am

    One song I have always loved is Belfast from “Made in England”. I love the list you have here too.

  15. Steven

    August 22, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Latitude is a wonderful song that deserved to be a single. Teacher I Need You, Breaking Hearts.

  16. Kjell Johansson

    August 22, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Can’t find this playlist with Elton John on Spotify

  17. Graham

    August 22, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Never tire of repeat listenings of the incredible TICKING…though written many years ago…still so relevant today given those awful shootings that seem to happen so often in the US……absolute gem…

  18. Suzanne BP

    August 29, 2014 at 4:09 am

    Come Down In Time, Blues For Baby and Me, The Fox, Empty Garden….

  19. alex brown

    September 22, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    great to see so many Elton fans,Elton’s album tracks are fantastic The North, House,Can I put you on ,Idol,Feel like a bullit,the list is endless

  20. Joe

    November 19, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Search out “Take Me Down To The Ocean”, the non-LP B-side to “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)”. Easily found on YouTube.

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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
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