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Pop - Released January 24, 2020 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Pop music rarely mixes with politics, but in the middle of the Cold War, a Western star such as Elton John performing a rousing show in a Moscow concert hall is a joy to behold, a symbol of attempted appeasement between East and West. Elton John’s tour of the Soviet Union took place not long after he had announced a withdrawal from music, citing professional and moral exhaustion. Despite this, and although the production was rather understated (Elton John, his Steinway, his Yamaha CP80 and his percussionist Ray Cooper), the British singer genuinely electrified the Russian public with this performance in May 1979. Propelled by the fact that his album A Single Man (released one year beforehand) was the first official release of a Western pop album in the Soviet Union, the Rocket Man singer seemed to tap into the energy that he had been struggling to keep hold of. At the time, the Soviet government was reluctantly lifting cultural restrictions. This concert was broadcast by the BBC, and it is from original analog tapes recovered from the archives of the British radio that this disc was completely remastered by Elton John and Bob Ludwig. The delectable programme of the concert contains epic versions (12 minutes each) of I Heard It Through the Grapevine and Bennie and the Jets, a moving rendition of Tonight as well as a devilishly enjoyable mash-up of Crocodile Rock, Get Back and Back in the USSR. In fact, the Russian authorities had asked Elton John not to sing that last one. But that would be to underestimate the singer’s free spirit. Finally, this live album teaches us that music only temporarily cools tension as a few months later, tensions between the two blocs picked up again with the invasion of Afghanistan and the election of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Film Soundtracks - Released December 19, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 19, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Film Soundtracks - Released May 24, 2019 | Virgin EMI

Producer Giles Martin, son of the legendary George Martin, is at the helm of the soundtrack of the film Rocketman, which tells the story of Elton John's rise into the music world. The retro flavour of this biopic and its soundtrack works at full strength, especially when you consider that Martin Jr. was at the forefront of the pop frenzy that shook England in the 1960s and 1970s. Its elegant and punchy arrangements are certainly very close to the sound of the time, but it also sometimes brings in certain textures, a breath of fresh air that could be described as "postmodern". Rocketman's soundtrack album does not feature any instrumental music from the film, but only hits by the star performed by Taron Egerton, the actor who plays him on screen. Egerton certainly thrills with his vocal prowess, but we should not forget the presence of other actors in some songs: I Want Love is performed by Kit Connor, Gemma Jones, Bryce Dallas Howard and Steven Mackintosh, while The Bitch is Back, Don't Go Breaking My Heart and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road are duets with, respectively Sebastian Rich, Rachel Muldoon and Jamie Bell (who has the difficult task of playing Bernie Taupin, Elton John's favourite songwriter). But the piece of most bravura of this Rocketman soundtrack is certainly the schizophrenic delirium that is the song that closes the record since it is a cover of (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again by Taron Egerton in duet with Elton John himself. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Film Soundtracks - Released June 21, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Producer Giles Martin, son of the legendary George Martin, is at the helm of the soundtrack of the film Rocketman, which tells the story of Elton John's rise into the music world. The retro flavour of this biopic and its soundtrack works at full strength, especially when you consider that Martin Jr. was at the forefront of the pop frenzy that shook England in the 1960s and 1970s. Its elegant and punchy arrangements are certainly very close to the sound of the time, but it also sometimes brings in certain textures, a breath of fresh air that could be described as "postmodern". Rocketman's soundtrack album does not feature any instrumental music from the film, but only hits by the star performed by Taron Egerton, the actor who plays him on screen. Egerton certainly thrills with his vocal prowess, but we should not forget the presence of other actors in some songs: I Want Love is performed by Kit Connor, Gemma Jones, Bryce Dallas Howard and Steven Mackintosh, while The Bitch is Back, Don't Go Breaking My Heart and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road are duets with, respectively Sebastian Rich, Rachel Muldoon and Jamie Bell (who has the difficult task of playing Bernie Taupin, Elton John's favourite songwriter). But the piece of most bravura of this Rocketman soundtrack is certainly the schizophrenic delirium that is the song that closes the record since it is a cover of (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again by Taron Egerton in duet with Elton John himself. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz

Pop - Released April 13, 2019 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Pop - Released December 7, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Pop - Released October 5, 2018 | All Evergreen Records

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Pop - Released October 5, 2018 | All Evergreen Records

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Pop - Released October 5, 2018 | All Evergreen Records

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Pop - Released November 10, 2017 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Arriving ten years after the single-disc Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits (known as Rocket Man: Number Ones in North America) and 15 years after the double-disc Greatest Hits 1970-2002, Diamonds ups the game by offering two variations on Elton John's greatest hits: a double-CD version and a limited-edition triple-disc box set. Given John's canon is close to set, it should come as no surprise that Diamonds follows the same path as its predecessors -- indeed, the first ten songs on Diamonds are the same as those on Greatest Hits 1970-2002, with minor rejiggering; ultimately, there is a 26-song overlap -- but within its standard two-disc set, it finds a place for some important hits absent in prior comps. Notably, this has "Little Jeannie," "I Don't Wanna Go on with You Like That," and his live duet with George Michael, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," all welcome additions, and as it extends into the present, it also finds space for John's artistic renaissance of the 21st century in the form of "Electricity," "Home Again," and "Looking Up." The third disc on the deluxe version deepens the story further by adding a bunch of hits that could've feasibly been included on the first two discs -- "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Pinball Wizard," "Mama Can't Buy You Love," "Part-Time Love," "Victim of Love," "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)," "Kiss the Bride," the superstar charity single "That's What Friends Are For" -- and also underscores his enduring stardom and cultural reach by including OK '90s U.K. hits with Kiki Dee, Pavarotti, and LeAnn Rimes, plus his 2012 U.S. dance hit with Pnau, "Good Morning to the Night" (conspicuous in their absence is any duet with Leon Russell). This last disc offers up plenty of hits but it also feels slightly messy because of the leap from "Kiss the Bride" to "Live Like Horses," but that only indicates how John would've been equally well served by a four-disc set. Instead, we get this excellent -- if incomplete -- collection that is equally satisfying in either its double-disc or triple-disc incarnation. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released November 10, 2017 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Arriving ten years after the single-disc Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits (known as Rocket Man: Number Ones in North America) and 15 years after the double-disc Greatest Hits 1970-2002, Diamonds ups the game by offering two variations on Elton John's greatest hits: a double-CD version and a limited-edition triple-disc box set. Given John's canon is close to set, it should come as no surprise that Diamonds follows the same path as its predecessors -- indeed, the first ten songs on Diamonds are the same as those on Greatest Hits 1970-2002, with minor rejiggering; ultimately, there is a 26-song overlap -- but within its standard two-disc set, it finds a place for some important hits absent in prior comps. Notably, this has "Little Jeannie," "I Don't Wanna Go on with You Like That," and his live duet with George Michael, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," all welcome additions, and as it extends into the present, it also finds space for John's artistic renaissance of the 21st century in the form of "Electricity," "Home Again," and "Looking Up." The third disc on the deluxe version deepens the story further by adding a bunch of hits that could've feasibly been included on the first two discs -- "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Pinball Wizard," "Mama Can't Buy You Love," "Part-Time Love," "Victim of Love," "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)," "Kiss the Bride," the superstar charity single "That's What Friends Are For" -- and also underscores his enduring stardom and cultural reach by including OK '90s U.K. hits with Kiki Dee, Pavarotti, and LeAnn Rimes, plus his 2012 U.S. dance hit with Pnau, "Good Morning to the Night" (conspicuous in their absence is any duet with Leon Russell). This last disc offers up plenty of hits but it also feels slightly messy because of the leap from "Kiss the Bride" to "Live Like Horses," but that only indicates how John would've been equally well served by a four-disc set. Instead, we get this excellent -- if incomplete -- collection that is equally satisfying in either its double-disc or triple-disc incarnation. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released November 3, 2017 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Film Soundtracks - Released June 1, 2017 | Columbia

Rock - Released October 5, 1973 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Rock - Released July 8, 2016 | Virgin EMI

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2000 | Geffen

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Rock - Released February 5, 2016 | Virgin EMI

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Elton John gives away his game with not just the title of Wonderful Crazy Night but its artwork. Our hero stands against a garish, colorful backdrop, sporting a grin a mile wide, signaling that he's once again ready to have fun. The measured melancholy of The Diving Board aside, Elton hasn't precisely avoided fun since returning to making records for himself, not the charts, with 2001's Songs from the West Coast, but a certain sobriety crept into the proceedings, particularly when he joined forces with producer T-Bone Burnett for The Union, the 2010 duet album with Leon Russell. Burnett is back for Wonderful Crazy Night and so is John's touring band, making their first studio appearance since 2006's The Captain & the Kid. It's possible to feel the presence of all of Elton's collaborators: the band brings a bit of a kick to the proceedings and the ever-tasteful Burnett reins things in, keeping things from being too crazy, while lyricist Bernie Taupin schemes with John to keep things from being too wonderful. To be sure, there's a fair amount of joy and swagger here, particularly on the ebullient opening pair of "Wonderful Crazy Night" and "In the Name of You," two songs perched between a canny, knowing nostalgia and casual craft. As the record rolls on, seams start to appear, not in the performances or production -- this is an album that sounds as comforting as a long candlelit bath -- but in the compositions. Often, the tunes appear to be handsome constructions -- grand, stately, and well appointed -- but their foundations are shaky, constructed from threadbare melodies and words that dissipate not long after they land. It's an odd mix of lazy and laborious; the songs feeling tossed together in an afternoon and then recorded meticulously. As such, Wonderful Crazy Night never lingers in the imagination -- there are no hooks to pull a listener back in for another spin -- but it sounds just fine as it plays. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released February 5, 2016 | Virgin EMI

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His true fans know well that the golden age of Elton John is starting to get away from them ... However, with The Diving Board published in 2013, the master of British pop proved that all was most certainly not lost... with Wonderful Crazy Night, this quasi-resurrection is confirmed. For this 33rd studio album offers traces of musical DNA that escaped from his legendary 1972 song, Rocket Man. Above all, this 2016 vintage presents stylish alloy, nervous pop, and soft rock, as if it were a secret formula. In each song, the melodies bulge and, as always with Elton John, Bernie Taupin takes care of the writing, with the production entrusted in turn to T Bone Burnett (already producer of The Diving Board). Elton John has performed somewhat of a clean-up, not inviting any of the musicians with whom he usually works.  At 68, Sir Elton signs off an energetic record, combining his expected strengths with some unexpected freshness. © CM / Qobuz
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Rock - Released February 5, 2016 | Virgin EMI

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Elton John in the magazine