Classic rock 'n' roll and '70s pop came together seamlessly on this 1973 LP, another #1. This has his mega-hit Crocodile Rock and smash ballad Daniel ; this CD adds Jack Rabbit; Skyline Pigeon (piano version), and two more bonuses!
One of the best entries from Elton John and Bernie Taupin's remarkably successful mid-1970s run, this album still holds up well over a quarter of a century after its release. Even casual fans will recognise "Daniel", "Elderberry Wine", and "Crocodile Rock", but "Teacher I Need You", "Have Mercy on the Criminal" and "I'm Going to Be a Teenage Idol" are equally good. Elton's backing band at the time (guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray, and drummer Nigel Olsson) was easily his best, and producer Gus Dudgeon and orchestral arranger Paul Buckmaster bathed the tracks in a warm and enticing glow. The only complaint is that, due to its size, the CD reissue doesn't remotely do justice to the colourful packaging of the original album. --Dan Epstein