Elton John has been a force in pop music since the mid-1960s. This extravagant and colourful box set presents, in chronological order, his hit songs through 1990. Designed to accommodate a large booklet and the four CDs, which when placed side-by-side present a likeness of Elton, the package indicates the care and expense this huge-selling artist commands.
With the exception of some very early work with Long John Baldry, the music is exclusively focused on the songs Elton wrote in conjunction with lyricist Bernie Taupin. Their unique songwriting method, whereby Taupin first submits lyrics to which John then gives musical shape, is discussed at length in an insightful interview with the two men. This method has produced a truly astonishing number of hit records, particularly throughout the 70s. Discs 2 and 3 contain all the monster hits--"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", "Daniel", "Benny and the Jets", "Crocodile Rock", as well as many others. The combination of John's pliable and emotive voice, Taupin's well-wrought words and strong production values led to mega-stardom.
The 1980s were a period of transition and growth for Elton John. Disc 4 has a number of hits from that period--"Sad Songs", "Sacrifice" and "You Gotta Love Someone"--as well as featuring several live performances before a full orchestra, including "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me". His voice and stage persona both reflected a maturing Elton John.
This box set, compiled by Taupin and John themselves, was completed in 1990 and summed up Elton John's career to that point. Its title, To Be Continued, has proven to be more than wishful thinking as he continues to maintain his vitality in popular music to this day. --Wally Shoup