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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite the Definitive Elton John Collection
Music: 4.5 Stars Compilation: 3.5 Stars
There have been many Elton John collections over the years, even more so in Europe than here in the US. The release of "Greatest Hits 1970-2002" (34 tracks, 157 min.) is intended to be the truly definitive "greatest hits" collection. Did they get it right this time?
Given the time limitation of a CD,...
Published on July 10 2004 by Paul Allaer

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Where the H@#$ are the rest of the tunes?
Some of my favorite Elton tunes are not even in this set...Where's the soulful "Momma Can't Buy You Love"???? Also, I firmly believe the ORIGINAL "Don't Let the Sun..." was much better than the subpar duet with George Michael. NEVER EVER FADE OUT A TUNE THAT ORIGINALLY HAD A COMPLETE ENDING!!!! What a disappointment. I've already gotten rid of my copy.
Published on Oct. 18 2003


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5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome comeuppance for this '80s brat, Nov. 22 2003
By 
A. Ryan "Merribelle" (Westminster, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
I was one of those teenagers who grew up on New Wave and Metal. To me, Elton John was a Top 40 artist made famous by hits like "I'm Still Standing" and "Sad Songs (say so much)". I didn't know much about his earlier works and, like so many of my generation, heaped scorn upon anything that smacked of the '70s.
Well, fast forward to 2003 and I'd lost touch with Elton for more than 10 years. I popped Disc 2 into the player and listened to the hit tracks from my youth first. Sure, I could recognize his singles from a few Disney movies; but other than that, about two thirds of the tracks on Elton John: Greatest Hits 1970 - 2002 sounded only vaguely familiar. Shame on me! After listening to the rest of the album, reading the liner notes and talking to other music fans I have found a true appreciation of this artist who managed to create memorable hits spanning three decades - without becoming a trend clone like so many other long-lived pop stars. Elton sings insightfully about universal ups and downs, in life and in love. His music is heavy on the piano, had hints of big band style a times, synthesizer at others, but was always recognizable as rock'n'roll. Perhaps it takes time for the real artists to show up against the backdrop of forgettable stylings; but EJ stayed a class act all around and deserved every bit of his commercial successes and more.
Most of what I know now about EJ's remarkable career came from the pull-out booklet tucked inside the 2 disc album. Paul Gambaccini wrote an interesting mini biography on Elton and his writer, Bernie Taupin. Apparently a lot of credit for EJ's consistency over the years goes to Bernie's talent for writing lyrics that reflect the inner workings of his personal life. The two are a magical combination of geniuses, the results of which are many much-loved ballads and anthems. It was a pleasure to look over the selection of photos from each decade and the gallery of album covers. I made a mental note to put a few of them in my shopping cart later.
Of course 34 songs can't definitively represent the body of work that Elton and Bernie have produced for a total of 41 albums. I can only wonder at the overblown expectations that some true fans must have had prior to the release of this album; realize, fellow music lovers, that this offering of greatest hits was never meant to appeal to those knowledgeable disciples of EJ, but to be a short survey for the ignorant such as myself. It worked! I have been successfully lured into finding more music by this sensational artist. If some of the tracks have been slightly altered (i.e. fade outs at the end of some tracks), I wouldn't know to be disappointed, but I will find out later when I hear the originals. If better selections are missing here, I will discover them on my personal musical journey. In this way, many converts are won to good music.
This is a collection well worth its price to music fans like me who so badly need to expand their musical horizons. Go ahead - you will enjoy yourself. You may even learn a thing or two.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle
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2.0 out of 5 stars Give me a break, Oct. 13 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
First of all, the third "bonus" disc on this set is one of the poorest excuses for a bonus CD I've ever seen. It could have been so much more. That said, the other two discs aren't much better. Yes, the set contains a bunch of hits. So what? It also leaves out a bunch of hits. Also, as I said, the bonus CD is ridiculous. I wish Elton John would do something like Paul McCartney did with his recent Wings Greatest Hits. Compile all the hits (-ALL- of them would be nice), and then add another disc of album tracks that were never released as singles. Contrary to what another reviewer below said, this ISN'T the only Elton John CD you'll ever need. That kind of thinking shows just how much people know about Elton John's music (as in, they know nothing about it). He's got at least 50 more incredibly good, essential songs that will probably never see the light of day while an incomplete "Greatest Hits" set gets released every other year. I though it was bad enough that Elton's biggest selling CD to date is the 1974 "Greatest Hits" which has only, like, eleven songs, with about a hundred more ignored (yes, even in 1974 it leaves out a bunch of stuff. How about a Best Of occasionally, instead of just releasing the singles over and over?), but this CD is even more irritating considering how much more material they could have added after all these years. And I could have done without the Aida track. Meh.
And about Cold as Christmas, I agree. But can anyone say Empty Garden?!?!
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3.0 out of 5 stars It's just not good enough, Oct. 2 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
I spent most of my life hating Elton John because I hate his over-produced, over-dramatic, Celine-Dionish 90s stuff, and The Lion King gives me hives (not that there's anything wrong with writing a Disney soundtrack). That's all I ever heard from him until recently.
Even so, when a friend of mine mentioned buying this CD and liking it, I decided to come here and see if I can learn more about the songs on it from other customers' reviews. Needless to say, reading the customer reviews, I learned more about the songs that WEREN'T on it. And for that, I thank you all. Long story short, in the past 4 months, I ended up buying everything from Empty Sky to Blue Moves (with the exception of Caribou, which I just don't like overall), and have come to the conclusion that this compilation just isn't good enough. Some of Elton John's best stuff is *criminally* obscure, but what are you gonna do? His 70s albums, and a handful of 80s songs, are absolutely brilliant. I love his piano playing, I love his melodiousness, and above all, I love his interpreting skills (ie: his emotiveness, and his knack for making crappy lyrics sound good). My advice (which no one will listen to but I'll give it anyway) is to start somewhere at Madman Across the Water or Honky Chateau, and slowly check out his other early albums. This CD will immediately seem like not enough music.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Pretentious 80's & 90's Pablum, Aug. 21 2003
By 
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
This has most of the Billboard hits, to be sure, most notably from his 1970-76 prime. Unfortunately, the album is weighted down with too much of his recent pompous, overblown ballads. Where is "Border Song" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"? Or even some of his listenable early 80's hits like "Empty Garden" ,"Nobody Wins" or "Kiss The Bride"? The album would have been better if it was titled "Greatest Songs", containing less 80's & 90's shlock and more of his masterpieces like "Harmony" or "Danny Bailey" from Yellow Brick Road, or "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters", or "Country Comfort". But then that's my opinion...there are people who like his MOR balladry, and this title is a good mix of both old and new just for them. But for myself and many others, we wish that Elton would sequester himself alone in a room with a piano and guitar. While there, maybe he could drop a tranquilizer or two, pretend he was 25 again, and set out to write great music like he once did, without the pretentions.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Pretentious 80's/90's Shlock, Aug. 16 2003
By 
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
This has most of the Billboard hits, to be sure, most notably from his 1970-76 prime. Unfortunately, the album is weighted down with too much of his recent pompous, overblown ballads. Where is "Border Song" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"? Or even some of his listenable early 80's hits like "Empty Garden" ,"Nobody Wins" or "Kiss The Bride"? The album would have been better if it was titled "Greatest Songs", containing less 80's & 90's shlock and more of his masterpieces like "Harmony" or "Danny Bailey" from Yellow Brick Road. But then that's my opinion...there are people who like his MOR balladry, and this title is is a good mix of both old and new just for them. But for myself and many others, we wish that Elton would sequester himself alone in a room with a piano and guitar. While there, maybe he could drop a Valium or two, pretend he was 25 again, and set out to write great music again like he once did, without the pretentions.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Pretentious 80's/90's Shlock, Aug. 16 2003
By 
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
This has most of the Billboard hits, to be sure, most notably from his 1970-76 prime. Unfortunately, the album is weighted down with too much of his recent pompous, overblown ballads. Where is "Border Song" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"? Or even some of his listenable early 80's hits like "Empty Garden" ,"Nobody Wins" or "Kiss The Bride"? The album would have been better if it was titled "Greatest Songs", containing less 80's & 90's shlock and more of his masterpieces like "Harmony" or "Danny Bailey" from Yellow Brick Road. But then that's my opinion...there are people who like his MOR balladry, and this title is is a good mix of both old and new just for them. But for myself and many others, we wish that Elton would sequester himself alone in a room with a piano and guitar. While there, maybe he could drop a Valium or two, pretend he was 25 again, and set out to write great music again like he once did, without the pretentions.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Pretentious 80's/90's Shlock, Aug. 16 2003
By 
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
This has most of the Billboard hits, to be sure, most notably from his 1970-76 prime. Unfortunately, the album is weighted down with too much of his recent pompous, overblown ballads. Where is "Border Song" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"? Or even some of his listenable early 80's hits like "Empty Garden" ,"Nobody Wins" or "Kiss The Bride"? The album would have been better if it was titled "Greatest Songs", containing less 80's & 90's shlock and more of his masterpieces like "Harmony" or "Danny Bailey" from Yellow Brick Road. But then that's my opinion...there are people who like his MOR balladry, and this title is is a good mix of both old and new just for them. But for myself and many others, we wish that Elton would sequester himself alone in a room with a piano and guitar. While there, maybe he could drop a Valium or two, pretend he was 25 again, and set out to write great music again like he once did, without the pretentions.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Pretentious 80's/90's Shlock, Aug. 16 2003
By 
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
This has most of the Billboard hits, to be sure, most notably from his 1970-76 prime. Unfortunately, the album is weighted down with too much of his recent pompous, overblown ballads. Where is "Border Song" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart"? Or even some of his listenable early 80's hits like "Empty Garden" ,"Nobody Wins" or "Kiss The Bride"? The album would have been better if it was titled "Greatest Songs", containing less 80's & 90's shlock and more of his masterpieces like "Harmony" or "Danny Bailey" from Yellow Brick Road. But then that's my opinion...there are people who like his MOR balladry, and this title is is a good mix of both old and new just for them. But for myself and many others, we wish that Elton would sequester himself alone in a room with a piano and guitar. While there, maybe he could drop a Valium or two, pretend he was 25 again, and set out to write great music again like he once did, without the pretentions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST of the BEST of the BEST., Aug. 5 2003
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
Whether or not you like Elton the individual or not, it's difficult to ignore his raw songwriting and singing talent. He is one of the most enduring (and let's not forget successful) performers of the past 30+ years. His personal life aside, Elton knows how to channel his emotions into some of the greatest songs of the modern rock era. Just look at this particular compilation and judge for yourself. This is the first time a collection such as this was possible because over the years, Elton has recorded on no less than 3 different record labels. This inherently creates quite a problem when it comes to combining all of his best hits into one release and the bickering begins from one label to the next over how much money it will make and who will get it (other than Elton & his lyricist, Bernie). I don't know HOW they did it, but somehow the heavens parted and an agreement was forged, much to the major surprise of us in radio (they hardly agree on ANYTHING other than downloading music over the internet is robbing them of millions).
With that miracle done, the job went to including the best of Eltons vast collection of major hits. NOT an easy task to say the least...but SOMEONE did it. I must admit, I was VERY impressed with the selection and how well it chronicled his career from his very first hit song to the most recent. Unlike many artists or bands (Lionel Richie & Fleetwood Mac) who in MY opinion have yet to be able to re-capture the success of old, Elton has managed to continuously maintain great songs with amazingly catchy harmonies over the years. I admit that when I heard that Elton was doing music for 'The Lion King' I was skeptical thinking that all his best work was behind him. I was not only wrong, but WAY WRONG. It seems that when it comes to creative music composing, you either can do it for years, or after just a few you dry up (has Billy Joel released any pop hits lately?). Elton continues to draw from that well of creativity and he certainly doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. For the serious Elton fan, give this a serious look, you will be amazed at how good it sounds coming from your stereo.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Misses too many songs to be a true "greatest" collection, May 23 2003
By 
Lonnie E. Holder "The Review's the Thing" (Columbus, Indiana, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Audio CD)
Elton John has been a force in music for more than 30 years. He has an incredible amount of talent, both as an author of music, and as a performer. This collection attempts to pull together some of the best of Elton's work from his career, beginning with the "Elton John" album and ending with "Songs from the West Coast".
Nearly every song on this CD is musically good to excellent. Most of these songs were hits. As a sampler of Elton's music, this collection is a very good start. However, this CD does have a few flaws. The principal flaw is that while the CD purports to be Elton John's greatest hits, it does miss quite a few hits. The missing songs that stood out most noticeably to me are "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Pinball Wizard". However, there are other songs that were top 10 that were missed as well. It is impossible to represent Elton's greatest hits with only two CDs, and that is the main flaw of this collection.
The difficulty with most "greatest hits" collections is choosing the songs. Regardless of how good a job you do, there will be a fan who thinks a song was neglected. Conversely, there will be other fans that think a song on the collection should have been excluded. Rather than complain about what was or wasn't on this collection, the focus should be on this collection alone. At this time, this collection is the best single representation of Elton over the bulk of his career. For the songs that were missed from this collection, you can add "Rare Masters" and "Love Songs", which pick up a lot more of Elton's early career and fills in more of Elton's best.
With more than 40 albums, comprising hundreds of songs, choosing the 34 best is an absolutely terrible job. Similar to those people who would have added other songs, or subtracted some of those included, I too would have done something similar. However, we would never have agreed on the best. So take this CD as the best collection available to sample Elton's career. From that viewpoint, this CD rates 5 stars. Then you can add the other CDs I mentioned, and in the case of the classic albums and a few others, add original albums as well. We live in an imperfect world, thus a less than perfect collection of Elton's career is better than not having this collection at all.
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Greatest Hits 1970-2002
Greatest Hits 1970-2002 by Elton John (Audio CD - 2002)
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