Hard to believe, but there's never been a good single-disc overview of Elton John
's biggest hits available in America until 2007's 17-track Rocket Man: Number Ones
. (The British release added one track and was titled Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits.) He's had plenty of collections, including a good single-disc European set that circulated in the late '90s, but Rocket Man
is the first to really offer a solid career-spanning overview as a single-disc set. Of course, even though this pulls number ones from various charts in the U.S. and U.K. there are big hits missing -- whether it's classics like "Honky Cat," which never reached the pole position in the U.S., or latter-day number ones like "I Don't Want to Go on You Like That," which did top the adult contemporary chart -- but it's hard to argue with what's here (with the possible exception of "Sacrifice," which does represent his late-'80s/early-'90s adult contemporary work but isn't one of his best hits). All the big songs -- "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Bennie and the Jets," "Daniel," "Crocodile Rock," "Philadelphia Freedom," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?," "Your Song," "Candle in the Wind" -- are here, which will satisfy the casual fan for whom this is designed. Anybody who laments the absence of "Levon," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," "Mama Can't Buy You Love," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," or "I'm Still Standing" should turn to another compilation: this is not the set for them. But for the fan who wants a good sampling of Elton
throughout the years, this is ideal.