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Rocket Man: Number Ones
Released - March 27, 2007, on Mercury/Island
Records. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, except tracks 10 and 12
produced by Chris Thomas
With a few exceptions this is a wonderful collection of Elton John songs. I would not call it a greatest hits CD as much as I would call it a compilation album. The title is also very much misleading, as only the first twelve songs were actually number one hits. Truth is, the best group of songs on this CD are the last five, none of which were ever number ones; but they are pure tens and are among his best ever songs. Other than these last five songs, only the equally wonderful "Daniel", and the '50s sounding "Crocodile Rock", receive ratings of ten from me.
Still, all of the other songs (all number ones) on here are excellent, with just two exceptions. The Academy Award winning song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?", from the 1994 film The Lion King, never was a favorite of mine. It's just too boring for my ears. Then we have "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me". The studio version of this one is a ten for sure. But on here we get a live version which was recorded with George Michael. The first three minutes of this five plus minute song is all George Michael singing, and all I can say is YUCK! He totally ruins this song! When Elton finally starts to join him in singing the second half of the tune, it's a bid too late to save this normally excellent song.
But overall this is one excellent package, especially if you get the Limited Edition CD. It comes with a special added DVD, which is a must see for those who love Elton. This cool DVD shows a portion of Elton's 2005 Red Piano Show in Las Vegas, along with five other bonus videos. The Red Piano Show video shows Elton playing live the following songs: "Rocket Man", "Bennie & The Jets", "Candle In The Wind", "Your Song", and "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)". Then the bonus videos include the songs "I'm Still Standing", "Your Song", "I Want Love", "Tinderbox", and "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" (another excellent song!). The only other difference between this edition and the Eco-Friendly version, is that the Eco-Friendly packaging doesn't contain the CD booklet which comes with the Limited Edition. That booklet contains the song lyrics along with a few extra photos; not that die-hard fans really need such info or photos which they most likely already have seen in the past.
- Keno 2009