Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1974)

As a child growing up in the early 1990s, my awareness of Elton John has primarily been through his contributions to the soundtrack of “The Lion King” and I will freely admit I had no idea his catalog was filled with such incredible classic 1970s rock. From the title track to “Bennie and the Jets” to “All the Girls Love Alice” to “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” this album is a veritable embarrassment of riches for rock fans. That’s not to say that there aren’t any great ballads here, because it’s filled with incredible songs like “Candle in the Wind” and, my favorite, “Roy Rogers.” It’s a perfect combination of John’s handy knack with a piano and his ear for a catchy hook, whether it’s set to a Jerry Lee Lewis-style old-school rock track or a more traditional adult contemporary structure. Listening to this album I was reminded of why I love music so much, because there’s always something new-to-you to discover, and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is a perfect example of a masterpiece that was hiding in plain sight for me.

Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)

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