Apple Music 100 Best Albums

This is an image of the album cover for “@@album_name@@” by @@artist_name@@.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Elton John


An eclectic, defining snapshot of Elton John at the height of his powers.

Having rocketed from the lavish orchestrations of “Your Song” and “Levon” to the barroom romps “Honky Cat” and “Crocodile Rock” in less than three years, Elton John saw fit to make a Big Statement tying together all his musical impulses. The double LP Goodbye Yellow Brick Road cemented not only his nearly wayward eclecticism, but also his audience’s willingness to follow any path he took. The result was his critical and commercial peak—an album whose tracklist looks, at first blush, like a greatest-hits anthology.

The album’s opening sequence is more or less a sketch of Elton John’s early career and imperial phase, blending these far-reaching musical swings with Bernie Taupin’s increasingly cinematic and high-concept lyrics. The quintessential FM-rock-era sprawl of “Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding” segues into the sentimental and ubiquitous Marilyn Monroe tribute “Candle in the Wind” and bursts into full-on Eltonic pomp with “Bennie and the Jets.” Many cuts (the elegiac title song, “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”) became standards, while others deserve more notice than they got—likely because of Road’s sheer bulk of worthy material.