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Elton John Albums Ranked From Worst to Best

Elton John’s discography is much like a vast treasure chest, brimming with vibrant gems of every hue and shade. You’ve seen the man, the legend, evolve from a budding artist to a global icon.


Decades of musical magic have unfolded, each album a new chapter, a new journey. From the ’70s glam of ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ to the introspective reflections of ‘The Diving Board,’ each record offers a unique slice of Elton’s illustrious career.

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Now, it’s time to embark on an exploration of his expansive discography, from the peaks of brilliance to the valleys of the less celebrated – a comprehensive guide awaits your journey through the musical landscape of Elton John.

Key Takeaways

  • Elton John’s early albums, such as ‘Elton John’ and ‘Madman Across The Water’, highlight his songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin and his transition from a piano-driven singer-songwriter to a renowned pop star.
  • The 70s marked Elton John’s meteoric rise to global fame, with a string of successful albums that set the stage for his indelible mark on music history. His partnership with Bernie Taupin and chart-topping songs under MCA Records contributed to his consistent quality and considered his best works.
  • Elton John’s rise to global fame was propelled by hits like ‘Tiny Dancer,’ ‘Rocket Man,’ and ‘Candle in the Wind,’ showcasing his evolution from a piano-driven singer-songwriter to a diverse mix of pop and rock.
  • The pinnacle of Elton John’s career in the 70s was marked by albums like ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,’ which showcased his finesse in adult contemporary and solidified his status as a pop star. Notable tracks from this era include ‘Yellow Brick Road,’ ‘Bennie and the Jets,’ ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight,’ and ‘Honky Cat.’

Elton’s Early Albums: The Beginnings


Diving into the beginnings of Elton John’s illustrious career, you encounter a plethora of early albums that not only signify his metamorphosis from a piano-driven singer-songwriter to a renowned pop star, but also underscore his profound versatility and remarkable songwriting prowess.

Albums like ‘Elton John’ and ‘Madman Across The Water’ define Elton’s first steps, showcasing the songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin that would shape his career.

Transitioning Into Stardom: the 70s

Elton John Portrait
British singer Elton John interviewed at Rocket Records on 6th June 1973.

As you journey further into the 70s, you’ll witness Elton’s meteoric rise to global fame. This era underscores the pinnacle of his career, characterized by a string of successful albums that catapulted him into stardom.

Let’s explore these defining moments and understand the brilliance that set the stage for Elton’s indelible mark on music history.

Elton’s Early Career Highlights

Imagine the 70s, a time when Elton John’s early albums were pushing boundaries, evolving from a piano-centric singer-songwriter style to a daring blend of Beatles-inspired pop, edgy rock, baroque grandeur, and irresistible funk.

Elton’s early career highlights include:

  • His fruitful partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin.
  • The dynamic duo released chart-topping songs under MCA Records.
  • The consistent quality of his albums.
  • Some consider his best works to be from this era.

Rise to Global Fame

Transitioning into stardom in the 70s, Elton John’s sound evolved from piano-driven singer-songwriter tunes to a more diverse mix of Beatles-esque pop and edgy rock, catapulting him to global fame.

This rise was marked by hits like ‘Tiny Dancer,’ ‘Rocket Man,’ and ‘Candle in the Wind’ from albums like ‘Honky Château’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.’

His collaboration with Bernie Taupin solidified him as a pop star.

Pinnacle: 70s Album Successes

Diving into the pinnacle of Elton John’s 70s album successes, you’ll discover masterpieces like ‘Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ that marked a transformative period in his sterling career.

  • ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’
  • Title track, ‘Yellow Brick Road’
  • ‘Bennie and the Jets’
  • ‘Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy’
  • ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’
  • ‘Honky Cat’

These albums showcase John’s finesse in adult contemporary, propelling him to stardom.

A New Era: The 80s Albums


As you journey into the 80s era of Elton John’s discography, you’ll encounter a significant shift in his musical style.

Albums like ‘Two Rooms’ and ‘Dear John’ showcase his pop music evolution.

Collaborations with Kiki Dee, hit singles like ‘Little Jeannie’ and ‘Still Standing,’ and tracks like ‘Runaway Train’ and ‘Trust That Woman’ exemplify this new era in Elton John’s rich musical journey.

Experimentation and Evolution: The 90s

90 1

Venturing into the 90s, you’ll encounter Elton John’s continued evolution and experimentation, marking a period of uncharted musical territories and daring forays into new genres. This era gave us albums like:

  • ‘Made in England’ and ‘The Big Picture’
  • Notable tracks: ‘Original Sin’ and ‘Emperors New Clothes’

‘Sleeping with the Past’ and ‘Songs from the West’

  • Standout song: ‘Cry to Heaven’

Each album reflects Elton’s quintessential 90s sound.

Reflective Resurgence: The 2000s


Entering the new millennium, Elton John’s music showcased a reflective resurgence, beautifully melding his past triumphs with fresh stylistic explorations.

Albums like ‘Low for Zero’ and ‘Born Bad’ demonstrate this shift, peering into the ‘Rooms at the End’ of his career.

His West Coast-inspired ‘Lockdown Sessions’ hit home, while ‘Heart in the Right’ and ‘Feel the Love’ encapsulate the spirit of this era.

Recent Releases: The Past Decade

Diving headfirst into the past decade, Elton John has continued to churn out compelling music, cementing his legacy while breaking new artistic ground.

  • Reg Strikes Back and The Big Picture
  • Breaking Hearts, Ice on Fire, and Train Don’t Stop
  • Stop There Anymore, Right Place, and Leather Jackets
  • Single Man and Victim of Love album

These releases show a man still passionate about his craft, unafraid to experiment.

The Best of the Best: Top 5 Albums

While Elton John’s recent releases demonstrate his enduring passion and adaptability, it’s his top 5 albums that truly underscore his musical prowess and iconic status in the industry.

From ‘Empty Sky’ to ‘Blue Moves’, you’ll appreciate the artistry in each. Don’t miss the Buckmaster-arranged ‘Love Song’, or collaborations with Leon Russell and Johnny B. on ‘The Big Picture’.

Dive into the best of Elton John albums ranked from worst to best.


So, you’ve journeyed through Elton’s discography, from the rocky ‘Victim of Love’ to the masterpiece ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.’ Just like sifting through a box of vinyl records, you’ve discovered gems and duds.

But isn’t that the beauty of music? Each album, each song, is a snapshot of an artist’s journey. We’ve seen Elton evolve, stumble, and triumph. And even his ‘worst’ albums offer something valuable – a real, raw look at a legendary artist finding his voice.

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