Greatest Hits (Elton John album)

Greatest Hits
Greatest hits album by Elton John
Released 8 November 1974
Recorded January 1970 – January 1974
Genre Rock, pop, glam rock
Length 47:40
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Greatest Hits
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert Christgau(B+)[2]

Greatest Hits (often referred to as Elton John Greatest Hits in North America) is the eleventh official album release for Elton John, and the first compilation. Released in November 1974, it spans the years 1970 to 1974, compiling ten of John's singles, with one track variation for releases in North America and for Europe and Australia. It topped the album chart in both the United States and the United Kingdom, staying at number one for ten consecutive weeks in the former nation and eleven weeks in the latter. It is his best-selling album to date, being his first to have received an RIAA Diamond certification for US sales of more than 10 million copies – as of April 2016 the album has been certified as selling in excess of 17 million copies in the US.[3]


The single "Bennie and the Jets", which had topped the charts in both the US and Canada but which had not been released a single in the United Kingdom at that point, appeared on the American and Canadian edition of the album. It was replaced by "Candle in the Wind" for the UK and Australian edition, having been a hit in both of those countries but never released as a single in the US and Canada. The 1992 reissue contains eleven tracks, with both songs included.

"Border Song," an album track on Elton John outside of the US and Canada, went to No. 92 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and to No. 34 on the Canadian RPM national singles chart as a single in 1970.[4] All other songs made the Top 40 in the UK and the US, most also making the top ten, with "Bennie and the Jets" and "Crocodile Rock" topping the chart in the States. John would wait until 1976 to top the singles chart in the UK, via his duet with Kiki Dee, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."

With only ten tracks total, the compilers left off several other hit singles from the time period. "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon" from the Madman Across the Water album made it to No. 41 and No. 24 respectively as singles in the US, and "The Bitch Is Back," his most recent single, was a No. 4 in the US and topped the chart in Canada. Although all of these charted higher than "Border Song," it may have been included because it was the first Elton John single to chart in any market. Of the ten selections for the North American album, two ("Crocodile Rock" and "Bennie and the Jets") had been US No. 1 hits; in Canada, five (these two plus "Daniel", "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me") had been chart-toppers.[5][6]

In 2003, Greatest Hits was ranked at number 136 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Track listing

All music composed by Elton John, all lyrics written by Bernie Taupin.

Original North American version
Side one
No. TitleAlbum Length
1. "Your Song"  Elton John (1970) 4:00
2. "Daniel"  Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player (1973) 3:53
3. "Honky Cat"  Honky Château (1972) 5:12
4. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"  Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973) 3:14
5. "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"  Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 4:55
Side two
No. TitleAlbum Length
6. "Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)"  Honky Château 4:40
7. "Bennie and the Jets"  Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 5:10
8. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"  Caribou (1974) 5:33
9. "Border Song"  Elton John 3:19
10. "Crocodile Rock"  Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player 3:56
Original international version

On the international releases, "Bennie and the Jets" was replaced by "Candle in the Wind" (3:41, taken from the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road).

1992 Polydor Reissue

The compact disc version of Greatest Hits, issued in the 1990s, features both "Bennie and the Jets" (track 7) and "Candle in the Wind" (track 8).

1996 Japanese edition

The expanded edition released by Nippon PolyGram/Mercury Music Entertainment (subtitled Your Song) has a different running order, excluding "Bennie and the Jets" instead of five additional tracks.[7] In 2000, Universal Music Japan reissued the album under the alternative title Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The track listing is as follows:


Weekly charts

Original release
Chart Position
Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart[8] 1
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[9] 1
Dutch Mega Albums Chart[10] 16
Finnish Albums Chart[11] 6
French SNEP Albums Chart [12] 8
Japanese Oricon LPs Chart[13] 67
New Zealand Albums Chart[14] 2
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[15] 3
UK Albums Chart[16] 1
US Billboard 200[17] 1
West German Media Control Albums Chart[18] 43
Chart Position
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[19] 27
US Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums[20] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1975) Position
Australian Albums Chart[8] 10
Canadian Albums Chart[21] 2
UK Albums Chart[22] 7
US Billboard Pop Albums[23] 1
Chart (1976) Position
US Billboard Pop Albums[24] 99


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[25] Diamond 1,000,000^
France (SNEP)[26] Gold 100,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[27]
1996 reissue
Gold 300,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[28]
2000 reissue
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[3] 17× Platinum 17,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also


  1. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Greatest Hits – Elton John". AllMusic.
  2. Christgau, Robert. "CG: elton john".
  3. 1 2 "RIAA - Diamond Awards" (PHP). Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  4. Library and Archives Canada.
  5. List of RPM number-one singles of 1973
  6. List of RPM number-one singles of 1974
  7. エルトン・ジョン / ユア・ソング~エルトン・ジョン・グレイテスト・ヒッツ [Product description: Elton John – Your Song: Elton John's Greatest Hits (PHCR-1443)]. (in Japanese). CD Journal. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  8. 1 2 Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 22, No. 20" (PHP). RPM. 11 January 1975. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  10. " Elton John – Greatest Hits". Hung Medien, (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  11. source: Pennanen, Timo: Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava, 2006. ISBN 9789511210535. page: 280
  12. "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Retrieved 1 May 2013.Note: user must select 'Elton JOHN' from drop-down.
  13. Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  14. " Elton John – Greatest Hits" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  15. " Elton John – Greatest Hits" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  16. "Number 1 Albums – 1970s". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  17. "Allmusic: Greatest Hits : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  18. "Album Search: Elton John – Greatest Hits" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  19. "グッバイ・イエロー・ブリック・ロード~エルトン・ジョン・グレイテスト・ヒッツ/エルトン・ジョン-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks of Your Song: Greatest Hits (1996 reissue) by Elton John]. (in Japanese). Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  20. "Elton John - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  21. "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1975". RPM. Retrieved 27 December 1975. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  22. "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 16 December 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2007.
  23. "Pop Albums ("Talent in Action" supplement)". Billboard. 27 December 1975. p. 16.
  24. "Pop Albums ("Talent in Action" supplement)". Billboard. 25 December 1976. p. 12.
  25. "Canadian album certifications – Elton John – Greatest Hits". Music Canada.
  26. "Les Albums Or". SNEP. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  27. "RIAJ > The Record > September 1996 > Certified Awards (July 1996)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  28. "RIAJ > The Record > February 2001 > Certified Awards (December 2000)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  29. "British album certifications – Elton John – Greatest Hits". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Greatest Hits in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
Preceded by
Rollin' by Bay City Rollers
UK number-one album
23 November 1974 – 1 February 1975
Succeeded by
His Greatest Hits by Engelbert Humperdinck
Preceded by
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll by The Rolling Stones
Billboard Top LPs & Tape number-one album
30 November 1974 – 7 February 1975
Succeeded by
Fire by Ohio Players
Preceded by
Photographs & Memories by Jim Croce
Photographs & Memories by Jim Croce
Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
14–21 December 1974
11 January – 22 March 1975
Succeeded by
Photographs & Memories by Jim Croce
Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan
Preceded by
Serenade by Neil Diamond
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
20 January – 23 February 1975
Succeeded by
Living in the Seventies by Skyhooks
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