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Top of the Charts

Dominating The Charts

The years 1972 through 1975 were the peak years of Elton John's career. During this time, Elton's music was heard by huge numbers of adoring fans. In fact, between 1972 and 1975, Elton had seven consecutive number-one albums. In 1973, Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road were released, followed by Caribou in 1974, and Elton began to dominate the charts. In 1973, “Crocodile Rock” was his first number-one hit. That same year, “Daniel” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” reached number two on the charts. Then came a tremendous wave of success in 1974 and 1975 on the American Billboard charts:

  • “Bennie and the Jets” reached number one.
  • “Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me” reached number two.
  • A cover of the Beatles' “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” reached number one.
  • “Philadelphia Freedom” reached number one.
  • “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” reached number four.
  • “Island Girl” reached number one.

Also that year, “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy,” released in April 1975, was his first song ever to debut at number one. Elton received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and his face graced the cover of Time magazine—he was in the middle of superstardom. In a 1974 interview printed in Melody Maker, Elton explained how he worked and commented on his new success: “I only play for pleasure when I write. I never sit down and play, but if I do I always try and sing other people's songs. I like doing sessions. I used to do a lot of sessions at one time, and I miss doing them. People won't ring me any more because I'm too busy. I did Rod's [Stewart] and Lennon's things. They were not really sessions, just friends asking me down. And I did a Neil Sedaka and Ringo Starr.'

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Musician BiographiesElton JohnTop of the Charts - 11-17-70 And Friends, Madman Across The Water, Honky Chateau, “rocket Man”