Elton John's Greatest Hits is the ninth album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released on MCA Records, catalogue MCA 2128, in November 1974. Spanning the years 1970 to 1974, it compiles 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 16 million copies.


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The single "Bennie and the Jets," which had topped the charts in both nations but had not been a single in the United Kingdom, 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 RPMnational singles chart as a single in 1970.[3] 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 Wateralbum 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.[4][5]

In 2003, Elton John's Greatest Hits was ranked at number 136 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The was the first of his many compilation albums; later ones includeElton John's Greatest Hits Volume IIElton John's Greatest Hits Volume III (later replaced by Elton John's Greatest Hits 1976–1986), The Very Best Of Elton John / To Be Continued...Elton John's Greatest Hits 1970–2002 and Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits to name but a few.

Track listing[edit]Edit

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

Original North American version
Side one
No. Title Album Length
1. "Your Song"   Elton John 4:00
2. "Daniel"   Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player 3:53
3. "Honky Cat"   Honky Château 5:12
4. "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"   Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 3:14
5. "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting"   Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 4:55
Side two
No. Title Album 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 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.[6] In 2000, Universal Music Japan reissued the album under the alternative title Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. The track listing is as follows:


Peak positions[edit]Edit

Original release
Chart Position
Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart[7] 1
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[8] 1
Dutch Mega Albums Chart[9] 16
French SNEP Albums Chart [10] 8
Japanese Oricon LPs Chart[11] 67
New Zealand Albums Chart[12] 2
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[13] 3
UK Albums Chart[14] 1
US Billboard 200[15] 1
West German Media Control Albums Chart[16] 43
Chart Position
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[17] 27
US Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums[18] 1

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1975) Position
Australian Albums Chart[7] 10
Canadian Albums Chart[19] 2
UK Albums Chart[20] 7
US Billboard Pop Albums[21] 1
Chart (1976) Position
US Billboard Pop Albums[22] 99


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[23] Diamond 1,000,000^
France (SNEP)[24] Gold 100,000
Japan (RIAJ)[25]

1996 reissue

Gold 300,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[26]

2000 reissue

United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[28] 16× Platinum 16,000,000^

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

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