Elton John (album)

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Elton John
Studio album by Elton John
Released 10 April 1970 (1970-04-10)
Recorded January 1970 at Trident Studios, London
Genre Soft rock, piano rock, symphonic rock
Length 39:27
Label DJM (UK/world)
Uni (US/Canada)
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Empty Sky
Elton John
Tumbleweed Connection
Singles from Elton John
  1. "Border Song"
    Released: April 1970
  2. "Take Me to the Pilot"
    Released: 26 October 1970
  3. "Your Song"
    Released: October 1970
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (B)[2]
Rolling Stone (not rated)[3]

Elton John is the second album by English singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1970. However, because it was his first album released in America, many people there assumed it was his first album, as Empty Sky was not released in the US until 1975. Elton John includes his breakthrough hit, "Your Song", and helped to establish his career during what was considered the "singer-songwriter" era of popular music. In the US, it was certified gold in February 1971 by the RIAA. In the same year, it was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

In 2003, the album was ranked No. 468 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. This was the first of many Elton John albums produced by Gus Dudgeon. On 27 November 2012, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as an album cited as exhibiting "qualitative or historical significance".[4]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.

  1. "Your Song" – 4:02
  2. "I Need You To Turn To" – 2:35
  3. "Take Me to the Pilot" – 3:47
  4. "No Shoe Strings on Louise" – 3:31
  5. "First Episode at Hienton" – 4:48
  6. "Sixty Years On" – 4:35
  7. "Border Song" – 3:22
  8. "The Greatest Discovery" – 4:12
  9. "The Cage" – 3:28
  10. "The King Must Die" – 5:23

Bonus tracks (1995 Mercury and 1996 Rocket reissue)[edit]

  1. "Bad Side of the Moon" – 3:15
  2. "Grey Seal" (Original version) – 3:35
  3. "Rock and Roll Madonna" – 4:17

Bonus tracks (2008 deluxe edition)[edit]

  1. "Your Song" (Piano demo) – 3:35
  2. "I Need You to Turn To" (Piano demo) – 2:12
  3. "Take Me to the Pilot" (Piano demo) – 2:36
  4. "No Shoe Strings on Louise" (Piano demo) – 3:33
  5. "Sixty Years On" (Piano demo) – 4:21
  6. "The Greatest Discovery" (Piano demo) – 3:58
  7. "The Cage" (Piano demo) – 3:21
  8. "The King Must Die" (Piano demo) – 5:24
  9. "Rock and Roll Madonna" (Piano demo) – 3:11
  10. "Thank You Mama" (Piano demo) – 3:20
  11. "All the Way Down to El Paso" (Piano demo) – 2:49
  12. "I'm Going Home" (Piano demo) – 3:05
  13. "Grey Seal" (Piano demo) – 3:19
  14. "Rock And Roll Madonna" (Alternate take) – 2:55
  15. "Bad Side of the Moon" – 3:13
  16. "Grey Seal" (Original version) – 3:36
  17. "Rock and Roll Madonna" – 4:17
  18. "Border Song" (BBC session) – 3:21
  19. "Your Song" (BBC session) – 4:01
  20. "Take Me to the Pilot" (BBC session) – 3:33

On the album released in Portugal, a French horn is used in the introduction to "The Greatest Discovery" instead of a cello as is found on all other versions. An extended version of the introduction to "Sixty Years On" is available on the 1990 box set To Be Continued.

When MCA Records reissued this album on cassette tape in the 1980s, "I Need You to Turn To" and "The Cage" were swapped in the album running order.

The original German release from 1970 (Hansa 80807) opens with the song "Rock and Roll Madonna", and the song "I Need You to Turn To" does not appear on the LP. The rest of the tracks and the running order remain the same as the worldwide release.

The album was remastered as a multichannel Super Audio CD in 2004.


Song Format
"Bad Side of the Moon" "Border Song" 7" (US)
"Into the Old Man's Shoes" "Your Song" 7" (UK)





Year Chart Position
1970 UK Albums Chart 5
1971 US Billboard Pop Albums 4
Canadian RPM 100 Album Chart 4[5]


Year Single Chart Position
1970 "Border Song" US Billboard Pop Singles 92
Canadian RPM 100 Singles Chart 34[6]
1971 "Your Song" UK Singles Chart 7
US Billboard Pop Singles 8