Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II

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Greatest Hits Volume II
Elton John - Greatest Hits Volume Ii-front.jpg
Greatest hits album by Elton John
Released 13 September 1977
Recorded 1971, 1974–1976
Genre Pop rock
Length 48:20 (DJM)
48:33 (MCA)
52:03 (Polydor)
Label MCA (US)
Polydor (reissue)
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Blue Moves
(1976)Blue Moves1976
Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II
A Single Man
(1978)A Single Man1978

Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II, a compilation album released in 1977, is the sixteenth official album release for Elton John. The original 1977 US version features one song from 1971 and two songs from 1974 that were not on the first greatest hits album. It also features several hit songs from 1975 and two hit singles from Elton's last year of performing in 1976.


There are several versions of the album. There were two original versions, one in the United States and Canada and another for Great Britain and the rest of the world, both released in 1977. The British version, released on DJM Records, included "Bennie and the Jets", a song that had appeared on the 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road but had only recently been released as a single (1976) in Elton John's home country. In North America, where the album was released by MCA Records, this song had already appeared on the first volume of Greatest Hits. It was replaced with "Levon", an even older song (from 1971's Madman Across the Water album) that had not yet been collected.

The album also contained two songs that would later be replaced, "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" both from 1976. These were the newest songs on the collection, and the only two not owned by DJM/This Record Company. They had been released on Elton John's own label named The Rocket Record Company and were owned by his own royalty collection company, Sackville Productions. They appeared on this DJM album by mutual agreement. In North America, all his records were released by MCA (the singles from 1976 as well as the Blue Moves album also carried the Rocket logo), so, at that time, no agreement was necessary.

The original album contained a booklet containing lyrics to the songs (even to the covers of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Pinball Wizard"), with illustrations or performance photos for each song.

In 1992, a new version was released worldwide. Elton John had moved to Polygram Records, who got the rights to all of his DJM recordings (pre-1976). MCA now controlled his post-DJM recordings, including his later work on Geffen Records which had been taken over by MCA. Geffen's Greatest Hits Volume III was deleted and replaced with Greatest Hits: 1976–1986, which also contained "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" from the original version of Greatest Hits – Volume 2. On the new edition, those two songs were replaced with two singles not on the original version, 1971's "Tiny Dancer" and 1975's "I Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford)". Meanwhile, since the current edition of Greatest Hits Volume One now included "Bennie and the Jets" worldwide, Volume 2 now included "Levon" worldwide.

In the US, it was certified gold in September 1977, platinum in November 1977, 3× platinum in March 1993, 4× platinum in September 1995, and 5× platinum in August 1998 by the RIAA.

All of these versions contain "The Bitch Is Back", "Someone Saved My Life Tonight", "Philadelphia Freedom", "Island Girl", "Grow Some Funk of Your Own" and John's covers of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Pinball Wizard".


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (B+)[2]

Track listing[edit]

Original North American version[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Album Length
1. "The Bitch Is Back (fades out early)" Elton John/Bernie Taupin Caribou (1974) 3:39
2. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" John Lennon/Paul McCartney Non-album single (1974) 5:58
3. "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word" John/Taupin Blue Moves (1976) 3:43
4. "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" (Duet with Kiki Dee) John/Taupin
as Ann Orson/Carte Blanche
Non-album single (1976) 4:23
5. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" John/Taupin Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975) 6:45
6. "Philadelphia Freedom" John/Taupin Non-album single (1975) 5:20
7. "Island Girl" John/Taupin Rock of the Westies (1975) 3:43
8. "Grow Some Funk of Your Own" John/Taupin/Davey Johnstone Rock of the Westies 4:16
9. "Levon" John/Taupin Madman Across the Water (1971) 5:21
10. "Pinball Wizard" Pete Townshend Tommy soundtrack (1975) 5:10

Original international version[edit]

1992 Polydor reissue[edit]


  1. ^ Elton John's Greatest Hits Vol II, Allmusic, retrieved 5 January 2012 
  2. ^ "CG: elton john". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 January 2012.