Elton_John_-_Elton_John#6– Elton John – “Your Song” – (1970)

Isn’t it amazing that Elton John has been pumping out hits since 1970? This was actually from his second album and was a top ten hit in the U.S. It may not be his biggest chart success, but it remains one of his most loved songs and would make the cut of “signature songs” (because he doesn’t have just one). What I really love about it is the conversational tone that the lyrics take.

Elton_John_-_Madman_Across_the_Water#18 – Elton John – “Tiny Dancer” – (1971)

You know 1971 was one helluva year for music when Led Zeppelin and Elton John check in at numbers 19 and 18 on your countdown. “Tiny Dancer” – which is not at all about Tony Danza – is the best song from Madman Across the Water – although “Levon” is pretty close (and pretty similar). This is one of those songs of Elton’s that people absolutely love and it wasn’t even a huge hit when it was released. It just gets better with time.

Elton_John_-_Goodbye_Yellow_Brick_Road#2 – Elton John – “Candle in the Wind” – (1973)

This is one of Elton John’s finest songs. A wonderful tribute to Marilyn Monroe, “Candle in the Wind” came from one of Elton’s finest albums, as well. In 1997, he would re-lyric the song to honor Princess Diana after her death. That version would hit #1 and become the second-biggest selling single of all time. This one is no slouch, either.

220px-Elton_John_-_Caribou#3 – Elton John – “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” – (1974)

Elton John almost pulled off an amazing feat with this song. It reached #2 on the Hot 100 in 1974. He re-recorded it as a duet with George Michael in 1991 and it hit #1. He almost had two number one hits with the same song. This is one of Elton’s most beautiful songs. Co-written with Bernie Taupin, it was one song from Caribou – an album recorded in nine days and written in about the same amount of time. The chorus of this song features vocals from Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys (and you can totally hear Beach Boys-style harmonization if you listen for it) as well as Toni Tennille of Captain and Tennille.

220px-Elton_John_-_Captain_Fantastic_and_the_Brown_Dirt_Cowboy#2 – Elton John – “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” – (1975)

This song comes off of my favorite-titled Elton John album, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy – which was the first album to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard 200. This is an almost-seven minute song by John and Bernie Taupin, one of the best songwriting duos of all time. It was a top five hit and is just generally a great song.

Elton John with Kiki Dee – “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” – (1976)

Here’s one of the most famous duets of all time. It was a #1 hit on the Hot 100 for the better part of a month and it was intended as sort of Marvin Gaye-esque duet and if you listen to it that way, you certainly can hear it. This song was never included on an actual album, but only released as a single (it appeared on other albums years later, however). It remains one of Elton’s biggest hits and the main thing Kiki Dee is known for.

Dionne Warwick & Friends – “That’s What Friends Are For” – (1985)

This song was written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager. Rod Stewart recorded it originally but it was Dionne Warwick’s version that went to #1. Well, Dionne Warwick and friends. Those friends? Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. Pretty impressive friends. Well name-dropped, Dionne. This was a charity single to benefit AIDS research. It’s one of those tunes that everybody knows.

George Michael & Elton John – “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” – (1991)

Obviously this song was a big hit for Elton John in 1974, reaching #2 on the Hot 100. In 1991, he and George Michael performed the song as a duet during the Live Aid concert. This version went to #1 on the Hot 100 and on charts around the world. This version was included on Elton John’s 1993 album Duets. The first part of the song is George Michael just blowing everyone away with incredible vocals and then he brings out Elton who kills it. This is an amazing version. It’s two incredible voices battling it out and we all win.

Elton John – “I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That” – (1988)

Elton John’s 1980s music isn’t his best. I mean, it’s not bad. But what he was doing in the 1970s was brilliant and then he had this wonderful resurgence in the 1990s. Songs like that are often forgotten, even though this one peaked at #2 on the Hot 100. This was the biggest hit from 1988’s Reg Strikes Back. Just another Elton John tune.

#2 – Elton John – “Step into Christmas” – (1973)

This song was released as a single in 1973 and then included on the 1974 non-holiday album Caribou. It’s undeniably catchy and it was very successful, but we’ll never be able to truly judge its popularity due to Billboard excluding it from the Hot 100. Successful or not, it remains one of my very favorite Christmas songs – and the only one I can stand to hear year-round… or forever and ever.