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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Pop > Soul > Music Video > Concert > Elton John Ė Rocket Man: Number Ones (DVD/CD)

Elton John Ė Rocket Man: Number Ones (DVD/CD)


Picture: C†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: B†††† Music: B



Back in the 1970s, Elton John was so hot that his original hits sets were two of the biggest-sellers ever.The second was even a #1 album.Since then, his catalog has remained one of the most in-demand around and several more hits sets and box sets have followed.Elton John Ė Rocket Man: Number Ones is the latest hits CD and this time, a fine bonus DVD has been added featuring live performances and some key Music Videos in limited edition release that is the preferred edition.


The CD includes the following classics:


1. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

2. Bennie And The Jets

3. Daniel

4. Crocodile Rock

5. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

6. Philadelphia Freedom

7. Island Girl

8. Don't Go Breaking My Heart

9. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

10. Sacrifice

11. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

12. Can You Feel The Love Tonight

13. Your Song

14. Tiny Dancer

15. Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long Long Time)

16. Candle In The Wind

17. Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)



The songs are inarguable, but the sound quality is.The PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo sounds a little compressed, from the old songs to the new ones.Why?It is hard to tell, but the instruments do not enough of a soundfield before they hit a sonic ceiling.Of course, most of these songs have arrived on their original albums or as bonus tracks in the remarkable Super Audio CD editions of Eltonís albums we have reviewed before.They even have CD tracks which sound a better than these tracks, suggesting someone went too digital in the transfers.


Among the older classics not on SACD yet are Island Girl (from Rock Of The Westies), Crocodile Rock (from Donít Shoot Me, Iím The Piano Player), Don't Go Breaking My Heart (from Greatest Hits, Volume Two), Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (from Blue Moves), and Sacrifice (a later masterwork from Sleeping With The Past).While audiophiles would still love those albums on SACD, they are undeniable gems that only get better with time.Too bad this was not an SACD as well.


Then there is the bonus DVD, which offers ten tracks, but one wishes had more Music Videos and even possibly a commentary by John and others like the Crystal Visions DVD/CD Stevie Nicks just put out.The first five songs are decent, anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 HD-shot clips from his elaborate Las Vegas show called The Red Piano Show from Caesarís Palace in 2005.The set is developed by the great fashion designer/Music Video director David LaChapelle and it is very nice.


Elton plays Bennie & The Jets, Rocket Man, Candle In The Wind, Saturday Nightís Alright (For Fighting) and Your Song.When watching, it is easy to forget what a great piano player he really is and though is voice in its second era (he blew it out, then managed to learn to sing again) is starting to fade in parts, there is the survivor of so much delivering his work with so much heart and soul that it annihilates most legacy acts (one of which he still actually is not yet still having hits) not trying to do material that is not his.The audiences are a plus here, even though the video can lack detail.


Then the next five clips include his performance of Your Song from his Australian Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Concert form the miod-1980s and four classic Videos.I Guess Thatís Why They Call It The Blues is the hit that features Stevie Wonder in harmonica (though not in the video) about a young man off to war, I Want Love is from a series of videos where Elton allows famous persons to sings with his voice (Robert Downey Jr. is used here/directed by Sam Taylor-Wood) for his Songs from The West Coast album, Tinderbox (from The Captain & The Kid, the sequel album to Captain Fantastic and directed byďINTRO with special thanks to Tom BirciĒ is an anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 video that has the best picture quality in the set) and then there is Iím Still Standing.


Iím Still Standing is directed in France by Russell Mulcahy (Highlander, The Shadow, Resident Evil 3) comes from the brilliant Too Low For Zero album that also featured I Guess Thatís Why They Call It The Blues and also directed by Mulcahy, who did 19 clips for Elton in this period.With graphics beyond the widescreen letterboxing Mulcahy introduced with his classic series of Duran Duran videos (they were actually there on the shoot too!), the video becomes one of the most remarkable Videos ever made with its insinuations about sex, freedom and endurance, the kind that built MTV.Note the use of color, editing and how exactly it plays on the amazing song.It rivals Fleetwood Macís Gypsy, Kim Carnesí Bette Davis' Eyes, The Bugglesí Video Killed The Radio Star and The Motelsí Only The Lonely as the greatest Music Video he ever made and is one of the greatest of all time.


That begs the question of why more of Eltonís classic video were not included when the space was there.Other Mulcahy classics alone include I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That, Wrap Her Up and the infamous Sad Songs (Say So Much).What about the nicely animated Club At The End Of the Street, oddly Elton-less In Neon, gloriously wacky Kiss The Bride, wackier Who Wears These Shoes?, The One or Marcus Nispelís underrated Believe?Needless to say though Elton does not like making them, he has one of the most interesting catalogs of Videos around and we should see more of them.I just thought the four 1.33 X 1 clips were softer than they should be and I have seen them before.All ten are Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo that is adequate for the job.


For more on Elton, try these great SACD/CD releases:


Elton John (1970)



Madman Across The Water



Honky Chateau



Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Deluxe Edition)



Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy



+ (Deluxe Edition without SACD)




Tumbleweed Connection was also issued as an SACD and is as highly recommended.Rocket Man: Number Ones is a good starter set that will make you want to buy the rest.



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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