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Released: April 10, 1970

Rating: 3.887 (average of 19 ratings)

Genre: pop

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Your Song
  2. I Need You to Turn To
  3. Take Me to the Pilot
  4. No Shoe Strings on Louise
  5. First Episode at Hienton
  6. Sixty Years On
  7. Border Song
  8. The Greatest Discovery
  9. The Cage
  10. The King Must Die


sales in U.S. only 2 million
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 2.5 million


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 4
peak on U.K. album chart 9

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Border Song (3/70) #92 US
  • Your Song (11/28/70) #8 US, #7 UK, #9 AC
  • Take Me to the Pilot (3/5/88) #37 AC

Notes: A CD reissue added “Bad Side of the Moon” (which was the B-side of “Border Song”) and both sides of the “Rock and Roll Madonna”/”Grey Seal” single released in 6/70.

Elton John
Elton John
Empty Sky was followed by Elton John, a more focused and realized record that deservedly became his first hit. John and Bernie Taupin’s songwriting had become more immediate and successful; in particular, John’s music had become sharper and more diverse, rescuing Taupin’s frequently nebulous lyrics. Take Me to the Pilot might not make much sense lyrically, but John had the good sense to ground its willfully cryptic words with a catchy blues-based melody” (Erlewine).

“Next to the increased sense of songcraft, the most noticeable change on Elton John is the addition of Paul Buckmaster’s grandiose string arrangements. Buckmaster’s orchestrations are never subtle, but they never overwhelm the vocalist, nor do they make the songs schmaltzy. Instead, they fit the ambitions of John and Taupin, as the instant standard Your Song illustrates” (Erlewine).

“Even with the strings and choirs that dominate the sound of the album, John manages to rock out on a fair share of the record. Though there are a couple of underdeveloped songs, Elton John remains one of his best records.” (Erlewine).

Review Source(s):

Related DMDB Link(s):

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Last updated January 31, 2009.