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8 Underrated Elton John Songs

Elton John is a musical icon with a career spanning over five decades, filled with chart-topping hits and unforgettable performances. However, some of his best work doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Here are eight underrated Elton John songs that showcase his incredible range and talent.

“Blues For My Baby and Me” (1973)

“Blues For My Baby and Me” is a beautiful track from Elton John’s 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player. The song features lush string arrangements by Paul Buckmaster and the distinctive guitar and sitar work of Davey Johnstone. It’s a heartfelt ballad that tells the story of a couple escaping their troubles. The combination of John’s soulful piano playing and the rich orchestration makes this song a hidden gem in his vast catalog.

“One Day at a Time”

Elton John’s 1974 rendition of John Lennon’s “One Day at a Time” brings a unique flavor to the original. This version, with Lennon providing background harmonies, stands out due to John’s ability to infuse his own style while respecting the original composition. The song’s soothing melody and uplifting lyrics make it a delightful listen, and it’s a testament to John’s versatility as an artist.

“The North” (1992)

Included in the album The One, “The North” is a powerful ballad co-written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The song captures the essence of longing and nostalgia, themes that are beautifully complemented by John’s emotive piano performance. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a place filled with memories, making it a deeply personal and moving piece that often flies under the radar.

“Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (1991)

While “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” is well-known, the 1991 live version with George Michael deserves special attention. This rendition brought new life to the song, showcasing the incredible vocal chemistry between John and Michael. The live performance captured the raw emotion and power of the song, making it a standout version that is often overlooked in favor of the original studio recording.

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“Mona Lisas and the Mad Hatters” (1972)

Inspired by the song “Spanish Harlem” by Phil Spector and Jerry Leiber, “Mona Lisas and the Mad Hatters” from the album Honky Château is a deeply reflective track. Rolling Stone magazine praised it for its lyrical depth and John’s poignant delivery. The song paints a vivid picture of New York City, blending melancholy and hope in a way that only John and Taupin can achieve. It’s a beautifully crafted song that deserves more recognition.

“Chameleon” (1976)

“Chameleon” is a track from Elton John’s 1976 album Blue Moves. The song features backing vocals by Bruce Johnston and Toni Tennille, adding a rich harmony to John’s soulful lead vocals. The track’s introspective lyrics and smooth melody make it a standout on the album. Despite its quality, “Chameleon” is often overshadowed by more prominent tracks, making it a true hidden treasure in John’s discography.

“Holiday Inn”

“Holiday Inn” originally had a scratched verse that was added back during a BBC performance in 1971. The song is a delightful piece that captures the feeling of life on the road, with its catchy melody and engaging lyrics. The added verse in the live performance provides additional depth to the song, showcasing John’s ability to evolve his music over time. It’s a track that perfectly blends storytelling with musicality.


“Ticking” is a seven-minute-long song produced by Gus Dudgeon and recorded at Caribou Ranch in the 1970s. The song’s length allows John to explore a more complex narrative, with haunting lyrics and a powerful piano accompaniment. The recording at Caribou Ranch, a place where over 100 performers have recorded, adds a unique ambiance to the track. “Ticking” is a masterful piece that showcases John’s storytelling ability and musical prowess.