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Quiz about Stellar Albums
Quiz about Stellar Albums

Stellar Albums Trivia Quiz

Elton John was at his prolific best during the 1970s and produced some stellar albums. Here we ask you to identify the first single released from each of his album that made the Top Ten of the US Billboard 200 album charts.

A matching quiz by pollucci19. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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4 mins
Match Quiz
Quiz #
Dec 03 21
# Qns
Avg Score
7 / 10
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: Guest 69 (2/10), turaguy (8/10), paper_aero (6/10).
(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
1. Elton John (Self Titled)  
  Country Comfort
2. Tumbleweed Connection  
  Border Song
3. Madman Across the Water  
  Crocodile Rock
4. Honky Chateau  
  Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
5. Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player  
  Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road  
  Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
7. Caribou  
  Rocket Man
8. Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy  
  Someone Saved My Life Tonight
9. Rock of the Westies  
  Island Girl
10. Blue Moves  

Select each answer

1. Elton John (Self Titled)
2. Tumbleweed Connection
3. Madman Across the Water
4. Honky Chateau
5. Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player
6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
7. Caribou
8. Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy
9. Rock of the Westies
10. Blue Moves

Most Recent Scores
Feb 27 2024 : Guest 69: 2/10
Feb 22 2024 : turaguy: 8/10
Feb 07 2024 : paper_aero: 6/10
Jan 29 2024 : Guest 90: 0/10
Jan 26 2024 : Dredlock1: 10/10
Jan 07 2024 : Guest 73: 0/10
Jan 03 2024 : Guest 174: 3/10
Jan 02 2024 : Guest 126: 4/10

Score Distribution

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Elton John (Self Titled)

Answer: Border Song

Being a self titled album it is easy to assume that this was Elton's first album however, that honour went to 1969's "Empty Sky" which, as one critic intoned "featured no hidden gems but it did display John's potential". "Border Song" is produced with a gospel feel and it was the first record to chart for Elton in any country, he can thank the Canadians for that. It also managed to ghost its way to number 92 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Released in April of 1970 the album was initially met with a lukewarm response though this soon changed with the release of the second single "Take Me to the Pilot". However, it was the simple little love ballad on the flipside that got radio DJs and consumers excited. That song was "Your Song", one of the finest tracks that Elton and his long time collaborator, Bernie Taupin, ever put together. This was a song that John Lennon described as "Great, that's the first new thing that's happened since we (The Beatles) happened.'"The album would soon achieve "Gold" status for Elton and it climbed to number 4 on Billboards 200 Album Charts.
2. Tumbleweed Connection

Answer: Country Comfort

"Country Comfort", a song that espouses the pleasures of life on a farm with an approaching cloud called industrialization looming large on the horizon, introduces us to Elton's third studio album "Tumbleweed Connection" (1970). This is a deliberately stripped back album that pleased the critics and highlighted Taupin's obvious love for the mythic American West and its outlaws. There are a number of love songs here but the deeper you travel into the album there is a steadily growing undercurrent of violence that eventually erupts in the album's closing track "Burn Down the Mission". The other great highlight on the album is the soulful "Amoorena" which would later be used as an opening to the 1975 film "Dog Day Afternoon".

The single "Country Comfort" (B-side "Love Song") failed to chart in the Top Forty anywhere for Elton in the seventies. Note: In some countries "Love Song" was noted as the A-side.
3. Madman Across the Water

Answer: Levon

Elton's title track oozes paranoia but this is beautifully offset by the melodrama that resides in the album's second single "Tiny Dancer" and the wonderful character sketches that fill the lead single "Levon", which had moderate success, and the off-putting "Razor Face".

This 1971 album is laden with strings with add richness to Elton's work on the piano (he plays no other instrument on this record) and provides a haunting atmosphere to the album as a whole. The gentle "Indian Sunset", which opens side two and tells the tale of an Indian warrior facing defeat at the hands of the "white man" would be sampled by Tupac Shakur on his 2005 hit "Ghetto Gospel". "Madman", which failed to make the Top Forty of the UK album charts found a willing audience in the US where it reached number 8 on Billboards 200 and be certified double platinum.
4. Honky Chateau

Answer: Rocket Man

1972's "Honky Chateau" was a landmark album for Elton John. Seen by many critics as one of his finest works it signalled the progression of John from a singer/songwriter to a rock and roller. What managed to make this record rise above the ordinary was the number of disparate styles; from the slightly psychedelic musings of the lead single "Rocket Man (I Think it's Gonna Be a Long, Long Time), the moving ballad that is "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" to the skittish boogie of "Honky Cat" and the downright nastiness of "I Think I'm Going to Kill Myself" that Elton somehow manages to bring together into a single, cohesive unit.

This is song-craft at its best. The public certainly thought so and sales soon propelled "Honky Chateau" to the top of the album charts in the US.

This would be the first of seven consecutive number one albums for Elton in the US.
5. Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player

Answer: Crocodile Rock

In 1972, when Elton John was touring Australia, he was taken by a local band, Daddy Cool, and their hit at the time "Eagle Rock". This inspired him to sit with lyricist Bernie Taupin and write the pure pop song "Crocodile Rock" which would go on to become his first number one single in the USA and help propel his 1973 album, "Don't Shoot Me..." to the top of most album charts. In the process it would establish John as a bona fide superstar.

"Don't Shoot Me..." pays homage to a range of musical styles with the lead single being a parody of 1950's rock and swing (in particular "At the Hop" by Danny and the Juniors and later, Del Shannon's "Runaway"), "Midnight Creeper" takes a poke at the Rolling Stones and "High Flying Bird" was written in a manner to resemble Van Morrison. However, as strong as the album is the highlight is the tender opening track "Daniel" where John produces an expressive melody and a moving vocal performance to accompany an exceptional lyric from Bernie Taupin.
6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Answer: Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting

If "Honky Chateau" warmed the kettle for Elton John then "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" sent it bubbling over. This album took Elton from the arms of being a rock and roller to that of a full blown entertainer. It is a double album, and it needed to be as it tries to please everyone. For this reason it has divided critics with some claiming it to be his finest work while others panned it as a grandiose attempt that falls flat. Stephen Davis from "Rolling Stone" magazine was particularly scathing of it in 1973.

The magazine would then list it at number 91 in its list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" in 2003 and rated it with five stars in a 2004 review. There's melodrama in the opening eleven minutes of the progressively inclined "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" which is immediately followed by the Marilyn Monroe tribute of "Candle in the Wind" and the full blown fantasy that is "Bennie and the Jets".

However, the highlight of the set is the explosive lead single "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" in which Davey Johnstone showcases his power and versatility behind a guitar.

The sprawl of this album is enough to leave a listener breathless and it leaves one wondering what Elton had in store next.
7. Caribou

Answer: Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me

Elton John had planned to release the track "Harmony" as the fifth single from his enormously successful album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" but withdrew from doing so because of the pending release of the follow up album "Caribou" and the singles that would promote it were too close at hand.

This close proximity favoured "Caribou" and helped boost its sales significantly. The album, as a whole, was a disappointing effort. The band was under pressure to put it together, record it and release it because of an upcoming tour of Japan... and it showed. Having said that there are still some amazing tracks on the disc; "The Bitch is Back" is one of the raunchiest and best hard rock tracks that Elton has put together and the lead single, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is as classic a ballad as he has ever written.

In 1974 the latter would peak at number two on Billboard's Hot 100 and would then enjoy further success seventeen years later when Elton released it as a duet with George Michael.
8. Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Answer: Someone Saved My Life Tonight

"Someone Saved My Life Tonight" is one of the darkest songs that Elton John and Bernie Taupin have ever combined to write. From the outset Elton's piano sounds ominous while Taupin's autobiographical lyrics take you by the hand and gently drag you through a saga that touches on Elton's confusion about his future, the trepidation about his forthcoming marriage and his attempts to end it all by taking his own life.

The combination of the melody and the word is as haunting as it is powerful. It sits perfectly in album that is conceptual in its nature and details the struggles of Elton (Captain Fantastic) and Bernie (The Brown Dirt Cowboy) in their early days in London's music scene up until their eventual breakthrough in 1970.

This became the first ever album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200 upon release but the journey for the listener is a slow burn. With every subsequent listen the album reveals new treasures as Elton seamlessly switches between tunes that travel the roads between country and hard rock.
9. Rock of the Westies

Answer: Island Girl

Elton brings in a new band with a new sound and a load of attitude which elevates "Rock of the Westies" (1975) to another level for the English songster. Whilst there are some marimba accents of "Grow Some Funk of Your Own" the band spits fire and brimstone onto both "Street Kids" and "Hard Luck Story".

The single "Island Girl", which has a feel that is not quite Jamaican, not quite disco, struck a chord (pun not intended) with its audience that took it to the top of a number of American charts. Bernie Taupin provides the album with some of his finest lyrics.

He produces toughness and irony melded with a dose of complexity that, when confronted with the grunt supplied by Elton's new band, manages to cut through some the singer's usual ebullience to produce an album that rates as one of John's best.
10. Blue Moves

Answer: Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Elton John released the double sided "Blue Moves" in 1976. This represented an exhausting eleven albums (two of them doubles) in a mere seven years. Whilst the prolificacy is stunning there has to be a side effect - somewhere along the line the creativity has to suffer. It started to unravel here. It almost appeared as if Elton had decided he'd been everything to everybody to this point, now it was time to be taken seriously as a musician. The end result was an album of excessive strings and arrangements, interludes and segues. The tracks were high on mood but they did so at the expense of the emotion. Ironically, the best tracks on the album, "Shoulder Holster" and "Idol", are the ones that come with the least arrangement and accompaniment. Elton can thank his lucky stars for the success of the single, "Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word" which carried the album into the US Top Ten on the back of its own success. Whilst this may sound dismissive it should not be seen as such. The album contains some seriously good tracks that stood head and shoulders above its rivals at the time. Elton may well have been better served to have released a single disc here, however, time has been generous to the artist and those that had previously ignored the album are now shining a different light on it when viewed in the context of Elton's entire body of work.

Elton John would round off the decade with two further studio albums, "A Single Man" in 1978 and "Victim of Love" in 1979 though, unlike the above ten albums, these would not manage to find their way into the Top Ten of Billboard's 200 album charts.

The scope of Elton John's work in the 1970s is staggering. Aside from the above 12 studio albums he also recorded the soundtrack to the film "Friends" (1971), two live albums, released two Greatest Hits compilations, recorded the songs that would make up the 1980 album "Lady Samantha" during the period 1968-74, released the non-album singles "Rock n Roll Madonna" (70), "Step into Christmas" (73), Philadelphia Freedom (75), a cover of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" (75), played the Pinball Wizard in the film "Tommy" (75), recorded the hit single "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Kiki Dee (76), recorded additional singles "The Goaldigger's Song" (77), "Ego" (78) and released an Extended Play called "The Complete Thom Bell" sessions in 1979. Add to this his virtual non-stop touring... the mind boggles.
Source: Author pollucci19

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor 1nn1 before going online.
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