Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
virgin744
Topic Author
Posts: 825
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 1999 5:51 pm

Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:09 am

I've been thinking about this a lot recently and since Elvis would anyone agree that Elton John is the greatest living single musician around? To clarify my point I am looking at individual artists (not part of a band) who have endured over a long period of time and stand up as megastars without the need to play alongside others or with the assistance of others?
I had others who entered my mind such as Paul McCartney, Madonna or Michael Jackson but they either didn't match the longevity of Elton or didnt play well to all audiances. The problem with Macca is that his music has dwindled a bit and doesnt seem to be popular with all ages and backgrounds, Madonna has certainly produced a plethora of hits and has that speciality of reinventing herself with great effect but again she doesnts seem to match Elton for endurance and has had a few iffy songs. MJ is similar to Madonna and in the same era too whereas Elton has been around since the beginning of the 70's and has continued to produce hits as well as playing to sold-out concerts time and again.

Elton's early hits are absolute classics and whats more is that he never had any support in those days apart from his piano...Anyone tend to agree with this? Here's a few of his early ones to give you an idea of why I've come to this conclusion.

virgin744







[Edited 2007-11-04 22:18:07]
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:30 am

Elton, just don't see it.

Has Sir Paul actually done anything this Wings? Nope.
Jackson hasn't done anything since the Bush administration-----THE FIRST ONE!!!
Madonna, Is she still Jewish?

So who probably deserves to be called the greatest living one.

I can't put Mick, Stevie Tyler, Gene Simmons on the list, they are just rehashing their old acts from 30 years ago.

Quoting Virgin744 (Thread starter):
To clarify my point I am looking at individual artists (not part of a band) who have endured over a long period of time and stand up as megastars without the need to play alongside others or with the assistance of others?

Using those metrics I would place either Wayne Newton, Neil Diamond and/or Burt Bacharach over Elton.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
ArmitageShanks
Posts: 3780
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2003 5:30 am

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:11 am

Yoursong.jpg

Where is it?
 
vikkyvik
Posts: 12621
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:37 am

Elton John, eh, I wouldn't say he's the greatest. Great, yes, but not the greatest.

I'm not much of one for making lists, or naming who the best is, but the first to come to mind was Bob Dylan.

Sure, his voice reminds me of nails on a chalkboard, but his songwriting ability is unmatched. Just look at how many people have covered his songs - The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, U2, Dave Matthews Band, just to name a few.

People of all ages can get into Bob Dylan's songs. Additionally, from what I hear, his tours have been getting better over the last decade or so - pretty impressive for someone in their 60's.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
columba
Posts: 5265
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:45 am

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 3):
People of all ages can get into Bob Dylan's songs. Additionally, from what I hear, his tours have been getting better over the last decade or so - pretty impressive for someone in their 60's.

Definitely one of the greatest singer and songwriter. I would also say Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty play a more important role than Elton John.
Air Berlin - gone but not forgotten
 
User avatar
johnboy
Posts: 3150
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 9:09 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:45 am

I think the problem i'm having with what you're saying, is the limits of your term, "musician."

Perhaps "all-around entertainer" would be better.

Quoting Virgin744 (Thread starter):
Elton's early hits are absolute classics and whats more is that he never had any support in those days apart from his piano.

*cough, cough, Bernie Taupin, cough, cough*

 Cool
 
rootsair
Posts: 4013
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:25 am

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musicia

Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:50 am

Then again you guys only mention English Speaking artist. What about those who sing in other languages. I can mention so many great artists in spanish. Of course since its not in English, then they haven't really been commerciallised outside of Spanish speaking countries but I can promise they are just as good as many English speaking artists (and I'm not talking bout Ricky Martin, Shakira or those over commercial artists)



[Edited 2007-11-04 23:54:35]
A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
 
LAXspotter
Posts: 3227
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:16 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:06 am

Would a guitarist be considered as a Musician, and how can you use the word "Greatest", what consitutes that? My favorite "performer" of this era is Paco de Lucia, a spanish guitarist whose skills are unmatched, yet very few people listen to him when compared with the top billboard Artists.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:01 pm

I'd put Neil Young higher on the list than Elton John. His politics are a bit kooky but he is an amazing musician. He plays several instruments, and is a musical cameleon, and writes songs ranging from Country, Folk, techno-pop and hard rock. He invented Grunge 15 years before anyone ever heard about Nirvana.

And he writes everything. Elton John still relies on outside help for his lyrics, and basically only plays one kind of music.

Young might not be "the best" but he's certainly better than John



[Edited 2007-11-05 06:03:44]
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
XaraB
Posts: 131
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:23 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:08 pm

If you're going to listen to some early Elton John, there's plenty more to enjoy than just the slow ballad-like tunes he has. Below are a couple of songs from his tour in Russia in 1979 that I think are excellent, except that he looks like a moron...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bffP1d8jsM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtCoWXj3ybE
An open mind is not an empty one
 
NeilYYZ
Posts: 2443
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:55 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:10 pm

Quoting Columba (Reply 4):
Neil Young



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 8):
I'd put Neil Young higher on the list than Elton John

I would agree with both of you.

Have either of you heard his Live at Massey Hall album available on iTunes. Absolutely incredible. I'm going to see Neil Young later on this month in Toronto.
It may be too early to drink scotch... But it is NEVER too early to think about it...
 
KFLLCFII
Posts: 3617
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 7:08 am

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musicia

Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:43 pm

Quoting Virgin744 (Thread starter):
To clarify my point I am looking at individual artists (not part of a band) who have endured over a long period of time and stand up as megastars without the need to play alongside others or with the assistance of others?

There's where Elton John doesn't qualify.

A seemingly little-known fact: A man named Bernie Taupin actually writes the lyrics, then Elton simply composes the music around it and performs it. (Which of course takes talent in itself, nonetheless.)

So sure, he's a great musician, and a great performer...But to call him a stand-alone act (like some others) is false.
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
IFEMaster
Posts: 4164
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:17 am

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:56 pm

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say no to Elton, but say yes to Mark Knopfler. Risky statement? Perhaps, but here's why I think this:

1. Hugely successful in the late 70's and in the 80's with Dire Straits; penned some true anthems - Sultans of Swing, Romeo & Juliet, Money For Nothing, Brothers in Arms.

2. Has collaborated with a truly huge number of other famous musicians, either as a performer or a producer or both; Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Emmylou Harris, Chet Atkins, Tony Levin, Richard Bennett...this list goes on and on.

3. Has scored some incredibly beautiful and complex soundtracks for movies; Local Hero, Cal, The Princess Bride, Wag the Dog, A Shot at Glory, to name just a few.

4. Continues to have a successful solo career after Dire Straits; 6 albums in the last ten years, all of which charted inside the top ten in most European countries and were also very successful outside of Europe.

5. Is a guitar hero. The guy fingerpicks and you'd swear he had plectrums all over this hands. One of the most underrated and under-appreciated guitar players today.

What say you?
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
CastleIsland
Posts: 3212
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:40 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:22 pm

The problem with the question posed by the OP is that it is completely subjective. I could mention a number of jazz pianists that are far better musicians than Elton John, but many of you probably wouldn't like them as much as you like Elton John. I'm guessing that the concertmaster for the Berliner Philharmoniker is probably a better musician than Elton John, and could play some amazing solo pieces, but so what?

It all comes down to personal taste, and personally, Elton John bores me, and the other artist mentioned by the OP, Elvis, annoys me to no end. But again, so what? Like what you like, and don't what you don't. But to limit the discussion to only the style of music you prefer, it sort of renders the question moot.
"People don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient, then they repent." - Dylan
 
ferengi80
Posts: 484
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:23 am

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:27 pm

Elton wouldn't come in my top ten. I would easily place Neil Diamond over him, and would honestly say you would struggle to find a song writer better than Lionel Richie. Richie would take my number one spot, followed by Neil Diamond, Meat Loaf, Toby Keith, Dennis Lecorriere, Dame Shirley Bassey and Barbra Streisand.
AF1981 LHR-CDG A380-800 10 July 2010 / AF1980 CDG-LHR A380-800 11 July 2010
 
jafa39
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:14 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:56 pm

Quoting Virgin744 (Thread starter):
Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

You have got to be kidding me! Greatest living drama-queen possibly.....
We, the undersigned, do hereby consent.....
 
slider
Posts: 7735
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:15 pm

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 12):
2. Has collaborated with a truly huge number of other famous musicians, either as a performer or a producer or both; Eric Clapton, Tina Turner, Emmylou Harris, Chet Atkins, Tony Levin, Richard Bennett...this list goes on and on.

I love Mark Knopfler...his album with Emmylou Harris is great.

Quoting CastleIsland (Reply 13):
The problem with the question posed by the OP is that it is completely subjective.

True, but by musician the question is also couched as someone who plays an instrument. Some of the vocalists named above wouldn't qualify then.
 
CastleIsland
Posts: 3212
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:40 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:29 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 16):
but by musician the question is also couched as someone who plays an instrument

I disagree. A vocalist's voice is their instrument. In fact, the goal of many instrumentalists is to make their instrument speak, and to emulate many of the dynamic characteristics of the human voice. In that way, a vocalist is the ultimate instrumentalist.
"People don't do what they believe in, they just do what's most convenient, then they repent." - Dylan
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:50 pm

Quoting CastleIsland (Reply 13):
I'm guessing that the concertmaster for the Berliner Philharmoniker is probably a better musician than Elton John, and could play some amazing solo pieces, but so what?

I'd bet that every member of the Berlin Philharmonic is a better musician than Elton John.

Classical music just can't get the love, unfortunately.

Quoting CastleIsland (Reply 17):
I disagree. A vocalist's voice is their instrument. In fact, the goal of many instrumentalists is to make their instrument speak, and to emulate many of the dynamic characteristics of the human voice. In that way, a vocalist is the ultimate instrumentalist.

 checkmark  I'd put Placido Domingo way up on the list. Not only can he do it with the voice, but he can also do it from the podium as well, and that's a lot harder than it looks.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
virgin744
Topic Author
Posts: 825
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 1999 5:51 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:22 pm

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 3):
Bob Dylan

Ahhh yes. Bob Dylan. He is great and I did consider him at first but only thought of Elton because he has been more mainstream.. Bob would certainly be one of the greatest if not the because he does stand the test of time and has written some of th emost notable songs ever, yea I could agree with that quite possibly. But dont you think Elton has that slight extra bit because he's more well known to younger audianaces as well as the older ones?

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 8):
Neil Young

Another amazing choice, and again I could agree wih you there, he like Bob has that special way of signing like you either are annoyed to heck by him or love him. Yep. its gotta be a 3-way tie between them IMHO. And I say that because like Bob, Neil is one of those rare musicians that are not mainstream, not loved by everyone but are pure genius. I keep looking at Elton as up there because he has reached so many different age levels and has the ability to make the song enjoyable to all regardless of where they stand, jazz, blues, rock, pop.

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 12):
Mark Knopfler

Great musician, love him to bits, but I think Dave Gilmour is 1 notch above him. Don't get me wrong I love Mark but like Dave,he came into his own only after he became famous with a band... Where was Dave before Pink Floyd!??? Likewise, where was Mark before Dire Straits. See what I mean?

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 11):
A seemingly little-known fact: A man named Bernie Taupin actually writes the lyrics

Thats no little known fact, everyone knows that! But there's not many (individual musician) that write their lyrics that I would place in the same category as Bob Dylan & Neil Young, but I'm finding it hard to justify saying Bob or Neil because they're not main-stream enough, well not as much as Elton.

virgin744
 
corocks
Posts: 1128
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 8:57 am

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:54 pm

As a few have said, it is totally subjective and everyone has different tastes. That said, I think the greatest musician would have to be the one that appeals to the largest audience and most numbers of people. Based on record sales then the top 10 list would be (for living individuals):

Garth Brooks
Billy Joel
Barbara Streisand
Elton John
George Strait
Madonna
Bruce Springsteeen
Mariah Carey
Michael Jackson
Whitney Houston
(source: Recording Industry Association of America)

To make this list, you would have to have longevity and/or appeal to a large population.

I don't think there is a single person who would say Mariah is a better artist than Bob Dylon or Sting - but she must have been doing something right (other than wearing low-cut tops)

People I would have expected to be higher on the list: Sting, Bob Dylon, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Prince.

Just some statistics to add to the discussion!
 
User avatar
fxramper
Posts: 5839
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 12:03 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:16 am



KROC's Godfather - Pat Boone.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 2:09 am

Quoting Corocks (Reply 20):
think the greatest musician would have to be the one that appeals to the largest audience and most numbers of people.

No, no, no - popularity is no indicator of greatness. The proof is how so many artists (musical and otherwise) who are now considered great died penniless. And conversely, many people with negligable talent are extremely popular, usually because of one particular ability or attribute, rather than a wide range of abilities.

Mariah Carey has terrific vocal range and a butt that just begs to be grabbed with both hands, but does that make her a great musician? No.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
virgin744
Topic Author
Posts: 825
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 1999 5:51 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:13 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 22):
Mariah Carey has terrific vocal range and a butt that just begs to be grabbed with both hands


 yes 
 
columba
Posts: 5265
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:38 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 8):
'd put Neil Young higher on the list than Elton John. His politics are a bit kooky but he is an amazing musician. He plays several instruments, and is a musical cameleon, and writes songs ranging from Country, Folk, techno-pop and hard rock. He invented Grunge 15 years before anyone ever heard about Nirvana.

And he writes everything. Elton John still relies on outside help for his lyrics, and basically only plays one kind of music.

Young might not be "the best" but he's certainly better than John



Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 10):
Have either of you heard his Live at Massey Hall album available on iTunes. Absolutely incredible. I'm going to see Neil Young later on this month in Toronto.

Yeas it is very good, my cousin wanted to print t-shirts "Kneel for Neil"

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 12):
Mark Knopfler

Also an amazing musician, he and Eric Clapton are the most important living guitar players I can think of (maybe add Jimmy Page)
Air Berlin - gone but not forgotten
 
MadameConcorde
Posts: 9265
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:08 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:28 am

It depends what "music" one is talking about.

My own idea is that Martha Argerich is the "Greatest Living Individual Musician".
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
QFA380
Posts: 2012
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:38 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:13 am

I personally would have to say Elton is one of the greatest musicians (living or dead). Gets me quite the bit of flak at school but he really is an awesome musician IMO. Yes there are others but he is really good and he entertains a wide variety of people. There aren't many people who will have 80 year olds and 15 year olds in the same concert.
 
Banco
Posts: 14343
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2001 11:56 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:13 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 22):
Mariah Carey has terrific vocal range and a butt that just begs to be grabbed with both hands

Trouble is, it'd be a pretty close call as to whether to grab her arse or her throat to stop her bloody singing.  grumpy   Wink
She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
 
BCAL
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:47 am

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 15):
Quoting Virgin744 (Thread starter):
Elton John, Greatest Living Individual Musician?

You have got to be kidding me! Greatest living drama-queen possibly

 bigthumbsup 
I very much doubt if I would even rate Elton John in my top 500 living individual musicians.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: alfa164, FGITD, TangoandCash, Waterbomber2 and 36 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos