Some people say Elton John’s best album is Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Some say it’s Madman Across the Water. Some weirdos might even say it’s A Single Man. All those people are wrong. The best Elton John album is Tumbleweed Connection. But this album is really good as well.
Recorded live-in-studio a month after the release of Tumbleweed Connection, 11-17-70 might be John’s most straightforward rock and roll album. Backed only by Dee Murray and bass and Nigel Olsson on drums, John’s piano dominates the album. Most of the tracks are from John’s first two album, but a stand-out is a rollicking cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonky Woman.” But the album highlight is the closing track, the 18 minute long “Burn Down the Mission” medley, which features teases of the Arthur Crudub blues standard “My Baby Left Me,” and the Beatles’ “Get Back.”
I think this album is very good and you should give it a listen, especially if you primarily associate John with his glam-rock, soft-rock and/or Lion King stage.