Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 Essential Albums by LGBTQ Artists, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Considering that the qualifier “LGBTQ” can often be open to various interpretations, for the purposes of this particular list, we have defined an artist as LGBTQ if he, she or they have ever publicly identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer. Moreover, albums by groups have been included in the list if any of their members fit the aforementioned criteria, even if some members do not.
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ELTON JOHN | Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Selected by Justin Chadwick
Fast approaching his 60th year in the professional music game, Elton John’s iconic status has been rightfully earned and preserved thanks to his prolific 30-albums-deep discography and commanding-as-ever stage presence. His widely acclaimed seventh studio LP and magnum opus, 1973’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is a powerful portrait of the singer-songwriter-pianist—aided by writing partner Bernie Taupin—scaling the peak of his creative capabilities.
After aborting initial attempts to record the album in Jamaica for various reasons, John and team orchestrated the project in the familiar confines of the Château d'Hérouville near Paris, where its precursors Honky Château (1972) and Don’t Shoot Me I’m the Piano Player (1972) were crafted. An efficient two-week recording stint ultimately yielded a double-album comprised of 17 tracks (18 if you count the opening double-billing of “Funeral for a Friend”/”Love Lies Bleeding”) and a handful of career highlights.
In a savvy stroke of sequencing, the Marilyn Monroe homage “Candle In The Wind,” music industry diatribe “Bennie And The Jets,” and repudiation of the glamorous life captured on the anthemic title track arguably represent one of the greatest back-to-back-to-back song punches ever committed to wax. John’s career path would be paved with plenty of gold and platinum plaques afterwards, but Goodbye Yellow Brick Road remains his finest and most cohesive long player to date.