Editors’ Notes This 1973 release was a turning point in Elton John’s career. It found him and lyricist Bernie Taupin becoming purposely concise in their songwriting—even radio-friendly, which wasn’t a bad thing. Besides the hits, like the tensely foreboding “Daniel” and rock ’n’ roll uplifter “Crocodile Rock,” many of the album cuts suckerpunch with equally killer pop hooks and lyrical smarts—from the schoolyard yarn in the lively, mellotron-enhanced “Teacher I Need You” to the empathetic piano-and-string ballad “Have Mercy on the Criminal” to the punchy horns in sing-along rocker “Elderberry Wine.”