I do tire of how big record companies miss making ideal compilations of my favorite artists by that much. Even the best comps usually fall at least a song or two short of completion. So now that I can download songs, I'm trying to take matters into my own hands:
Essential Elton, Volume One
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Candle In The Wind
Bennie And The Jets
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
The Bitch Is Back
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Essential Elton, Volume Two
Grow Some Funk Of Your Own
Don't Go Breaking My Heart
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Mama Can't Buy You Love
Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)
I'm Still Standing
Kiss The Bride
I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Who Wears These Shoes?
I Don't Want To Go On With You Like That
Can You Feel The Love Tonight
Candle In The Wind 1997
Essential Elton, Volume Three
Take Me To The Pilot
Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
Madman Across The Water
Funeral For A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding
Bite Your Lip (Get Up And Dance)
Song For Guy
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Step Into Christmas
No this isn't 100% ideal either, but for a big Reg fan, the quibbles should be minor.
As a better dividing line between Elton periods, I wish "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" could start Volume 2, but there wasn't room for "Grow Some Funk Of Your Own" on either Volumes 1 or 3. And I really like the uptempo "Funk," so
I especially enjoy Volume 3, as an original jumble of EJ songs. Note that I left the #1 hit "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" off the list of big hits in Volumes 1 and 2. I decided to make those volumes all original Elton John songs (written with lyricists Taupin, Osborne or Rice), and categorize "Lucy" and "Pinball Wizard" as "quality oddities" in Volume 3.
A case could be made for the moderate 1992 hit "The One" making the Volume 2 list, but as I'm not much for post-'80s Elton, I decided to keep it off Volume 2 and represent the '90s with just his two (by far) biggest hits of the decade, "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and "Candle In The Wind 1997." "The One" fits quite nicely on Volume 3.
Also, there are plenty of tracks that could go on a Volume Four, consisting of faves I couldn't get before, and/or minor hits I like least, so I kept them off Vols. 1-3:
Club At The End Of The Street
Made In England
Wrap Her Up
Burn Down The Mission
Dan Dare (Pilot Of The Future)
Theme From A Non-Existent TV Series
Victim Of Love
I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself
Solar Prestige A Gammon
Circle Of Life
I'll also try to include at least a little post-1997 Elton on Volume 4, and maybe I'll put the big '80s-'90s hit duets where Elton wasn't Top Dog ("That's What Friends Are For" and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me") on there as well.
Other "perfect" CD comps I've made so far: The Beach Boys (stops at 1988), Neil Diamond (stops at 1982), Frank Sinatra (stops at 1966, but a remake might include 1973's "There Used To Be A Ballpark") and Fountains of Wayne. Sad there isn't room for Out-of-State Plates tracks on the FoW comp. Those'll have to go on a Vol. 2.
Ones I want to make (for a start): Negativland, Elvis Costello, Thelonious Monk, Nat King Cole, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.