Countdown to “Rocketman” Part II: Soundtrack Revealed

Today we finally got to look at the full tracklist for the Rocketman soundtrack. I have some thoughts on what the selections mean in terms of the focus of the film. There were some pleasant surprises as well as some jaw dropping omissions from the 70s era.

The first song on the album is “The Bitch is Back (Introduction).” Of course I am glad this song is in the film. It has to be and it is one of my personal favorites. That said, this opening track is performed by Taron Egerton, which suggests to me a real possibility that this film will open similar to how Bohemian Rhapsody did, with Elton onstage, then thinking back on his rise. It is a tired framing device. So tired it is one of the aspects of Bohemian Rhapsody that should have kept it out of the Oscar race.

After this opener, I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued to see that “I Want Love,” from Elton’s 2001 album “Songs from the West Coast,” is featured in the film. I’m trying not to read too much into the order that the songs are placed on the soundtrack. For every soundtrack that places the songs in the order they appear in the film, there are many more that screw with the order. But according to the tracklist on Amazon, Bryce Dallas Howard is among the cast members featured in this track. Could this song actually be used during Elton’s childhood years, or serve as a transition of sorts between childhood and those early years touring with Bluesology?

It’s clear from the soundtrack and countless articles that have already previewed key scenes that the producers are not following an accurate timeline in terms of when songs were written. There has been talk that “Crocodile Rock” is performed during the Troubadour sequence. Elton’s Troubadour performances in 1970 were immensely important to launching his popularity in the U.S., but the setlist did not include “Crocodile Rock,” which wasn’t released until 1973. I was initially concerned that rearrangements like this for the film would end up overshadowing many of the earlier, more stripped down singer-songwriter albums Elton released before “Honky Chateau.” Fortunately, the soundtrack includes many early cuts, including “Border Song,” “Take Me to the Pilot,  “Amoreena” and even “Rock and Roll Madonna.” I would have been pissed if “Tumbleweed Connection” was left out of the party, so I’m glad to see “Amoreena” making an appearance.

rocketman-elton-john-taron-egerton-images-1.jpg

Unfortunately, “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” is not represented on the soundtrack at all!!! How!!! It was the first album in the history of the billboard charts to debut at number one. Maybe that album and some of it’s tracks are featured in the film, but were just left off the soundtrack because it already clocked in at 74 minutes.

The only 80s track appearing on the soundtrack is “I’m Still Standing,” which isn’t surprising considering all the photos and clips we’ve seen from the film features images of 1970s and earlier Elton John. There is also a new song that Taron Egerton reportedly performs with the real Elton John.

I still have some concerns about the film that only time and May 31 will clear up (one way or another), but at least the soundtrack isn’t entirely a greatest hits collection. It dug a little deeper and that gives me hope.

Full Tracklist:

1. The Bitch Is Back (Introduction)
2. I Want Love
3. Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
4. Thank You For All Your Loving
5. Border Song
6. Rock & Roll Madonna – Interlude
7. Your Song
8. Amoreena
9. Crocodile Rock
10. Tiny Dancer
11. Take Me To The Pilot
12. Hercules
13. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
14. Honky Cat
15. Pinball Wizard – Interlude
16. Rocket Man
17. Bennie and the Jets
18. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down – Interlude
19. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
20. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
21. I’m Still Standing
22. (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again

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