15 Elton John Songs You Should Know Know Before Seeing 'Rocketman'

by Ani Bundel
Paramount Pictures

Rocketman is a fantasy movie musical inspired by the life and times of Elton John covering the first 40 years of his existence. A funny, yet poignant telling of his rise to fame, his years of addiction, and his path to sobriety and happiness, the film is punctuated at every turn with songs from John's 50-year career. How many Elton John songs does one need to know to enjoy the movie? Technically none, but considering how the songs are used, and the amount of easter eggs they represent, here's a rundown of the 15 biggest tunes in the film.

There are more than 15 songs in the film mind you. Counting every song the movie uses at least a snippet of, there are 24 of Elton John's hits laced throughout the film. Some, like "Daniel" and "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" are basically easter egg references, songs John begins playing that his managers reject. Others, like "Rock and Roll Madonna," "Amoreena," and "Hercules" are used as montage music. There's even a credit to the cover of "Pinball Wizard" John is known for, though that song was originally written and recorded by The Who.

So which songs out of John's catalog should fans listen to before seeing the film? Here's a rundown.

"The B*tch Is Back"

The first number of the film, it's performed in the movie by young Reggie and the neighbors in the corner of London where he grew up.

"I Want Love"

Slightly altered from the original. This song is used to express the unhappiness in the Dwight household where Elton grew up.

"Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)"

The song that transfers the action from child Reggie to Taron Egerton, this rip-roaring number is key to moving up to professional gigs.

"Your Song"

Elton John's first massive hit, you should know this song even if you never see the film.

"Crocodile Rock"

The song Elton John performs during his first American showcase, it's a wonderful sing-along number.

"Tiny Dancer"

Another of Elton's biggest hits of all time, it's performed as John is stranded alone at a party at Mama Cass'.

"Take Me To The Pilot"

This is the song that plays during the big sex scene between Elton John and John Reid.

"Don't Go Breaking My Heart"

This recording session is actually recreated in the film, down to her overalls and his jacket.

"Honky Cat"

This musical number is used to chronicle John's first descent into addict behavior.


The movie's title track. Like "Your Song," you should know it even if you never see the film.

"Benny & The Jets"

This song gets teased a bunch during John's performing-away-the-pain scenes.

"Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me"

Used to illustrate John's attempt at getting married, this song is most famous because it was a duet with the late George Michael.

"Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word"

Performed in the film while everyone criticizes him for his choices to get married and divorced, and Bernie pleads with him to get help.

"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"

This song gets done twice, once by Bernie Taupin after Elton won't listen, and again by Elton on his way to rehab towards the film's end.

"I'm Still Standing"

This song serves as the film's closing number, and the video is recreated so perfectly it's hard to tell which clips are original and which are not.