Written and researched by John F. Higgins
If you were to ask a random person on the street to name an Elton John song, most likely they would reply with something off the list of titles that Gus Dudgeon produced. The Dudgeon catalogue pretty much defines what has come to be known as the Classic Years in Elton’s career. In fact, of the 25 songs that make up Elton’s current concert set list, all but four of them are titles that Gus originally recorded.
Between the years 1970-76, and then 1985-86, Gus oversaw for Elton 13 studio albums (with one-off singles, b-sides, and subsequently released tracks, the total song count comes to 176) and three live albums (63 songs there, including the Midsummer Music Festival material released in 2005 on the Deluxe Edition of Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy). No other producer even comes close to that amount of Elton credits, even though the two men worked together for less than ten years out of a career that now spans over 40. In that brief but crucial period, the collaboration resulted in seven #1 albums in a row, two of those entering the Billboard Album Charts at the top spot (something no act had ever done before); 12 Top Ten albums; six #1 singles; 21 Top Ten singles… Suffice to say, Gus Dudgeon set the gold album standard when it came to producing Elton John.