In the midst of the sprawling, genre-busting double album of the same title, Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is a small masterpiece of '70s soft rock, and a strong contender for the coveted title of John's finest song ever. Lyrically, the song is evocative of faded Hollywood glamour in the manner of Sunset Boulevard; it's a clear-eyed, somewhat bitter, but not vindictive kiss-off to a wealthy former paramour that John invests with soul and personal meaning even despite Bernie Taupin's absurd details. (It's not much of a stretch to imagine Elton as a rent boy, perhaps, but returning to a childhood on the farm, "going back to my plow," and "hunting the horny back toad"? Elton? Really?) The song is a vocal triumph; although the wordless melisma that decorates the bridge between the verse and chorus melodies is straight out of the Beach Boys playbook, John makes that keening wail his own, and it's very likely his single finest vocal moment, one that creates shivers every single time. The arrangement builds slowly, from piano and Dee Murray's subtle but perfectly placed bass at the beginning of each verse to a full orchestral climax at the end of each chorus that sounds dramatic without going over the top. Extravagant but not pretentious, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is a pinnacle of its style, and has quite rightly remained one of John's signature songs for decades.