Greatest Hits 1970–2002 is a career-spanning collection of Elton John’s biggest hits up to 2002. It was released in an alternate 3-CD version (as opposed to the usual 2-CD) and slightly different versions in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The album debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at number 12 on November 30, 2002. It spent 67 weeks on the chart. It was certified Gold and Platinum on 13 December 2002, 2x Platinum on 5 March 2003, 3x Platinum on 2 August 2004 and 4x and 5x Platinum on 14 February 2011 by the RIAA.
It was the first Elton John compilation released since the time that PolyGram, which had controlled the pre-1976 Elton John catalogue, was sold to Universal Music Group, which controlled the post-1976 recordings. Prior to 1992, rights to John’s music had been complicated as they shifted between various companies. UMG now owns worldwide distribution rights to all of John’s music, while sharing overall ownership with John himself.
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