Monday, March 25, 2013


YEAR:  1974
LABEL:  MCA/Rocket
TRACK LISTING:  The Bitch Is Back,  Pinky,  Grimsby,  Dixie Lily,  Solar Prestige a Gammon,  You're So Static,  I've Seen the Saucers,  Stinker,  Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me,  Ticking
BONUS TRACKS:  Pinball Wizard,  Sick City,  Cold Highway,  Step Into Christmas
IMPRESSIONS:  Happy 66th birthday, Sir Elton!  Sandwiched as it between between the monumental "GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD" and the much-loved "CAPTAIN FANTASTIC AND THE BROWN DIRT COWBOY", "CARIBOU" may seem like they're lesser cousin.  And in a way it is.  However, it is still a fantastic album filled with some of my favourite Elton songs.  Recorded apparently in a mere nine days under pressure from the record label, "CARIBOU" features my favourite Elton song of all time:  "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me" as well as the boffo hit single "The Bitch Is Back".  However, it also features some of Elton's strongest deep album cuts:  "Pinky" which is simply one of Elton's best ballads (and least known), the "random-shooting-in-a-bar" epic album closer "Ticking" (which is one of my dad's favourites) and even the delightfully silly throwaway (but catchy) nonsense of "Solar Prestige a Gammon".  However, it also contains some of Elton's more forgettable songs:  "Grimsby", "Dixie Lily" and "Stinker" among them.  Naturally, when pumping out an album in 9 days at the insistence of your record label, there's bound to be some filler.  But then, that's why God invented the skip button.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  The Bitch Is Back,  Pinky,  Solar Prestige a Gammon,  Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me,  Ticking,  Pinball Wizard,  Step Into Christmas
GUEST ARTISTS:  Bruce Johnston (backing vocals on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me),  Carl Wilson (backing vocals on "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me"),  Dusty Springfield (additional backing vocals),  Toni Tennille (additional backing vocals),  Tower of Power (brass/horn section),  Daryl Dragon (arranger)
FACT SHEET:  CARIBOU is Elton John's eighth album.  The title of the album derived from it having been mostly recorded at the Caribou Ranch recording studio.  The album was produced by Gus Dudgeon.  "Pinball Wizard" is a cover of the Who song written by Pete Townshend.  Elton's band consists of Davey Johnstone on guitars, Dee Murray on bass, Nigel Olsson on drums and Ray Cooper on percussion. 

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