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Elton John: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 14, 1996
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Elton John: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
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  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road [2 CD][Deluxe Edition]
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  • Elton John: Madman Across the Water
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Another ambitious concept LP, another John/Taupin masterpiece, another #1. Along with the smash Someone Saved My Life Tonight and the rest of the 1975 LP, this CD adds three bonus cuts including the #1s Philadelphia Freedom and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds !

Elton John has always liked having it both ways. He's flamboyant and vain, yet empathetic and sincere. He sits at his piano playing sentimental melodies, but the words come not from inside his soul but from friend Bernie Taupin. For Captain Fantastic, he and Taupin wrote a concept album which sketches their career together. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" is easily the strongest song outside of the concept. The addition of several songs "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" featuring John Lennon, "Philadelphia Freedom," and "One Day at a Time" blow the concept but up the entertainment value considerably. --Rob O'Connor
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 14, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: The Rocket Record Company
  • ASIN: B000001EGA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (212 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,022 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I could hardly wait in 1975 to acquire Elton's new album, one of the hundreds of thousands of people who bought the album as soon as it was available in record stores. I placed the record on the player, sure that I was going to hear another "Yellow Brick Road." Then I was puzzled. What kind of music was this? It was not simple pop with catchy tunes. It was, well, complicated, and sophisticated. It was also Elton's first concept album, and it took me a while to realize that this album was the story of Elton and Bernie's rise to fame, in what appeared to be a relatively short period of time, but which actually took from 1966 to occur.

As I said, this music is very complicated, sophisticated, and beautiful. There are some faster songs, but some of Elton's most carefully crafted music is here as well. The album begins with the title tune, a rock song with a bit of country flavor that represents the flamboyant heart of Elton, and the quieter, western-loving style of Bernie Taupin. The song alternates between a style reminiscent of "Madman Across the Water" to a style that was more fully realized in "Rock of the Westies."

In "The Tower of Babel" and "Bitter Fingers" the dynamic duo lament the difficulties of getting into the entertainment industry. The first song is about the difficulty of entry, the second is about being a stable hack for a record company, churning out songs by the basketful to make ends meet, never seeming to work fast enough or to earn enough. "Bitter Fingers" has a beautiful piano entry, which extends into the song. Elton at his performing best.

"Tell Me When the Whistle Blows" can play on several levels, depending on which part of the song.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy is the most personal album Elton John has ever recorded. A concept album, it conveys stories from the lives of Mr. John and his co-writer Bernie Taupin. The title track opens the album with an old west sound that tells of Captain Fantastic (Mr. John) and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (Mr. Taupin) and their search for fame. It is a great track. "Bitter Fingers" tells of the struggles of writing a hit song when your world is falling down around you. "(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket" is a ripper about a starving artist while "Better Off Dead" deals with Mr. John's dark thoughts. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" also deals with his suicidal thoughts and is actually based on a real life event in which Mr. John tried to kill himself by sticking his head in a lit oven. The song still managed to become a top ten hit despite its somber subject matter. "Curtains" closed the original album and it is an operatic, stirring finale to a brilliant album. The bonus tracks are three classics including his number one hit, reggae flavored version of The Beatles "Lucy In The Diamonds" which features Dr. Winston O'Boogie on guitar. Dr. O'Boogie is of course John Lennon who became good friends with Mr. John and also collaborated on the achingly beautiful "One Day At A Time". The album closes with another number one hit, the powerful, catchy and rolling "Philadelphia Freedom" which was written as a tribute another friend, Billie Jean King, named after her tennis team. Mr. John was so popular at this time that Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy became his sixth consecutive number one album and the first album ever to debut at number one on the Billboard album charts.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By anthony nasti on January 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
"Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy" has always been my favorite Elton John album, simply because it's one of the few albums that could be described as perfect. There is not a single clunker on this whole album, and the production is flawless.
Kicking off with the comforting and sophistsicated acoustic pickings of the title track, which depicts Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin as cowboys and the record company executives who rejected their early material as bandits who they must defeat before riding off into the sunset. "Tower Of Babel" and "Bitter Fingers" are two more denouncing diatribes against the music industry that are very good tracks, and "Tell Me When The Whistle Blows" features an eloquent orchestral arrangement by Gene Wood, who arranged some of Barry White's biggest hits in the early to mid '70s'. Next comes one of Elton's best - known and most - loved compositions. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" is a true classic with its simple, haunting piano intro, strong percussion, and Beach Boys - like harmonies on the tag. "Gotta Get A Meal Ticket" is a strong rocker featuring a screaming guitar intro. This is followed by the simple, almost funny "Better Off Dead", which preceeds my favorite track, "Writing". This perfectly sums up the way Bernie and Elton write a song. Following this is the luscious "We All Fall In Love Sometimes", which perfectly sums up the relationship between Elton and his faithful companion Bernie. Lastly, there's the haunting "Curtains", which denounces the early songs that they wrote together.
Like all of Elton's '70s' reissues, this one has several bonus tracks added.
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Elton John: Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
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