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The Captain and the Kid

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Audio CD, September 19, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

More than 30 years after its release, Elton John really HAS become Captain Fantastic and Bernie Taupin is most definitely The Brown Dirt Cowboy and they have made a sequel to that landmark #1 album. The Captain & The Kid tells the tale of not only their lives, but also of the fantastic records of the '60's & '70's when music was the most important voice of our culture and the was its prime vehicle. With Elton's 60th birthday coming up, its only right to reflect on a life he has lived to the fullest yet continue to push the musical boundaries forward. Whatever you favorite Elton album may be, after listening to The Captain & The Kid, you will transported back to that place in time when music mattered most and also believe that it still does! Thirty- five years later Elton & Bernie are as passionate about the music as they have ever been and any proof you need is in these 10 tracks known as The Captain & The Kid.

The degree to which you'll like The Captain & the Kid is going to depend on your personal history with Sir Elton John. If you're a resolute follower who was once reduced to a quivering mass of humility by "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and then revived by the blast of pop liberation that was "Philadelphia Freedom" (a single that later appeared on the CD version of Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, the album to which this disc is a sequel) you'll have enough invested to appreciate the concept. If, on the other hand, you're a late arrival to the Rocket Man's repertoire, you'll have to adjust your expectations. Kid, unlike more recent efforts, isn't aiming itself at the lite-FM listening masses. What it's asking instead is that you return yourself to your 1970s-era childhood bedroom, flop on the bed, and lock the door, or at least fasten an elastic band around your MTV-addled attention span. This is total-immersion music, and it's got 30 years worth of stories to tell.

The Captain and the Kid are John and Bernie Taupin, his longtime songwriting partner. The music, a choir-enhanced swerve through genres including pop, rock, blues, folk, and country with signature piano riffs thrown in nearly everywhere, chronicles their splintery relationship. Innocence and hope ("Postcards from Richard Nixon") give way to success and joy ("Just Like Noah's Ark"), which eventually leads to discontent ("Tinderbox") and disaster ("And the House Fell Down"). A shot at redemption ("The Bridge") later finds the Captain; reflection ("Old 67") and a joyous reunion (the title track) follow.

Theirs is ultimately a simple story, but John and Taupin suffuse it with hypnotic sentimentality--along with the narrative, echoes of past hits wander into several classic-sounding tracks. "Tiny Dancer" darts through the cracked-voice beauty of "Blues Never Fade Away" and "The Bridge," for example, while "Wouldn't HaveYou Any Other Way (NYC)" works in hints at both "Candle in the Wind" and "Where to Now St. Peter." Other songs shake loose less likely influences ("I Must Have Lost it on the Wind" sounds like something off a vintage Linda Ronstadt album), but all are compellingly steeped in context; if you don't get the late-disc reference to fine silk suits and six-inch heels, you'll wish you did. --Tammy La Gorce

Selected Favorites from Elton John

Tumbleweed Connection

Madman Across the Water

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Honky Chateau

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Box Set)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Postcards From Richard Nixon 5:15$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Just Like Noah's Ark 5:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way (NYC) 4:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Tinderbox 4:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. And The House Fell Down 4:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Blues Never Fade Away 4:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Bridge 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. I Must Have Lost It On The Wind 3:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Old 67 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. The Captain and The Kid 5:01$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rocket
  • ASIN: B000H7JDVI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,463 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By C. Beyer on October 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Having grown up with the radio during Elton John's reign on top of the American charts in the early-to-mid 1970s, I've always had a soft spot for his music, even after moving on musically in college in the 1980s. Especially since I learned to play piano by butchering his songs from this period, and was lucky enough to see him live at his famous Dodger Stadium gig in 1975 (my first rock concert) and in intimate shows like his pre-"Unplugged" tour with Ray Cooper in 1979. His classic albums from Madman through Capt. Fantastic were always within reach in my collection even when I more often listened to the Clash or R.E.M., and despite the lack of radio hits, Captain Fantastic was always my favorite, due to the strength of the highly personal songs and the superb production by the late Gus Dudgeon. I still recall listening to the album while poring over the "scrapbook" included in the packaging in my bedroom in southern California, wondering what a "Bank Giro Credit" and other Britishisms meant, and marvelling at how the flashy showman and his writer started out as a shy musical dreamers composing in his mother's living room.

So it was with some trepidation that I ordered The Captain and the Kid, given that a less-than-stellar outing from the Rocket Man would leave me with the feeling that they were trying to cash in on the old magic with longtime fans like me by releasing something not worthy of the connection to the great original. Like Paul McCartney, Elton is a musical genius who bears the curse of artistic survival and longevity, so that any new material released inevitably pales next to the timeless output of his peak years. Some will no doubt recoil at the McCartney comparison, as Sir Elton has clearly had more shining moments past his prime than has Sir Paul.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By R. Fleischer on September 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've been an Elton John fan since 1972 when I was 12 years old. Elton and Bernie were my introduction into the adult music of pop and rock and roll. I won his 1st Greatest Hits album from a local radio station and bought Goodbye Yellow Brick Road shortly thereafter. It was my 1st album. I remember buying Captain Fantastic the day it came out, the record cover seemed to be worth the price of admission alone. The songs on this album had a more unique and intricate structure than his usual pop hits and this soon became a very special and personal album for me. Its been my favorite. I love all of his classic work through Rock of the Westies and even though I followed all of his releases throughout the 80's, he kind of lost me along the way. While it was always a treat to see him perform live, his studio efforts just didn't reach me anymore.

While Songs from the West Coast was a return to form, it hasn't appeared in my CD player for a while. And now Elton and Bernie are releasing a follow up to Captain Fantastic? Why even try to attempt something so challenging? It seems that they are just setting themselves up for a big fall with this one. It would seem an impossible task to follow up that classic and it was certainly impossible to create anything 3 decades after Rock of the Westies that could hold a place in the pantheon of those classic early EJ albums. Yes, what they are trying to do here is totally IMPOSSIBLE!!!

Well ladies and gents, I have news for you. Elton and Bernie have done the impossible. You can read all the details about the songs and music in other reviews, but for this long time EJ and BT fan, a miracle has happened. This album is as tight as Tumbleweed, Honkey Chateau, and even Captain Fantastic.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Parkin on September 22, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The sound on Elton John's The Captain And The Kid is a definite risk. It could have easily sounded like a lame re-creation. But it actually does sound like classic Elton John! There's a lot of piano, and instead of sounding outdated, it drives along his thoughtful lyrics and strong melodies like it always did. There are also no overdone or obvious hooks - the hooks are there, but they don't overwhelm the music. Elton also sounds very good, though perhaps with a little less range. Overall, this ranks among his better albums, even if not quite up to some of his old stuff.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dennis De Vet on September 26, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I bought the Captain and the Kid last saturday and intially i thought it was a pretty good CD. In the meantime i have listened to it several times and i am noticing that i am finding the whole cd better after each time i hear it. I am fan of 'songs of the west coast'...but that CD has in my opinion a couple of forgetable songs mixedwith some fantastic songs. I don't like peach tree road so much i must say. But this one, the captain and the kid, is in my opinion a very strong candidate to become an Elton Classic. There's not one weak song on the CD and a couple of them (..and the house fell down, captain and the kid) are absolutely brilliant.

For all of you who written an average review on the day they bought this cd i am curious to know if they have changed there opinion as well.... because this one deserves to be listened to several times before writing a review in my opion. I am deeply impressed that Elton after 35 years is still capable of writing such incredible songs. 2 thumbs up!!
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The mystery of '12'...

Many of you who have bought a copy of The Captain and the Kid and have pored over the lyrics book are wondering about the additional two sets of lyrics, Across The River Thames and 12. Across The River Thames was recorded... Read More
Sep 21, 2006 by Mary A. Gawenda |  See all 10 posts
deluxe version
I got the 'delux' version in Europe. The CD is great. The DVD is only OK. Its an interview with Bernie & Elton, and nothing you won't read about over the next while.
Oct 12, 2006 by tenaka |  See all 4 posts
Answer me this!
I just read a review of this album in Time magazine. They sound very positive about the album. I think everyone is wondering why it has taken Elton so long to find the sound he had in the 70s.
Sep 12, 2006 by Lonnie E. Holder |  See all 8 posts
Why can't I pre-listen to this album
You can go on and listen to a 30 second sample of all the songs.
Oct 10, 2006 by M. Klemt |  See all 2 posts
The first was a classic, but...
Judging from what I've heard so far, I think you're going to be most pleased with this cd. Both "Tinderbox" and "The Captain and the Kid" have been stuck in my head for the past few days; It's been awhile since Elton's written melodies so irresitable.
Sep 12, 2006 by Pianoman |  See all 4 posts
Elton, his lyricist and his piano.... Be the first to reply
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