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Elton John: Caribou Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.3 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, February 20, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

The Bitch Is Back kicks off this 1974 #1, followed later on the LP by another classic Elton John hit of the era, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me . Guests: Dusty Springfield, Carl Wilson, Tower of Power and Toni Tenille!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 20, 1996)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: The Rocket Record Company
  • ASIN: B000001DQG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,960 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Cliche on "Caribou" is it was a rush job. But, we're talking about Elton John here. He wrote double album classic "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" in a weekend, and smash hit "Sad Songs Say So Much" in a reported three minutes. On "Caribou" "The Bitch Is Back" is a rocking, shaker; "Pinky" a beautiful ballad; "Dixie Lilly" is a catchy country tune, "I've Seen The Saucers" examines UFO scares, "Ticking" about a teen who loses his mind and goes on a shooting rampage; and of course "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" - an all time classic. The other tunes are fun rockers all mixed up unexpectedly in brilliant Elton John style. Unbelievable vocal range of the young Captain Fantastic, and entertaining lyrics from Bernie Taupin.
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Format: Audio CD
This album came at a time when Elton could seemingly do no wrong. He sold out shows across the world. His albums went to #1 as did his collaborations with John Lennon "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and The Who: "Pinball Wizard" which appears on this remastered edition in all its piano-pounding glory. However, the strain of success was beginning to take a toll on Elton. His recording sessions in Caribou Studios, Colorado were rushed. Elton refused to sing on a number of occasions. He even considered "Don't Let the Sung Go Down on Me", the big hit on this album, to be awful and suggested they give it to British pop star Lulu to sing...Credit Gus Dudgeon's producing for salvaging this one.

Throughout many of the tracks you can hear Brian Wilson lending his vocals. Indeed, many of the vocal arrangmenets have a Beach Boys feel. There are superb harmonies on "I've Seen the Saucers", "Pinky" and "Don't Let the Sun..." There are also some classic stadium rockers: "The Bitch is Back", "Stinker" and "I'm So Static". Elton and Taupin still manage to add a rather silly song in the mix, "Solar Prestige a Gammon", a song about absolutely nothing with words that only sound like words. Still, Elton belts out the song in his cheeriest.

"Dixie Lily" is a great country tune, showboat whistles and all, while the tragic "Ticking" has to be one of the best songs Elton and Taupin have ever written. To my mind, as close to a tear-jerker as anything they've ever composed.

The remastered edition also has a great B-Side called "Cold Highway", a pop song which exploits changing time signatures. Superb horn work on this song. Then there is trhe campy, "Step Into Christmas", but hey...what holiday song isn't? It's as good a Christmas song as any original Xmas song any rockster has put out.

Despite the strain of writing and touring, Elton still found room for another classic album...and yes, the album cover is awful, but come on...It was 1974!
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Format: Audio CD
After the mammoth classic that was 1973's GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD, Elton John & his lyricist Bernie Taupin had to have felt a bit drained creatively after having put their whole talents into that album. In today's music industry, an artist would be allowed to lay low afterwards to regain the energy. But with Elton's two-albums-a-year contract back in the mid-1970s, a follow-up was needed, even if the duo had little to offer this time around. Because of these conditions, 1974's CARIBOU is often given a cold shoulder in Elton's long career. True, it's not the all-out bomb it's often thought to be, but it certainly is no blockbuster either.

CARIBOU had been written & recorded in the small space of about a month in order to be released ahead of a large world tour, and the album has more than a few hallmarks of it being a rushed affair. Had Elton & Bernie been given more time to record this album, chances are the songs included would either have been worked on further or discarded altogether. But with what we've got, analysis is still necessary.

First off, the sour grapes. "Grimsby" has been long considered a joke recording that in retrospect is quite distasteful. I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly is several steps down from Elton & Bernie's best.

"Solar Prestige A Gammon" was said to be written in response to critics' overanalyzation of the duo's music, so its meaninglessness is perhaps intentional. But while Paul McCartney managed to make a classic out of roasting his naysayers ("Silly Love Songs"), Elton & Bernie don't make their riposte go down as well.

"I've Seen The Saucers" is about UFO sightings, which nevertheless just shows how Elton & Bernie were stretching for material to complete the album.
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Format: Audio CD
From 1970 to 1973, Elton John produced a body of studio work on par with the finest material anybody has ever recorded over a comparable time span. By the time 1974's "Caribou" appeared, EJ was a fixture in the pop-music stratosphere. This album was released as a launch pad for EJ's much-anticipated world concert tour, and given this backdrop, may explain the relative simplicity of many of the tunes contained here. To be sure, this collection lacks the variety of tone and texture that made its immediate predecessor, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" such a satisfying listening experience, but one shouldn't sell "Caribou" short. In addition to its signature offering, the monstrously popular "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"---this set is uniformly tuneful, and contains two of EJ's most memorable rockers, the chart-topping hit "The Bitch is Back" and the driving "She's So Static," both songs propelled by the stellar horn section of Tower of Power. By contrast, the love song "Pinky" features a lovely melody (the lyrics are to some a bit sappy). "Stinker" is an earthy blues with a funny lyric that features the pulsating bass of Dee Murray (the TOP horns again contribute here). "Ticking" stands as one of Elton's most memorable epic story-telling ballads---excellent piano accents punctuate the discordant theme. "I've Seen the Saucers" successfully mocks the early 70's media obsession with the UFO phenomenon, and is also appropriately "spacey" in musical terms. "Dixie Lily" is a tribute to a paddle-boat, the customary country-tinged offering on this album, while "Grimsby" extolls the virtues of seaside village life. Both songs are of the "hum-along" variety---melodic but without high distinction.Read more ›
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