Tuesday 11pm: Feature LP – Elton John – Caribou (1974)

Elton_John_-_CaribouCaribou, the 1974 album by Elton John, was his fourth chart-topping album in the United States and his third in the United Kingdom. It was the eighth official album release for John. The album contains the singles, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”, which reached number 16 in the UK Singles Chart and number 2 in the US, and “The Bitch Is Back”, which reached number 15 in the UK and number 4 in the US. Both these singles reached number 1 in Canada on the RPM 100 national Top Singles Chart (as did the album itself). In the US the album was certified gold in July 1974 and was certified platinum and 2x platinum in March 1993 by the RIAA. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards.

In the liner notes to the 1995 CD re-release, John described the album as being quickly recorded in January 1974, with only about 9 days to get everything recorded, as he and the band “were under enormous pressure” to finish the album and then immediately embark on a Japanese tour. Producer Gus Dudgeon would later add additional backing vocals, horns and other overdubs after John and the band had finished their work. Dudgeon later called the album “a piece of crap … the sound is the worst, the songs are nowhere, the sleeve came out wrong, the lyrics weren’t that good, the singing wasn’t all there, the playing wasn’t great and the production is just plain lousy”.

The album was named for the Caribou Ranch recording studio, where part of the album was recorded.

In addition to the singles, John has over the years played several others songs from this album in concert, including “Grimsby”, “You’re So Static”, “Ticking” and “Dixie Lily”. The 1995 CD reissue contains four songs from the general period in and around the “Caribou” release, though only two of them, the b-sides “Sick City” and “Cold Highway”, were recorded during the album’s sessions. “Step Into Christmas” was recorded during a previous one-off single session, and “Pinball Wizard” was recorded at The Who’s Ramport Studios in England during the sessions for the “Tommy” movie score and soundtrack album.

“The Bitch Is Back” – 3:44
“Pinky” – 3:54
“Grimsby” – 3:47
“Dixie Lily” – 2:54
“Solar Prestige a Gammon” – 2:52
“You’re So Static” – 4:52
“I’ve Seen the Saucers” – 4:48
“Stinker” – 5:20
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” – 5:36
“Ticking” – 7:33
“Pinball Wizard” – 5:09
“Sick City” – 5:23
“Cold Highway” – 3:25
“Step into Christmas” – 4:32

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