Monday 11/23/2020 1pm ET: Feature LP: Elton John – Captain Fantastic & The Brown Dirt Cowboy (1975) (30th Anniversary Edition)

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is the ninth studio album by Elton John. The album is an autobiographical account of the early musical careers of Elton John (Captain Fantastic) and his long-term lyricist Bernie Taupin (the Brown Dirt Cowboy). It was released in May 1975 by MCA in America and DJM in the UK and was an instant commercial success.

The album reached number 1 in its first week of release on the US Billboard 200, the first ever album to do so, reportedly selling 1.4 million copies within 4 days of release, and it stayed in that position in the chart for seven weeks.

Though they would all appear on later albums, this was the last album of the 1970s with the original lineup of the Elton John Band (guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray, and drummer Nigel Olsson). Murray and Olsson, who had formed John’s rhythm section since 1970, were sacked prior to the recording of the follow-up album Rock of the Westies, while Johnstone would leave in 1978. This was the last album until 1983’s Too Low for Zero that Elton John and his classic band would play on together.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 158 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list

1. “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” 5:46
2. “Tower of Babel” 4:28
3. “Bitter Fingers” 4:35
4. “Tell Me When the Whistle Blows” 4:20
5. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” 6:45
6. “(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket” 4:01
7. “Better Off Dead” 2:37
8. “Writing” 3:40
9. “We All Fall in Love Sometimes” 4:15
10. “Curtains” 6:15
11. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” 6:18
12. “One Day at a Time” 3:49
13. “Philadelphia Freedom” 5:22
14. “House of Cards”

Disc two (Live from “Midsummer Music” at Wembley Stadium, 21 June 1975)
1. “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy” 7:02
2. “Tower of Babel” 4:38
3. “Bitter Fingers” 5:06
4. “Tell Me When the Whistle Blows” 4:39
5. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” 7:17
6. “(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket” 7:19
7. “Better Off Dead” 3:01
8. “Writing” 5:30
9. “We All Fall in Love Sometimes” 3:57
10. “Curtains” 8:48
11. “Pinball Wizard” 6:31
12. “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” 7:40

Elton John – lead vocals, acoustic piano (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10), Fender Rhodes (1, 4, 5, 8), clavinet (4, 6), ARP String Ensemble (5), harmony vocals (7, 8), harpsichord (9, 10), mellotron (9, 10)
David Hentschel – ARP synthesizer (9, 10)
Davey Johnstone – acoustic guitar (1, 5-10), electric guitar (1-4, 6, 9, 10), mandolin (1), backing vocals (3, 5-10), Leslie guitar (5), acoustic piano (8)
Dee Murray – bass guitar, backing vocals (3, 5-10)
Nigel Olsson – drums, backing vocals (3, 5-10)
Ray Cooper – shaker (1, 5, 8), congas (1, 3, 4, 9, 10), gong (1), jawbone (1), tambourine (1-6, 9, 10), bells (3, 9, 10), cymbals (5), triangle (7, 8), bongos (8)
Gene Page – orchestral arrangements (4)

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