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Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

Frequently Bought Together

  • Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
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  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (2LP Vinyl)
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  • Madman Across the Water
Total price: CDN$ 63.61
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 3 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001EGA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,031 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
2. Tower Of Babel
3. Bitter Fingers
4. Tell Me When The Whistle Blows
5. Someone Saved My Life Tonight
6. (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket
7. Better Off Dead
8. Writing
9. We All Fall In Love Sometimes
10. Curtains
11. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
12. One Day At A Time
13. Philadelphia Freedom

Product Description

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 !


With titles like "(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket", "Writing" and "Bitter Fingers" ("Oh, could you knock a line or two together for a friend? /Sentimental, tear-inducing, with a happy end"), this was originally intended as a kind of concept album, loosely retracing the early careers and rise to fame of John and lyricist Bernie Taupin. Instead, it emerges as a clash between its singer's private and public faces, between the songwriter and the showman. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" (allegedly about a failed suicide bid) ranks with John's most tender confessionals and Taupin's best lyrics; while "We All Fall In Love Sometimes" is a wry and compassionate admission of unrequited romantic longing. But then, there's a superfluous reworking of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" (intended, it seemed, simply to commemorate the singer's newfound friendship with John Lennon) and the defiantly-upbeat "Philadelphia Freedom." So which was the real Elton? Tragedienne, or pop tart? Decades later, the answer is still far from clear. --Andrew McGuire

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Audio CD
If Elton John's career ever mirrored a baseball game, you could easily surmise that, just like in baseball when the bases are loaded and you need a hit, Elton not only delivered but knocked it out of the ball park with this release. It was 1975 and the incredible songwriting team of Elton John and Bernie Taupin was gradually reaching new heights with each release.
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is their finest album in all ways: production, melody, vocally and the best performance by his then band. In addition, these are likey to be the best lyrics Bernie Taupin ever penned. He is writing in the first person narrative for a change on all the songs. And, finally, Elton is singing lyrics that he can relate to because all of the songs are about the era when he and Bernie first met and stardom hadn't arrived (1967-1969).
The title track simply tells the story of their partnership: "Captain Fantastic, raised and regimented, hardly a hero, just someone his mother might know". How fitting a description for young Elton - shy, unassuming, average. While later on Elton sings: "Brown Dirt Cowboy, still green and growing...hand in hand went music and rhyme, the captain and the kid, stepping in the ring, from here on Sonny, it's a long and lonely climb." The melody starts with a country flare that rocks out during the chorus...a incredible arrangement that balances rock (Elton) with country (Taupin).
Tower of Babel hints at their first glimpse of the music business: "where were all your shoulders when we cried?" Taupin laments. "Bitter Fingers" tells the tale of the doing the club circuit as a struggling band.
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Format: Audio CD
When 1974's CARIBOU showed Elton John & Bernie Taupin under pressure to get another album out, doubts had to have been raised about whether the duo was losing their knack for spinning straw into gold. But by 1975, they had had about 5 years of massive superstar success behind them, enough for them to look back at their short-but-brilliant career with a concept album harkening back to their beginnings. Sometimes nostalgia isn't really a good thing, but it turned out to be an ace in the hole with 1975's CAPTAIN FANTASTIC & THE BROWN DIRT COWBOY.
The title appropriately signifies the two individual personas of Elton & Bernie, with Elton being the true showman (Captain Fantastic) & Bernie the more retiring, simplified person (Brown Dirt Cowboy). While 1973's GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD required a lot of the duo's energy & creativity, CAPTAIN FANTASTIC had to have been more of a labor of love with Elton & Bernie creating art first & commerce second. No one had to be more surprised than them when the album became the very first one ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard album charts.
The countryish opening title track introduces our two characters early in their careers when they were just beginning their partnership, writing music more for financial security than making history.
The bouncy "Tower Of Babel" could be the duo first witnessing the cutthroat atmosphere of the music industry with its prominent mood of patting itself on the back & considering themselves higher up than the talent it seeks to promote.
"Bitter Fingers" is a combination of both the previous songs with Elton & Bernie starting to make music for themselves, but finding out the bigwigs want the money to keep rolling in first. This is certainly one of Elton's greatest rockers, and one of his most overlooked.
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