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Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy [Original recording remastered]

Elton John Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 9.05 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy + Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Remastered) + Don't Shoot Me I'm Only The Piano Player
Price For All Three: CDN$ 30.28

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

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

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Slam! July 10 2004
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent !
Published 1 month ago by Robert Poore
5.0 out of 5 stars Elton John at his best
This is one of my favourite for bouncy, happy music.....Some soft songs as well. It has a good variety, and Elton John is superb.
Published 9 months ago by flomac
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
Elton has some masterful songs here. "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and "Tower of Babel" are two of the best on this CD. Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by J. McAndrew
3.0 out of 5 stars His best? I don't agree!
While I loved 3 of the songs, the title track, Someone Saved my Life Tonight, of course, and Tower of Babel, I couldn't get through the rest. Read more
Published on March 3 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Elton John Album
"Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy" has always been my favorite Elton John album, simply because it's one of the few albums that could be described as perfect. Read more
Published on Jan. 28 2004 by anthony nasti
5.0 out of 5 stars A great 70's album
It starts off with a great folk song which contains elements of pop, the title track. The guitar is good. The song is abotu Elton and Bernie. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by Tnahpellee
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Chocolate Biscuits
Taking the CD of this work from Elton out of it's case, or pulling out your old record, or popping in your old tape cassette of it and pushing play, is like opening up Elton and... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2004 by Barry
4.0 out of 5 stars Elton's peak
This 1975 release opened at number one on the charts. It may be the only concept album in the history of music to do that. Read more
Published on Dec 29 2003 by Levi Stofer
4.0 out of 5 stars Elton's Best Album
...to me this is Elton's best album. It represents everything good in Elton John music: chock full of memorable lyrics and tunes you find yourself singing long after they're... Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by James Choma
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Elton's Best CDs
This cd is excellent. This is classic Elton John when he was at the peak of his career. The musicianship is great from Elton John's keyboards,Nigel Olson's drums,Davey Jonstone's... Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2003 by Mike S
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