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Caribou Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.1 out of 5 stars 27 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

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 23 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000001DQG
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,017 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. The Bitch Is Back
2. Pinky
3. Grimsby
4. Dixie Lily
5. Solar Prestige A Gammon
6. You're So Static
7. I've Seen The Saucers
8. Stinker
9. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
10. Ticking
11. Pinball Wizard
12. Sick City
13. Cold Highway
14. Step Into Christmas

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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
This album would rank well down in my list of favourites that I have put up. But I stil really like it. It reminded me of Reg Strikes back and [dare I say it] Victim of love when I first heard it because it had the same goofy charm of those albums. They are lovable silly albums that often come off as a lot of fun. Unpopularly, after 'Stinker' and 'I've seen the saucers' my favourite song would be 'Solar prestige A Gammon', it's so goofy you have to smile as soon as you hear Elton's fake Italian voice. Don't let the sun go down on me is quite a dramatic ballad. Also along with '21 AT 33', 'Ice on fire' and perhaps 'Don't shoot me ...' it is a jazz attempt, with a lot of brass. Though it is more in the vein of brass rock. I thought 'Pinky' was very beautiful and of-course 'Grimsby' I thought was cool. I know that word can mean anything but the way the guitar sounds, the tune, the lyrics ... 'Ticking' is a clever, dark piece and shows Taupin way ahead of his time, predicting the down-sides of obsession with a Religion. I think this song proves him a genius. And of-course, 'The B is back' rocks, so this deserves 5 stars.
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Format: Audio CD
This album suffered from a number of problems, the biggest one of which is that when you keep releasing album after album that pushes the edge, what are you going to follow up with? While many people were disappointed with this album because some of the songs are relatively lightweight, the core music here is solid, and there are a couple of gems. Furthermore, this album was one of the few Elton did that was nominated for album of the year.
Included in this re-release are four bonus songs, which I'll include in my review.
The songs that are the least serious and closest to being throwaway songs are "Pinky", "Grimsby", and "Solar Prestige a Gammon". Though there are chords that will seem familiar when compared to the music from "Captain Fantastic", these songs are not in the same league.
"You're so Static" and "Bitch is Back" are fast-moving songs in the vein of "Saturday Night's Alright for Fightin'" and "Your Sister Can't Dance" from "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road". I have to throw "Pinball Wizard" in this group because it is a fast rocker too, even though it stands out because it was originally a Who song, performed by Elton in the movie "Tommy".
"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" is an Elton John standard, beautiful lyrics and music, every bit as good as anything Elton's ever done.
There are two songs on here that I find personally satisfying, though neither is really pop. I'm not sure where they fit, actually. The first is "I've Seen the Saucers". The subject is just what the title says; it's a slow mellow song about visitors from another planet. I love science fiction, I love the song. It's one of the rare songs with a science fiction flavor that is done well and at least semi-seriously, versus silly songs like "Purple People Eater".
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Format: Audio CD
Without a doubt, "Caribou" is Elton John's worst album from the time when his career was at its zenith. Yet it is amazing that it does sound reasonably good at all, since it was recorded in a week during a short lull between concert gigs. Producer Gus Dudgeon's recent supervision of the album's CD remastering has yielded an album that sounds a lot better than my worn out LP. To their credit, the Elton John/Bernie Taupin team wrote several memorable tunes, most notably "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", "Bitch is Back" and "You're So Static" (However, the latter two sound a lot better on his classic concert album "Here and There".). Yet there is also the memorable "Ticking" with Elton John's fine piano playing and vocals underscoring the melancholy saga told in Bernie Taupin's lyrics. The bonus tracks include Elton's version of The Who's "Pinball Wizard" which was recorded for the film version of "Tommy" and a silly, Phil Spector-ish "Step into Christmas". This may not appeal to all Elton John fans, yet it is still worth buying.
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