The Elton John CD Review

Caribou (1974)

1.The Bitch is Back
4.Dixie Lily
5.Solar Prestige A Gammon
6.You're So Static
7.I've Seen the Saucers
9.Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Bonus Tracks:
11.Pinball Wizard
12.Sick City
13.Cold Highway
14.Step Into Christmas


The first release to be recorded in the USA. The title of the album is named after the studio in Colorado where the album was recorded. This was a contractual obligation album that had to be done in ten days so Elton could do a tour of Japan. Although you have to appreciate the genius to turn out work so quickly under pressure, it's sad that many of the seams do, in fact, show through.

The album does in fact have an "American" sound to it complete with appearances from members of The Beach Boys, Captain and Tennille and the Tower of Power brass group. That's not necessarily bad, but many songs haven't aged particularly well. Even the album jacket should be awarded the ugliest cover; featurning Elton with a velvet leopard unbuttoned pullover on the front and a light blue and pink leisure suit on the back.

Having said that, there are some wonderful songs on the album. Ironically, the best of the lot, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me was not liked by Elton at all at first, and he had to be persuaded to leave it on the finished piece. Other gems include the romantically juvenile Pinky, the mock country piece Dixie Lily and the disturbing Ticking which features only piano and synthesizer about a troubled teenager going on a shooting rampage. Of course The Bitch is Back is a welcome addition anywhere and does a great job leading of the record in its hard rocking fashion.

There's plenty not to like as well, alas. Grimsby is pretty awful as is Stinker and I've Seen the Saucers. Solar Prestige A Gammon, which is literal lyric nonsense in response to those looking for hidden evil messages, is just about the worst song Elton ever did. Overall, you could classify this album as "o.k." since there are a few fine songs that are scattered about the record.

One wishes he a bit more than ten days.

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