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Caribou is the eighth album by the English singer-songwriter Elton John, released in 1974 (see 1974 in music). It was John's fourth chart-topping album in the United States and his third in the United Kingdom. The album contains the singles, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", which reached number 16 in the UK Singles Chart and number 2 in the US, and "The Bitch Is Back", which reached number 15 in the UK and number 4 in the US. Both these singles reached number 1 in Canada on the RPM 100 national Top Singles Chart (as did the album itself). The album was named for the Caribou Ranch recording studio, where part of the album was recorded. Elton and associates previously recorded three albums at Château d'Hérouville in France. In the US the album was certified gold in July 1974 and was certified platinum and 2x platinum in March 1993 by the RIAA. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards.
In the liner notes to the 1995 CD re-release, John described the album as being quickly recorded in January 1974, with only about 9 days to get everything recorded, as he and the band "were under enormous pressure" to finish the album and then immediately embark on a Japanese tour. Producer Gus Dudgeon would later add additional backing vocals, horns and other overdubs after John and the band had finished their work.
In addition to the singles, John has over the years played several others songs from this album in concert, including "Grimsby", "You're So Static", "Ticking" and "Dixie Lily". The 1995 CD reissue contains four songs from the general period in and around the "Caribou" release, though only two of them, the b-sides "Sick City" and "Cold Highway", were recorded during the album's sessions. "Step Into Christmas" was recorded during a previous one-off single session, and "Pinball Wizard" was recorded at The Who's Ramport Studios in England during the sessions for the "Tommy" movie score and soundtrack album.
- 2 B-sides
- 3 Personnel
- 4 Production
- 5 Charts
- 6 References
All songs by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.
- "The Bitch Is Back" – 3:44
- "Pinky" – 3:54
- "Grimsby" – 3:47
- "Dixie Lily" – 2:54
- "Solar Prestige a Gammon" – 2:52
- "You're So Static" – 4:52
- "I've Seen the Saucers" – 4:48
- "Stinker" – 5:20
- "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" – 5:36
- "Ticking" – 7:33
- "Pinball Wizard" (Pete Townshend) – 5:09
- "Sick City" – 5:23
- "Cold Highway" – 3:25
- "Step into Christmas" – 4:32
When MCA Records re-issued this album, on cassette tape, in the 1980s, "You're So Static" and "Stinker" were swapped in the album's running order. "You're So Static" also featured an early fade out.
At one point, the title of this album was to be Ol' Pink Eyes Is Back, a pun on Frank Sinatra's Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back.
On the 1995 CD, "You're So Static" is spelled incorrectly as "Your're So Static".
|"Sick City"||"Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" 7" (US/UK)|
|"Cold Highway"||"The Bitch Is Back" 7" (US/UK)|
- Elton John – vocals, piano
- Davey Johnstone – acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin
- Dee Murray – bass guitar, phased Pignose bass
- Nigel Olsson – drums
- Ray Cooper – tambourine, congas, whistle, vibes, snare, castanets, watergong, bells
- Bruce Johnston – backing vocals on track 9
- Carl Wilson – backing vocals on track 9
- Davey, Dee, and Nigel – backing vocals on tracks 2, 3 and 7)
- Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews, Jessie Mae Smith, Dusty Springfield, Toni Tennille, Billy Hinsche – additional backing vocals
- Brass – Tower of Power horn section
- David Hentschel – ARP synthesiser
- Lenny Pickett – tenor and soprano saxophone, clarinet
- Chester Thompson – organ
- Producer: Gus Dudgeon
- Engineers: Clive Franks, David Hentschel
- Assistant engineer: Peter Kelsey
- Arrangers: Daryl Dragon, Davey Johnstone, Del Newman
- Liner notes: John Tobler
- Recorded at: Caribou Ranch
|Preceded by||UK number-one album
13 – 20 July 1974
|Preceded by||US Billboard 200 number-one album
13 July – 9 August 1974
|Preceded by||Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
10–17 August 1974
The Sting (soundtrack) by Various artists
|Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
12 August – 20 October 1974