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Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

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Editors’ Notes

This sharply honed and impeccably catchy concept album casts Elton John as Captain Fantastic and lyricist Bernie Taupin as the Brown Dirt Cowboy in a semi-autobiographical version of the pair’s struggling early days. The 1975 LP shows off Elton’s stylistic leaps too—beautiful, languid ballads like “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” and “Curtains” mix with baroque, ivory-tickled poppers “Bitter Fingers” and “Better Off Dead.” Then Elton and the band rock hard on “(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket,” and offer up a randy slice of Philly-styled soul on “Tell Me When the Whistle Blows.”

Biography

Born: March 25, 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In terms of sales and lasting popularity, Elton John was the biggest pop superstar of the early '70s. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers with equal aplomb. He could dip into soul, disco, and country, as well as classic pop balladry and even progressive rock. His versatility, combined with his effortless melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and flamboyant stage shows, made him the most popular recording artist of the '70s....
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