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Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Elton John

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iTunes Editors' Notes

This album is Mastered for iTunes. “Hardly a hero,” Elton “Captain Fantastic” John introduces himself in the title track, “just someone his mother might know.” In this concept album’s narrative, the star’s self-mocking uber-hero persona was quickly discarded (the Brown Dirt Cowboy was lyricist/Western fetishist Bernie Taupin); the overall theme is the team’s struggling early days. This set—the first rock LP to debut at Number One in Billboard—reflected the omnivorous stylistic leaps that accompanied Elton’s rise. Epic ballads (“Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” “Curtains”) sat next to smirking hard rock (“(Gotta Get a) Meal Ticket”) and Philly soul (“Tell Me When the Whistle Blows”). It was his melodic gift, not to mention the band’s tightness, that held it all together. This remastered edition features as bonuses two Number One singles (“Philadelphia Freedom” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” along with the latter’s John Lennon-penned B-side, “One Day at a Time”) from the period immediately before the album’s original 1975 release.


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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