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Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (Deluxe Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

“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 deluxe edition features bonuses in two Number One singles (“Philadelphia Freedom” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”), two B-sides (“House of Cards” and John Lennon’s “One Day at a Time”) and a Wembley Stadium-recorded take on the entirety of Captain Fantastic from June 1975, the month of its release.

Customer Reviews

Interesting Listening

Captain Fantastic is an incredible blend of meaningful musical styles and heartfelt lyrics that puts it in the upper tier of rock albums. The deluxe package inclusion of album's first live perforance makes for an interesting comparison with the stuido version. While you might miss Nigel Olsson and Dee Murray, and have every right to, the curiousity of hearing the "new" band interpret the material more agressively is worth the purchase if you are any sort of music fan, not just of Elton John.

A True Classic Is Born Again

The first time I heard this album was in 1975 and was completely blown away by it. Throughout the years I would say that I've owned at least five different versions of it and now I can say that this is the best version yet. It's not the studio version that does it for me, but the live version of Captain Fantastic. I've seen Elton John live quite a few times, but this is him at his best. His voice is so much better than it is in later years. If you've ever been curious why Elton's been around so long just listen to the album.

Captain Fantastic

Despite the heavy airplay of someone saved my life tonight and Philadelphia freedom, I missed a lot of this album in the 70's. I have recently "discovered" it, and this is a great pop album! Elton John gives a primer on how to make an album full of great songs and melodies that certrainly stand the test of time!

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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