Artist: Elton John
Release date: 1974
Favorite track: “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”
“Caribou” is not my favorite Elton John album — though it does flaunt the two hits, “The Bitch is Back” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me.” I wanted to forewarn you, however, none of the other songs really move me in a major way.
The album was named for the Caribou Ranch recording studio in Colorado, where part of the album was recorded.
The record starts off rockin’ with one of Elton’s most-known songs, “The Bitch is Back.” It’s also featured in the new musical movie about Elton, “Rocketman.” This is a classic because it’s so dang catchy and hard-hitting.
The record slows into what I call sentimental rock with a song called “Pinky.” The lyrics are sweet, but it’s not my favorite musically. I do have a friend, however, who always called me Pinky as a nickname.
“Grimsby” and “Dixie Lily” have some country influence that sounds appropriate with the vocals. The album is a slightly bizarre compilation of genres.
“Solar Prestige A Gammon” is honestly the strangest song, but every musician needs one. Elton sang it in a faux Italian accent that sounds perfect for an "SNL" skit or a campy film.
I like the title “You’re So Static,” but the music doesn’t do much for me.
I mostly wish I knew the meaning behind “I’ve Seen the Saucers.” I’ve read a thousand interpretations online. If it’s not about love, war, the music industry or aliens, then I have no idea. I do think the tempo is true to Elton’s strengths.
“Stinker” is fun because of its classic blues style. It has epic, fun lyrics, too. Not many people would dare to use a word like “stinker” in a song.
Say what you will but I’m a stinker
I come crawling up out of my hole
Dirt in my toes, dirt up my nose
I’m a perfect curse to pest control
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” highlights Elton’s strong suits. It has emotion, soul and a passionate message. I prefer the version with George Michael.
Don’t let the sun go down on me
Although I search myself, it’s always someone else I see
— “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”
I love how “Ticking” carries on in the same manner. It could’ve been a single.
I’ve always really loved this album cover because it was one of the first photos I ever saw of Elton John when I was younger.
His outfit — the tiger-print top baring his chest and gaudy sunglasses — was so flashy. And he wore this sort of goofy smile. I liked him from the get-go.
The back cover also features some wicked cool 1970s fashion. This is definitely a must-have album cover for my collection.