Elton John – Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy Album

Side one
No. Title Length
1. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy 5:46
2. Tower of Babel 4:28
3. Bitter Fingers 4:35
4. Tell Me When the Whistle Blows 4:20
5. Someone Saved My Life Tonight 6:45
Side two
No. Title Length
6. (Gotta Get a) Meal Ticket 4:01
7. Better Off Dead 2:37
8. Writing 3:40
9. We All Fall in Love Sometimes 4:15
10. Curtains 6:15

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy is the ninth studio album by British singer and composer Elton John.

In chronological order and autobiographical intention, the ten original songs of the original album, beginning with Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, describe the initial difficulties of composer John and his copywriter Bernie Taupin at the beginning of their common career.

In the mid-1970s, John was exceptionally popular in the U.S.A. Since his LP Honky Château his albums regularly reached # 1 on the US Billboard 200 Chart. Due to the many pre-orders, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy started in first place. It was the first album ever to succeed, and stayed there for a period of seven weeks.

The texts were written by Bernie Taupin for Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy following a chronological sequence. It is a concept album that gives an autobiographical insight into the efforts of John (Captain Fantastic) and Taupin (the Brown Dirt Cowboy) to master them in the early years of their musical career in London from 1967 to 1969 had. The original vinyl album was accompanied by a text and a photo booklet, which took up the zeitgeist of the time and complemented Taupin’s poetry.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight, the only single release on the album, is a semi-autobiographical story about John’s unfortunate engagement to Linda Woodrow and his attempted suicide in 1969. The “Someone” refers to Long John Baldry, who convinced him to break the engagement before John would ruin his musical career because of this marriage. The editor of the music magazine Rolling Stone, Jon Landau, called this title the best on this album. “As long as Elton John is able to release tracks like ‘Someones Saved My Life Tonight’ on his albums, there’s a chance he’ll become more than just the great entertainer he already is and a lasting contributor to rock music will afford. ”

In an interview with Cameron Crowe in 2006, John said, “I always thought that Captain Fantastic might be my finest album because it was not commercial in any way. We had titles like Someone Saved My Life Tonight, which is one of the best songs Bernie and I have ever written. But whether a song like this could be a single today because it’s more than six minutes long is questionable. Captain Fantastic was written from beginning to end in an order, like a kind of story that comes to the events of failure – or trying desperately to avoid it. We lived this story. ”

John, Taupin, and the band worked harder and longer on this album than maybe any other previous recording they had completed by that time. Unlike the rather quick, almost factory-like process of writing and recording an album in just a few days, or at most a few weeks (such as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road), the team spent the greater part of the month at Caribou Ranch Studios working on the Recordings. The producer Gus Dudgeon was visibly impressed and very happy with the results. The music producer was mentioned in Elizabeth Rosenthal’s book “His Song” as a person who meticulously and closely followed all of John’s recording work. He said that in his opinion, Captain Fantastic was the best the band and Elton had ever played. He praised John and Taupin’s linguistic work and their writing skills. “There is not a title on it that is less than incredible,” said Dudgeon.

The cover of the album was created by Pop Art artist Alan Aldridge.

In 1976, Bally Manufacturing developed a pinball machine for Penny Arcade and named it “Capt. Fantastic “. In the art work by Dave Christensen, John was portrayed on the glass of the headdress in his role as Pinball Wizard of the film and rock opera Tommy.

In 1977 Bally Manufacturing introduced the pinball machine “Capt. Fantastic “as a new edition for home use on the market. The artistic work-up was done by Alan Aldridge.

John was known for his very well designed albums. The equipment of Captain Fantastic, however, was suitable to put all previously released LPs in the shade. The original LP included a booklet with the lyrics of the songs, called “Lyrics”, which surprisingly starts with Dogs in the Kitchen. However, this title has never been completed and is therefore not among the recordings. Another booklet was called “Scraps” (English for leftovers, blend), which contained a collection of excerpts such as handwritten lyrics, diary entries and other personal memories of John and Taupin from the years of the album chronicle. Also, the LP was accompanied by a poster of the album cover. The 2005 Deluxe Edition on CD had smaller copies. A limited number of copies was pressed on brown vinyl.

This was the last album to Too Low for Zero, which recorded the original Elton John band together.

The 2006 album The Captain & the Kid is the continuation of the autobiography, picking up where Captain Fantastic left off.

The album is referred to as John’s masterpiece and culmination of his musical creativity. In 2003 Rolling Stone Magazine published a list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The surveyed 271 artists put “Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy” at number 158.