Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

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.”

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