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July 21, 2017

Ten Things You May Not Have Known About 'Don’t Shoot Me…' and Caribou'

In celebration of today’s 180gm vinyl reissues of Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player and Caribou (both remastered by Grammy Award winning mastering engineer Bob Ludwig) we offer ten things you may not have known about Elton’s 6th and 8th studio albums.

Elton's 71st year is shaping up to be even better already, with...

Elton, producer Gus Dudgeon, and Bernie Taupin during the Caribou sessions.
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Elton, producer Gus Dudgeon, and Bernie Taupin during the Caribou sessions.

  1. Caribou rode the #1 album position in the US for four weeks, staying on the Billboard Top 200 chart for over a year, while also topping the UKAC for two of its 18 weeks on that list.
  2. The album’s ten songs, plus two non-LP B sides, Sick City and Cold Highway, were written and recorded at Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO, in just over a week during January 1974 and released a mere six months later.
  3. It is the second of six studio albums Elton has named in reference to where they were created: Honky ChâteauCaribouRock Of The WestiesMade In EnglandSongs From The West Coast, and Peachtree Road.
  4. Two of the background singers on Caribou also had successful careers of their own. Dusty Springfield (on The Bitch Is Back) was a massive star in the 1960s, with hit songs that included I Only Want To Be With YouYou Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, and Son Of A Preacher Man. Toni Tennille (on Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me) was the singer in Captain & Tennille, who charted in the 1970s with Love Will Keep Us TogetherLonely Night (Angel Face), and Muskrat Love, amongst others.
  5. The press continued to be keen on Elton, singling out the album’s first 45: “Not only is [Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me] one of Taupin’s finest set of lyrics, Elton’s vocal and Dudgeon’s production work convey brilliantly the desperation and urgency of the words,” wrote Robert Hilburn in the Los Angeles Times. And Jim Linck noted in the News-Press/Daily Review that Caribou “continues Elton John’s unbroken string of hit albums that contain some of the best music being played today.”
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