Tuesday, June 24, 2014

40 Year Itch: The Bitch Is Back

"I could fart and reach Number 1" -Elton John, 1974

   And now the backlash begins for hit maker Elton John whose follow-up to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Caribou --released on June 24, 1974-- is derided as a "startlingly empty experience" in a Rolling Stone review entitled "The Maestro of Mediocrity". 

     Naturally, it would sell double Platinum in the US, vault past Gordon Lightfoot's Sundown to #1 and feature to Top Five singles "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" ( with backing vocals from Toni Tennille and Carl Wilson with help from The Captain)  and "The Bitch is Back" ( with John Lennon on tambourine and backing vocals from Dusty Springfield).

     A confessed rush job, knocked out the Caribou Ranch outside Denver,  Caribou still manages to offer a few deep cuts of interest.  "Ticking" is the stand-out, a haunting, melodramatic account of a teenager who goes on a shooting spree. It's sad to think how much more relevant this tune has become since it was recorded.

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