LOS ANGELES (Rogers & Cowan) - "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy," one of the greatest albums in pop history, was the first album to debut on the Billboard album charts at No 1 and in fact debuted at No 1 on all three recognized charts of the era (Billboard, Cash Box and Record World). The certified triple platinum album was the pinnacle of Elton John's career at the time and covered, in an autobiographical fashion, the first almost 30 years of the lives of Elton and lyricist Bernie Taupin. It was their first genuine concept album, Bernie wrote the lyrics chronologically according to the events in their lives, Elton then wrote the music to the songs in the same order and producer Gus Dudgeon recorded them chronologically as well. The album's biggest chart hit, the gold, No 4 pop "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," is still considered one of the most emotionally charged songs Elton and Bernie have ever penned. Now the album itself celebrates its 30th anniversary.
Elton will commemorate the event not only with the release of the expanded, two-CD "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy -- Deluxe Edition" (Island/UMe) on September 13, 2005, but also by performing a series of historic sold-out concerts on September 16 and 17 at TD Banknorth Garden, Boston and September 21, 23 and 24 at Madison Square Garden, New York, where included in the repertoire he will perform the album in its entirety for the first time in over 30 years.
Disc One of "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy -- Deluxe Edition" includes the original full length recording of Captain Fantastic and adds bonus tracks originally issued as singles-only in 1974 and early 1975. Included is the John Lennon duet of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and Elton's rendition of the Lennon-written "One Day At A Time." The "Deluxe Edition" also contains "Philadelphia Freedom" and "House Of Cards" (the b-side to "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," making its debut on this Captain Fantastic reissue). "Philadelphia Freedom" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" each peaked at No 1 pop, both earning gold certification.
Disc Two of the "Deluxe Edition" will include, for the first time ever, the Wembley Stadium concert performance when on June 21, 1975 Elton boldly debuted the freshly released "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy" album in its entirety to just short of 120,000 people. In fact, it is the one and only time prior to this year's commemorative concerts that the album was played live in its entirety. Also heard on the "Deluxe Edition" are "Pinball Wizard" and "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting," which served as the Wembley Stadium encores. Elton's support acts on the memorable day included The Beach Boys, The Eagles, Rufus with Chaka Khan, Joe Walsh and Stackridge.
Thirty years on, "Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy -- Deluxe Edition" offers another listen to the album Taupin says, in the liner notes to the 1990 Elton box set "to be continued...," "(is) probably the finest album we've made."
Elton comments in an introduction that he has written specifically for the "Deluxe Edition," "It is ironic since we recorded this album that our lives have become the title. Bernie has become The Brown Dirt Cowboy living on a ranch in California raising Cutting horses and prize-winning bulls and I have become Captain Fantastic travelling from the edge of the world to your town collecting photography and art and living a life beyond my wildest dreams."
Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
Tower Of Babel
Tell Me When The Whistle Blows
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket
Better Off Dead
We All Fall In Love Sometimes
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (single)
One Day At A Time (b-side)
Philadelphia Freedom (single)
House Of Cards (b-side)
LIVE AT WEMBLEY JUNE 21 1975 (all tracks previously unreleased)
Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy (Live)
Tower Of Babel (Live)
Bitter Fingers (Live)
Tell Me When The Whistle Blows (Live)
Someone Saved My Life Tonight (Live)
(Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket (Live)
Better Off Dead (Live)
We All Fall In Love Sometimes (Live)
Pinball Wizard (Live)
Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting (Live)