Elton John - Caribou

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Elton John - Caribou.jpg
Studio album by Elton John
Released 28 June 1974
Recorded Caribou Ranch, Colorado; Brother Studios, Santa Monica, California, January 1974
Genre Rock, pop
Length 45:15
Label MCA Records
Island Records
The Rocket Record Company
Mercury Records

DJM Records
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John Greatest Hits
Singles from Caribou
  1. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
    Released: 20 May 1974
  2. "The Bitch is Back"
    Released: 3 September 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars
Robert Christgau (B+)
Rolling Stone (not rated)


  "Caribou", the 1974 album by Elton John, was his fourth chart-topping album in the United States and his third in the United Kingdom. It was the eighth official album release for John. The album contains the singles, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", which reached number 16 in the UK Singles Chart and number 2 in the US, and "The Bitch is Back", which reached number 15 in the UK and number 4 in the US. Both these singles reached number 1 in Canada on the RPM 100 national Top Singles Chart (as did the album itself). In the US the album was certified gold in July 1974 and was certified platinum and 2x platinum in March 1993 by the RIAA. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the 17th Annual Grammy Awards.



In the liner notes to the 1995 CD re-release, John described the album as being quickly recorded in January 1974, with only about 9 days to get everything recorded, as he and the band "were under enormous pressure" to finish the album and then immediately embark on a Japanese tour. Producer Gus Dudgeon would later add additional backing vocals, horns and other overdubs after John and the band had finished their work.

The album was named for the Caribou Ranch recording studio, where part of the album was recorded.

In addition to the singles, John has over the years played several others songs from this album in concert, including "Grimsby", "You're So Static", "Ticking" and "Dixie Lily". The 1995 CD reissue contains four songs from the general period in and around the "Caribou" release, though only two of them, the b-sides "Sick City" and "Cold Highway", were recorded during the album's sessions. "Step Into Christmas" was recorded during a previous one-off single session, and "Pinball Wizard" was recorded at The Who's Ramport Studios in England during the sessions for the "Tommy" movie score and soundtrack album.

Track listing

All songs by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "The Bitch is Back" – 3:44
  2. "Pinky" – 3:54
  3. "Grimsby" – 3:47
  4. "Dixie Lily" – 2:54
  5. "Solar Prestige a Gammon" – 2:52
  6. "You're So Static" – 4:52
Side two
  1. "I've Seen the Saucers" – 4:48
  2. "Stinker" – 5:20
  3. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" – 5:36
  4. "Ticking" – 7:33


Song Format
"Sick City" "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" 7" (US/UK)
"Cold Highway" "The Bitch Is Back" 7" (US/UK)


  • Elton John – vocals, pianos, organ on track 9
  • Davey Johnstone – acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, backing vocals
  • Dee Murray – bass guitar, phased Pignose bass, backing vocals
  • Nigel Olsson – drums, backing vocals
  • Ray Cooper – tambourine, congas, whistle, vibes, snare, castanets, watergong, tubular bells, maracas
Additional musicians
  • Bruce Johnstone – backing vocals on track 9
  • Carl Wilson – backing vocals on track 9
  • Cludie King, Sherlie Matthews, Jessie Mae Smith, Dusty Springfield, Toni Tennille, Billy Hinsche – additional backing vocals
  • Tower of Power - horn section on tracks 1, 6, 8, 9
  • David Hentschel – ARP synthesizers on tracks 2, 5, 10; mellotron on track 9
  • Lenny Pickett – tenor saxophone on track 1, soprano saxophone on tracks 4, 5; clarinet on track 5
  • Chester Thompson – Hammond organ on track 8
  • Producer: Gus Dudgeon
  • Engineers: Clive Franks, David Hentschel
  • Assistant engineer: Peter Kelsey
  • Arrangers: Daryl Dragon, Davey Johnstone, Del Newman
  • Liner notes: John Tobler
  • Recorded at: Caribou Ranch


Grammy Awards
Year Recipient / Nominated work Award Result
1975 Caribou Album of the Year Nominated


Chart (1974) Position
Australian Albums Chart 4
Canadian Albums Chart 7
Italian Albums Chart 45
UK Albums Chart 15
US Billboard Year-End 65
Chart (1975) Peak
US Billboard Year-End 77



Region Certification
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold
United States (RIAA) 2× Platinum



Elton John - Caribou

UK DJM DJLPH 439 stereo (1974)

Album produced by Gus Dudgeon.

The vinyl record has remained in excellent condition.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

The albums laminated cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minor signs of wear.

The original inner sleeve is excellently presented.

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