Caribou (album)

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Studio album by Elton John
Released 28 June 1974
Recorded Caribou Ranch, Nederland, 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's 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[1]
Robert Christgau (B+)[2]
Rolling Stone (not rated)

Caribou is the eighth album by the English singer-songwriter Elton John, released in 1974 (see 1974 in music). It was John's fourth chart-topping album in the United States and his third in the United Kingdom. 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).[3][4] 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.[5]

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[edit]

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

Side one[edit]

  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[edit]

  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

Bonus tracks (1995 Mercury and 1996 Rocket reissue)[edit]

  1. "Pinball Wizard" (Pete Townshend) – 5:09
  2. "Sick City" – 5:23
  3. "Cold Highway" – 3:25
  4. "Step into Christmas" – 4:32

When MCA Records re-issued this album, on cassette tape, in the 1980s, "You're So Static" and "Stinker" were swapped in the album's running order. "You're So Static" also featured an early fade out.

At one point, the title of this album was to be Ol' Pink Eyes Is Back, a pun on Frank Sinatra's Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back.

On the 1995 CD, "You're So Static" is spelled incorrectly as "Your're So Static".


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)


Additional musicians[edit]


  • 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


Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
The Singles: 1969-1973 by The Carpenters
UK number-one album
13 – 20 July 1974
Succeeded by
Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings
Preceded by
Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot
US Billboard 200 number-one album
13 July – 9 August 1974
Succeeded by
Back Home Again by John Denver
Preceded by
Diamond Dogs by David Bowie
Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
10–17 August 1974
Succeeded by
Back Home Again by John Denver
Preceded by
The Sting (soundtrack) by Various artists
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
12 August – 20 October 1974
Succeeded by
Quatro by Suzi Quatro


  1. ^ "Caribou". Allmusic. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "CG: elton john". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Bernardin, Claude (1996). Rocket Man: Elton John from A-Z. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 124. ISBN 978-0275956981. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 29 October 2011
  8. ^ Billboard – 3 August 1974. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  9. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2006). Sisältää hitin - levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972 (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. p. 263. ISBN 978-951-1-21053-5. 
  10. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 1974" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  11. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  12. ^ " Elton John – Caribou" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  13. ^ " Elton John – Caribou" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  14. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  15. ^ Billboard – 10 August 1974. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "Chart Stats – Elton John – Caribou" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "allmusic ((( Caribou > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Album Search: Elton John – Caribou" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  19. ^ Billboard – 28 September 1974. Retrieved 12 February 2012. 
  20. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1974". RPM. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1974". Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  23. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1975". Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  24. ^ "British album certifications – Elton John – Caribou". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Caribou in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  25. ^ "American album certifications – Elton John – Caribou". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH