Elton John - Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy - 1975. Big Elton fan here, but this is one that I didn’t like when it came out. He was putting out records at a furious pace and I felt self editing was in order. I still feel that about a lot of his post Yellow Brick Road albums, but I was completely wrong about this one. In fact this album sounds brilliant! If I was going into the Team Electronics to test amps or speakers, this is the record I would take. It makes great use of the stereo spectrum if you place your ears between the two loudspeakers. Great drum sound, especially on Better Off Dead. Someone Saved My Life Tonight might be my favorite Elton single. This album was the first record to debut #1 on Billboard’s album chart. (or was it Caribou?) Which is probably why I hated it. At 17 I was an angry young man, anything popular was shunned and ridiculed. I didn’t see Star Wars or Raiders either. So sue me. Gus Dudgeon produced this and it was recorded at Caribou Ranch in Colorado. If you want to see what was the hottest, hippest studios of the day, look at Elton’s records. It like a history lesson of the cool studios. #eltonjohn#bernietaupin#captainfantasticandthebrowndirtcowboy#mcarecords#thisrecordcompany#deemurray#raycooper#daveyjohnston#nigelolsson#gusdudgeon#caribouranch#teamelectronics#70s#vinylrules
Camel's 1973 self-titled debut arrives with their brand of elegant and laid-back progressive rock fully formed, songs coasting effortlessly on Andy Latimer's elliptical guitar tones, while Peter Bardens relies primarily on Hammond organ, giving "Camel" an earthier feel than it's decedents: when synthesizers are used it's inconspicuously so. Also, there's an overall tendency to favor a syncopated groove recalling the Canterbury school, as in the chunky chords anchoring 'Slow Yourself Down,' and the insistent push of 'Never Let Go.' Other highlights include the hazy ballad 'Mystic Queen,' the instrumental indulgences in 'Six Ate,' and powerhouse 'Arubaluba,' with Latimer shooting off some searing licks to close out the album on an explosive note. If you are looking to get into Camel, I would follow the popular opinion and start with "Mirage" as that is considered their finest album. However, do come back to "Camel" as this truly is a masterpiece of prog music.