Elton John is yet another legendary artist to release an album in 1974. That release was Caribou, which went double platinum and reached #1 on the albums chart (a feat matched by only four other John records).
It’s also, by all accounts, not very good.
Recorded in just nine days to free John up for a world tour, Caribou is a redheaded stepchild among his run of classic albums in the early to mid 70s.
While the world has self-quarantined to stave off the dreaded coronavirus, I figured now is as good a time as any to immerse myself in the more innocent world of the early 1980s.
Yes, it’s the latest installment of my ‘Decades’ series, where I feature the albums from a certain year across four decades (70s to 00s). Last time out I explored 1973, which brings us to 1983. I was 11 years old and hadn’t started up much of a music collection myself, but so many of the artists I’ll write about were very familiar even then.
Elton John released Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in October of 1973, but just nine months earlier he dropped his first album of the year, Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player.
This album is best known for its opening track, ‘Daniel,’ and the rollicking ‘Crocodile Rock.’ During my recent Elton John deep dive, I wrote about two other highlights: the Rolling Stones-esque ‘Midnight Creeper‘ and closing track ‘High Flying Bird.’
Here’s another 1973 album I recently revisited on the blog, after the film Rocketman sent me down an Elton John rabbit hole.
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ended a run of six excellent and highly successful albums, all released before John was out of his mid-20s. Few artists have pulled off a streak like that (next week, I’ll write about another who pulled it off).
Here’s where I admit that my Elton John deep dive become a lot more like dipping my toe in the pool once I got past 1974. John has released 22 albums since Caribou and only three of them are represented on my playlist.
Did I listen to all 22? No, I did not. Taking my cue from Rocketman, I stopped with ‘I’m Still Standing’ and the 1983 album Too Low For Zero on which it appears. If he found nothing in the 13 albums that followed worth putting on screen, who am I to argue?