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] The album was named for the Caribou Ranch recording studio, where part of the album was recorded.[5] Elton and associates previously recorded three albums at Château d'Hérouville in France. 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.

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.


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit]Edit

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

Side one[edit]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]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]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]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 positions[edit]Edit

Chart (1974) Peak


Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart[6] 1
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[7] 1
Danish Albums Chart[8] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[9] 21
Italian Albums Chart[10] 8
Japanese Oricon LP Chart[11] 20
New Zealand Albums Chart[12] 20
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[13] 6
Spanish Albums Chart[14] 4
Swedish Albums Chart[15] 3
UK Albums Chart[16] 1
US Billboard 200[17] 1
West German Media Control Albums Chart[18] 33
Yugoslav Albums Chart[19] 5

Year-end charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1974) Position
Australian Albums Chart[6] 4
Canadian Albums Chart[20] 7
Italian Albums Chart[10] 45
UK Albums Chart[21] 15
US Billboard Year-End[22] 65
Chart (1975) Peak


US Billboard Year-End[23] 77


Region Certification
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] Gold
United States (RIAA)[25] 2× Platinum

Chart procession and succession[edit]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


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