Meal Ticket

Absolute personal best for Elton John, I think. Captain Fantastic stands above even Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in my own rankings. That album, although undeniably classic, does sprawl a bit. This one is so lean and mean. It’s also pretty hit-free. It doesn’t have the overexposure that comes with carrying too many big hits. Big hits, of course, are a wonderful thing, and usually they’re big for a reason. But they do have a habit of overshadowing less famous material. On Captain Fantastic, every song shines equally (and only one has its own Wikipedia page.) Not least also, is that it’s probably the most intensely personal of Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s many collaborations. “Captain Fantastic was written from start to finish in running order, as a kind of story about coming to terms with failure—or trying desperately not to be one. We lived that story.” says Elton. It’s a hard look at the Elton John underneath the glitzy glasses, and it shows a deeply angsty interior.


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