One CD I'm currently enamored with is a reissue of Elton John's 70's masterpiece Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
I hadn't really heard of the album before, but I saw the deluxe edition at a used CD store near campus and picked it up.
Safe to say, it was a good choice.
The album is completely 70s, and I mean that in the best of ways. Yes, its over the top, over produced and a giant spectacle. But thats the point. The songs are huge, there are great soaring arrangments, lots of random instruments and just tons of noise. But it works.
This isn't some slick Backstreet Boys ProTools production, this is an album full of real instruments playing great arrangments. Flutes, oboes, tons of drums, great guitars; just excellent.
But the what about the songs? Top notch. These are songs by John when he was on the top of his game. Someone Saved My Life Tonight is the big hit off the album, but its not the only stellar track. (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket is a great rockin tune; I fuckin love the guitars during the chorus and Better Off Dead has a great piano part and even better lyrics.
The Deluxe edition has got some bonus tracks at the end of the album too, like John's version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Philadelphia Freedom. They kinda take the flow out of the album, but it works because A) there is a lot of space between the end of the origional album and the bonus tracks B) the extra songs kick ass.
I have to admit the bonus disc hasn't recieved as much play as the main one, but it is still pretty good. It is a live concert of the entire albums, complete with over the top 70s style guitar solos. Rock!
All and all, this is one of the over looked gems from the 70s, I would definitely check it out. I want to give key tracks, and I hate sayin 'every song is good' cause I hate when people do that. Honestly? Listen to the album in track order, but if you must pick and choose, I would take: Bitter Fingers, (Gotta Get A) Meal Ticket and Writing. Oh, of course, Someone Saved My Life Tonight.