The Captain & the Kid – Elton John | CD review

(Mercury) 3.5 stars

Piano man Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin first collaborated in 1967, as teenage staff songwriters in London, eventually emerging with 1969’s `Empty Sky’ album.

Elton’s eponymous 1970 LP, containing the hit `Your Song’, finally brought pop stardom and a succession of hit albums quickly followed, including 1975’s autobiographical `Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy’, playfully chronicling the then 11-year John-Taupin partnership.

They’ve have had their ups and downs in 31-odd years since -  including forgettable artistic and lifestyle choices – now chronicled on `The Captain & the Kid’.

This entertaining, well-crafted sequel turns back the clock and brings us up to date, with the kind of uncomplicated music-making that worked for them back in the ‘70s and still does (NB their last two CDs).

And no wonder, the provide templates for any aspiring singer-songwriter.

Highlights include the title track’s classic feel, likewise  `Wouldn’t Have You Any Other Way (NYC)’, `Tinderbox’ and the slow-rock `Old 67’.

- Mike Daly

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