Music News

Watch Elton John’s debut performance of his 1974 ‘Caribou’ hit

todayApril 18, 2024


Elton John performing at Watford, 1974; Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Elton John‘s 1974 album, Caribou, turns 50 this year, and a special sky-blue vinyl edition of the album, including a second disc of bonus tracks, will be available on Record Store Day April 20. But fans can watch never-before-seen footage of Elton’s first live performance of one of the album’s big hits, “The Bitch Is Back,” right now.

In 1974, Elton became director of his favorite football team, Watford FC. In order to give the team a financial boost, he staged a benefit concert at the team’s home field, Vicarage Road, marking the first time a concert ever took place there. Tickets cost one pound — the equivalent of about 15 bucks today — and Elton took the stage wearing a yellow and black outfit inspired by the team’s nickname, the Hornets.

During that show, which drew 40,000 fans, Elton sang “The Bitch Is Back” — a full two months before its parent album, Caribou, was released in June; the single didn’t come out for another three months. When it did, it hit the top five on the Billboard Hot 100. The album’s first single, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” had reached #2.

Fun fact: “The Bitch Is Back” got its title from something Bernie Taupin‘s then-wife, Maxine, would say whenever Elton was in a bad mood or throwing a tantrum.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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