Just two years later, in 1974, the Colorado recording studio made its debut on the international music stage. Elton John recorded his eighth studio album there, naming it Caribou after the Rocky Mountain studio as a way to say thanks. John recorded several other projects at Caribou Ranch, including his version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and albums such as Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy and Rock of the Westies. From ’74 to ’76, Caribou studio produced more hits than Abbey Road Studios.
The long list of artists who recorded at Caribou Ranch reads like a who’s who of legendary music history, featuring household names such as Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, the Beach Boys, Joe Walsh, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jeff Beck, Rick Derringer, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart, Sheena Easton, Michael Jackson, War, Eddie Rabbit, Jerry Lee Lewis, Al De Meola, America, Michael W. Smith, Chick Corea and Earth, Wind & Fire. Throughout the late 1970s, the studio cemented its place as one of the most in-demand recording destinations for the world’s most elite popular musicians.
While the recording studio itself was the major draw for musicians, the lodging offered at Caribou Ranch also proved highly desirable. Relaxed, casual, and away from the usual hustle and bustle of the industry, the peaceful Colorado ranch became a getaway of sorts for stars. With a 24-hour staff that included talented chefs, a musician’s every whim could be satisfied at the drop of a hat. There was no commuting to worry about, and the facilities provided everything artists could possibly want or need.