Cordon Bleu is the third album released in 1975, now on Elton John's label.
Recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales, Cordon Bleu saw the main quartet of Willem Ennes, Tom Barlage, Guus Willemse and Hans Waterman complemented by Chiel Pos.
Pos contributed acoustic guitar to "Last Detail" and tenor sax to "Third Line" and "Whirligig", while Frankie Fish co-wrote some lyrics and also, together with Pos, added backing vocals.
Like its predecessor Divergence (1972), Cordon Bleu mixed long instrumental pieces ("Chappaqua" and "Whirligig") with shorter vocal songs which also featured instrumental passages ("Third Line", "Last Detail" and "Black Pearl"). "A Song for You" is the shortest song on the album, and is a more conventional pop song.
This was released as a single in Europe, with an edited version of "Chappaqua" as the B-side. "Chappaqua" was issued as an A-side in its own right in some territories (backed by "Whirligig"), and was a B-side again to "Give Some More" in 1977/78.
Produced by Elton John's producer Gus Dudgeon, the album had a crisper sound than Solution and Divergence.
This trend was continued on the following album Fully Interlocking (1977), also produced by Dudgeon.
Cordon Bleu charted in the Netherlands on 20 December 1975, reaching #18 and spending 11 weeks on the chart.
First released on vinyl and cassette, it was later reissued by CBS in 1980 and on Compact Disc in 1988.
In 2006, "Chappaqua", "Whirligig" and "Third Line" were included on the compilation The Ultimate Collection, with versions of the other three tracks featured on the live disc.
Solution is: Willem Ennes, Tom Barlage, Guus Willemse and Hans Waterman, Michiel Pos and Frankie Fish on backing vocals
Produced by Gus Dudgeon.
Recorded at Rockfield Studios in Wales.
Engineers: Pat Moran & Phil Dunne.
Remixed at Marquee Studios in London.
Engineers: Steve Holroyd & Gus Dudgeon.
Sleeve design & photography by Hipgnosis
Lettering by Richard Evans.