Elton John: Madman Across the Water (1970)

 |   |  <1 min read

Elton John: Madman Across the Water (1970)

During the sessions for his excellent country-rock album Tumbleweed Connection (an Essential Elsewhere album, see here), Elton John recorded this nine minute version of the menacing and moody Madman Across the Water, but wasn't satisfied with it.

He subsequently re-recorded it, and it became the title track to his next album.

But this version isn't without interest, notably because it features Mick Ronson on guitar, the man from David Bowie's band and two years away from being one of Ziggy's Spider From Mars.

In the comparison of the two versions you can hear why this doesn't quite work. Paul Buckmaster's stabbing strings on the later version contain more menace than Ronson's solo which pulls attention away from the taut song.

But as a failure, it is still pretty successful. 

 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

George - Jul 24, 2012

I quite like Elton John Vs Pnau.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52uM5XC5Z8
And Elton's soundtrack work in Dancing the Waves was perfect.
Bennie and the Jets.
This "heavy" reading of Madman is cool too.

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Buckinghams: Foreign Policy (1969)

The Buckinghams: Foreign Policy (1969)

Very few today would even remember the MOR group the Buckinghams from the late Sixties. Their big hit was Kind of Drag ("when your baby don't love you") -- although Hey Baby... > Read more

Steve Young: Seven Bridges Road (1969)

Steve Young: Seven Bridges Road (1969)

When Steve Young died in March last year at 73, there were hardy headlines about it. Young's many albums – about a dozen more in all – had rarely been in any country collection but... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: George Harrison's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Various Artists: George Harrison's Jukebox (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Although no one would seriously argue that people should have fewer choices, it's interesting to observe that before the balkanisation of radio into genres and demographics which ensured audiences... > Read more

Tinsley Ellis: Winning Hand (Alligator/Southbound)

Tinsley Ellis: Winning Hand (Alligator/Southbound)

The remarkable thing about Chicago's Alligator label – and singer-guitarist Ellis who started his career on it three decades ago – is just how consistent the quality of their... > Read more