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

Little Willie John: Let Them Talk (1960)

Little Willie John: Let Them Talk (1960)

One of Bob Marley's greatest and most pivotal songs was Soul Rebel, in the earliest version you can hear him moving away from the secular rude boy world into embracing the Rastafarian faith. He... > Read more

John Lennon, Child of Nature (1968)

John Lennon, Child of Nature (1968)

Give them credit, the Beatles were always incredibly productive and even on their holidays -- like the six weeks that Lennon and Harrison spent in Rishikesh with the Maharishi -- they were... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE VENICE BIENNALE 2009: Art for art's, and its curator's, sake

THE VENICE BIENNALE 2009: Art for art's, and its curator's, sake

Should Venice sink beneath the sea, it is possible the city could be reconstructed exactly by referring to the millions of photographs tourists have taken of every palazzo, piazza, corner and... > Read more

Sun Kil Moon: Among the Leaves (Caldo Verde)

Sun Kil Moon: Among the Leaves (Caldo Verde)

With only a few exceptions – John Lennon's emotionally excoriating Plastic Ono Band springs to mind – the album-as-catharsis is more interesting for the artist than the audience.... > Read more