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

Frank Maya: Polaroid Children (1988)

Frank Maya: Polaroid Children (1988)

Stupid song from the late Eighties, but just kinda one-time fun too. Drum and synth programmer, and vocalist of course, Frank Maya was part of the New York Downtown scene at the time in that... > Read more

The Supremes: Floy Joy (1972)

The Supremes: Floy Joy (1972)

In the mid Sixties when people were earnestly looking to Bob Dylan for answers, someone asked him who his favourite poet was. "Smokey Robinson," he replied. Fair call. Smokey's... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various: Secret Love 4 (Sonar Kollektiv/Rhythmethod)

Various: Secret Love 4 (Sonar Kollektiv/Rhythmethod)

I'm guessing by the title that this is part of a series, the three previous volumes of which have gone right past me -- as I imagine they have with most people. Only a pre-release copy of this,... > Read more

Alt-J: An Awesome Wave (Infectious)

Alt-J: An Awesome Wave (Infectious)

These days genre-ignoring bands are so common they require no introduction or explanation. But few are as provocative as Alt-J out of Cambridge, England who pull together slivers of... > Read more