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Elton John|Madman Across The Water (Deluxe Edition)

Madman Across The Water (Deluxe Edition)

Elton John

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Elton John before his mid-'70s cloudburst of success is a fascinating aural adventure. After the tentative first step of Empty Sky, the muscular songwriting strength of Elton John, the countrified experimentalism of Tumbleweed Connection and the live energy bursting through  17-11-70, Madman Across The Water, now reissued with demos and live tracks for its 50th anniversary, is the first album in what would become an amazing four-year run of varied, resourceful, and artfully brilliant collaborations between John and Bernie Taupin. The pair's trajectory from this point shot skyward into considerable wealth and ever-expanding notoriety. But as John/Taupin efforts go, the highly produced and manicured Madman is also a tale of two records. On the surface there are the obvious, irrepressible hits "Levon" and "Tiny Dancer" that are polished to a high gloss, and like the rest of the album, feature Paul Buckmaster's string arrangements (sometimes to a detriment). But beyond those two tracks, this may be John's moodiest album thanks to darker songs like the title cut with its complex and masterful arrangement, ARP synthesizer, and some of Taupin's most obscure phrases, and the gloomy lament "Goodbye," which closes the album.  And in most other hands, a song like "Indian Sunset," with its overserious and occasionally embarrassing lyrics, could come off as a hackneyed and naively racist tribute to Native Americans, but is partially rescued by John's impassioned singing. Madman is less essential than Honky Château or Goodbye Yellow Brick Road because of low points like the lesser melody of "Holiday Inn," the overproduced massed voices of "All The Nasties," or the impenetrable lyrics of "Rotten Peaches," which seem to tell the story of picking "devil fruit" in a "U.S. State Prison." Using the highly detailed yet full-bodied Bob Ludwig-produced remasters from the 2016 reissue (which did not contain any bonus material), this new edition includes demos of each of the original album's tracks and an eight-song BBC Sounds for Saturday live recording from April 1972, most of which sound close to fully formed or not significantly different from the studio versions. It's interesting, however, to hear the gusto that his road band brings to this material. Producer Gus Dudgeon preferred to work with studio musicians and this is the last John record not to feature band members Nigel Olsen (drums) and Dee Murray (bass), though guitarist Davey Johnstone (who still plays with John today) appears on several tracks including playing mandolin and sitar on "Holiday Inn." As a final treat, there is also the original version of the title track recorded with Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson that was set to appear on Tumbleweed Connection. Ambitious and oddly dark, Madman is the preface for all the glorious pop music to come.  © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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Madman Across The Water (Deluxe Edition)

Elton John

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1
Tiny Dancer (Remastered 2016)
00:06:15

Roger Cook, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lesley Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Terry Steele, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Liza Strike, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - BJ Cole, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Burrows, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - David Glover, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barry St. John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Glover, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunny Leslie, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

2
Levon (Remastered 2016)
00:05:20

Brian Dee, Harmonium, AssociatedPerformer - Lesley Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Morgan, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Liza Strike, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barry St. John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Odgers, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Les Thatcher, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Glover, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunny Leslie, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

3
Razor Face (Remastered 2016)
00:04:41

Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Wakeman, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Caleb Quaye, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Emblow, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - David Glover, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

4
Madman Across The Water (Remastered 2016)
00:05:56

Terry Cox, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Herbie Flowers, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Wakeman, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Spedding, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Diana Lewis, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

5
Indian Sunset (Remastered 2016)
00:06:43

Terry Cox, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Herbie Flowers, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chris Laurence, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Robert Kirby, Chorus Director, AssociatedPerformer - Cantores in Ecclesia, Choir

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

6
Holiday Inn (Remastered 2016)
00:04:15

Roger Cook, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lesley Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Terry Steele, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Mandolin, Sitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Nigel Olsson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Liza Strike, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Burrows, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - David Glover, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barry St. John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Glover, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunny Leslie, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

7
Rotten Peaches (Remastered 2016)
00:04:54

Terry Cox, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Cook, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Lesley Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Terry Steele, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Herbie Flowers, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Davey Johnstone, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Wakeman, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Spedding, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Liza Strike, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Burrows, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Barry St. John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Glover, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunny Leslie, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Diana Lewis, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

8
All The Nasties (Remastered 2016)
00:05:07

Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Ray Cooper, Tambourine, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Kirby, Chorus Director, AssociatedPerformer - Nigel Olsson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Dee Murray, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Cantores in Ecclesia, Choir

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

9
Goodbye (Remastered 2016)
00:01:45

Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 2016 This Record Company Ltd.

10
Indian Sunset (Live Radio Broadcast / Including Spoken Intro / Remastered 2016)
00:05:16

Phil Ramone, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Matt Still, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

11
Madman Across The Water
00:08:50

Mick Ronson, FeaturedArtist - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, MainArtist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1992 This Record Company Ltd.

12
Rock Me When He's Gone
00:05:00

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, MainArtist - Gus Dudgeon, Producer

℗ 1992 This Record Company Ltd.

13
Levon (Mono Single Version)
00:04:43

Brian Dee, Harmonium, AssociatedPerformer - Lesley Duncan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Morgan, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Liza Strike, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Caleb Quaye, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barry St. John, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Odgers, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Les Thatcher, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Sue Glover, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Sunny Leslie, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

14
Razor Face (Extended Version)
00:06:42

Paul Buckmaster, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Geoffrey Cable, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Wakeman, Organ, AssociatedPerformer - Gus Dudgeon, Producer - Caleb Quaye, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Pope, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Jack Emblow, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - David Glover, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2004 This Record Company Ltd.

DISC 2

1
Madman Across The Water (Piano Demo / 1970)
00:05:06

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2020 This Record Company Ltd.

2
Tiny Dancer (Piano Demo)
00:06:00

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

3
Levon (Piano Demo)
00:05:03

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

4
Razor Face (Piano Demo)
00:03:43

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 This Record Company Ltd.

5
Madman Across The Water (Piano Demo / 1971)
00:05:10

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

6
Indian Sunset (Piano Demo)
00:07:32

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

7
Holiday Inn (Piano Demo)
00:04:32

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 This Record Company Ltd.

8
Rotten Peaches (Piano Demo)
00:04:05

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

9
All The Nasties (Piano Demo)
00:04:47

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2020 This Record Company Ltd.

10
Goodbye (Piano Demo)
00:01:58

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

11
Rock Me When He's Gone (Piano Demo)
00:04:01

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

12
Rock Me When He's Gone (Full Version)
00:07:10

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2021 This Record Company Ltd.

DISC 3

1
Tiny Dancer (BBC Sounds For Saturday / 29th April 1972)
00:06:10

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Dorfman, Producer

℗ 2021 BBC

2
Rotten Peaches (BBC Sounds For Saturday / 29th April 1972)
00:05:09

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Dorfman, Producer

℗ 2021 BBC

3
Razor Face (BBC Sounds For Saturday / 29th April 1972)
00:04:19

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Dorfman, Producer

℗ 2021 BBC

4
Holiday Inn (BBC Sounds For Saturday / 29th April 1972)
00:03:54

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Dorfman, Producer

℗ 2021 BBC

5
Indian Sunset (BBC Sounds For Saturday / 29th April 1972)
00:06:57

Bernie Taupin, ComposerLyricist - Elton John, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Stanley Dorfman, Producer

℗ 2021 BBC

6
Levon (BBC Sounds For Saturday / 29th April 1972)
00:04:56

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Dorfman, Producer

℗ 2021 BBC

7
Madman Across The Water (BBC Sounds For Saturday / 29th April 1972)
00:10:54

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Dorfman, Producer

℗ 2021 BBC

8
Goodbye (BBC Sounds For Saturday / 29th April 1972)
00:01:39

Bernie Taupin, Author - Elton John, Composer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Stanley Dorfman, Producer

℗ 2021 BBC

Album Description

Elton John before his mid-'70s cloudburst of success is a fascinating aural adventure. After the tentative first step of Empty Sky, the muscular songwriting strength of Elton John, the countrified experimentalism of Tumbleweed Connection and the live energy bursting through  17-11-70, Madman Across The Water, now reissued with demos and live tracks for its 50th anniversary, is the first album in what would become an amazing four-year run of varied, resourceful, and artfully brilliant collaborations between John and Bernie Taupin. The pair's trajectory from this point shot skyward into considerable wealth and ever-expanding notoriety. But as John/Taupin efforts go, the highly produced and manicured Madman is also a tale of two records. On the surface there are the obvious, irrepressible hits "Levon" and "Tiny Dancer" that are polished to a high gloss, and like the rest of the album, feature Paul Buckmaster's string arrangements (sometimes to a detriment). But beyond those two tracks, this may be John's moodiest album thanks to darker songs like the title cut with its complex and masterful arrangement, ARP synthesizer, and some of Taupin's most obscure phrases, and the gloomy lament "Goodbye," which closes the album.  And in most other hands, a song like "Indian Sunset," with its overserious and occasionally embarrassing lyrics, could come off as a hackneyed and naively racist tribute to Native Americans, but is partially rescued by John's impassioned singing. Madman is less essential than Honky Château or Goodbye Yellow Brick Road because of low points like the lesser melody of "Holiday Inn," the overproduced massed voices of "All The Nasties," or the impenetrable lyrics of "Rotten Peaches," which seem to tell the story of picking "devil fruit" in a "U.S. State Prison." Using the highly detailed yet full-bodied Bob Ludwig-produced remasters from the 2016 reissue (which did not contain any bonus material), this new edition includes demos of each of the original album's tracks and an eight-song BBC Sounds for Saturday live recording from April 1972, most of which sound close to fully formed or not significantly different from the studio versions. It's interesting, however, to hear the gusto that his road band brings to this material. Producer Gus Dudgeon preferred to work with studio musicians and this is the last John record not to feature band members Nigel Olsen (drums) and Dee Murray (bass), though guitarist Davey Johnstone (who still plays with John today) appears on several tracks including playing mandolin and sitar on "Holiday Inn." As a final treat, there is also the original version of the title track recorded with Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson that was set to appear on Tumbleweed Connection. Ambitious and oddly dark, Madman is the preface for all the glorious pop music to come.  © Robert Baird/Qobuz

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