Wednesday 11pm: Feature LP – Elton John – Madman Across The Water (1971)

March 27, 2019
Editor In Chief

Madman Across the Water is the fourth studio album by Elton John, released November 5, 1971 through DJM and Uni Records.

Madman Across the Water was the fourth studio album released by Elton John, as well as his third album to be released in 1971, at which point John had been rising to prominence as a popular music artist. It contains 9 tracks, each composed and performed by John and with lyrics written by songwriting partner Bernie Taupin as with his previous material. As with all of John’s other studio albums at the time, Madman only featured John’s touring band- which consisted of bassist Dee Murray and percussionist Nigel Olsson- on a single song, which was due to producer Gus Dudgeon’s lack of faith in the group being used for studio recordings. Instead, most of the tracks were backed by studio players, as well as string arrangements put together by Paul Buckmaster. Davey Johnstone, who had previously worked with Dudgeon as a part of Magna Carta, was also put on as the main guitarist. Murray and Olsson would later be fully featured in John’s succeeding album, Honky Ch√Ęteau. Later band member, percussionist Ray Cooper, makes his first appearance with this album. As with all John songs during this period, the lyrics were penned by his writing partner, Bernie Taupin. This was the last album to be recorded at London’s Trident Studios, although subsequent albums would be remixed or overdubbed at Trident. Caleb Quaye and Roger Pope would not play with John again until Rock of the Westies in 1975, following Murray and Olsson’s departure from the band.

1. “Tiny Dancer” 6:15
2. “Levon” 5:22
3. “Razor Face” 4:44
4. “Madman Across the Water” 5:56

1. “Indian Sunset” 6:45
2. “Holiday Inn” 4:17
3. “Rotten Peaches” 4:56
4. “All the Nasties” 5:08
5. “Goodbye” 1:48
“Rock Me When He’s Gone” 4:50

The SACD version of the album contained a longer version of “Razor Face”, which extended the song-ending jam to 6:42 instead of the early fade on the original album. This extended version can only be heard in the 5.1 surround mix.

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