Madman Across the Water


Madman Across the Water
"Holiday Inn (song)" redirects here. Not to be confused with Holidae In.
Madman Across the Water
Studio album by Elton John
Released 5 November 1971
Recorded 27 February and 9 – 14 August 1971, Trident Studios, London
Genre Symphonic rock, Piano rock
Length 45:17
Label Uni, DJM
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
17-11-70
(1971)
Madman Across the Water
(1971)
Honky Château
(1972)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone (mixed) [2]

Madman Across the Water is the fourth studio album by British singer/songwriter Elton John, released in 1971 through DJM/Uni Records. The title song, "Madman Across the Water", was set to be released on Elton John's previous album Tumbleweed Connection. However, it was set aside and would eventually be re-recorded and serve as the title track of this album. Previous versions of the song (from the Tumbleweed sessions with Mick Ronson on guitar) can still be found, specifically on the remastered Tumbleweed Connection CD. When it was released in 'The Classic Years' collection, it was the first album not to feature any bonus tracks. One known track recorded at the time, "Rock Me When He's Gone", was released on Rare Masters a few years before. The song was written for and recorded by one of John's long-time friends, Long John Baldry. This was Elton John's first album in which he plays his piano and no other keyboards. This was the first album in which Davey Johnstone played guitar for Elton, a role that would continue for many years and decades to come. John, Johnstone, Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson, who would be the main musicians on Elton's next album (Honky Chateau), would soon join with percussionist Ray Cooper and form the best-known line-up of Elton's well known mid-'70s band. As with all Elton John songs during this period, the lyrics were penned by Elton's writing partner, Bernie Taupin.

The album cover for Madman Across the Water was embroidered over two weeks by Janis Larkham, wife of the album art director David Larkham. She used the back of an old Levi's jacket, and the original was gifted to Elton himself. Contrary to rumours, there was no initial run of very expensive album covers with similar embroidery, nor embossed versions; it was just flat printed, though it did include a lavish booklet. Janis chose to credit herself as "Yanis" for this artwork.

This was John's lowest charting album in the United Kingdom after his debut, only reaching # 41. In the United States, Madman Across the Water managed to reach # 8 in early 1972 on the Billboard 200.In the U.S. the album was certified Gold by the R.I.A.A. on 2/19/1972. It was certified Platinum on 3/23/1993 and 2x Platinum on 8/26/1998 by the R.I.A.A.

Contents

Track listing

  1. "Tiny Dancer" – 6:15
  2. "Levon" – 5:22
  3. "Razor Face" – 4:44
  4. "Madman Across the Water" – 5:56
  5. "Indian Sunset" – 6:45
  6. "Holiday Inn" – 4:16
  7. "Rotten Peaches" – 4:56
  8. "All the Nasties" – 5:08
  9. "Goodbye" – 1:48

When this album was issued on cassette MCA swapped the places of "Razor Face" and "Rotten Peaches" on side 1 and 2 of the tape.

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.

The song "Holiday inn" was written for Adam Diaz.

Personnel

"Tiny Dancer" (6:15) Recorded 9 August 1971

  • Roger Pope: drums
  • David Glover: bass
  • Caleb Quaye: electric guitar
  • BJ Cole: steel guitar
  • Davey Johnstone: acoustic guitar
  • Elton John: piano
  • Lesley Duncan, Sue & Sunny, Barry St. John, Liza Strike, Roger Cook, Tony Burrows, Terry Steele, Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson: backing vocals
  • Paul Buckmaster: arrangement

"Levon" (5:22) Recorded 27 February 1971

  • Barry Morgan: drums
  • Brian Odgers: bass
  • Brian Dee: harmonium
  • Caleb Quaye: electric guitar
  • Elton John: piano
  • Paul Buckmaster: arrangement

"Razor Face" (4:44) Recorded 9 August 1971

  • Roger Pope: drums
  • David Glover: bass
  • Caleb Quaye: electric guitar
  • Rick Wakeman: organ
  • Jack Emblow: accordion
  • Elton John: piano

"Madman Across The Water" (5:56) Recorded 14 August 1971

"Indian Sunset" (6:45) Recorded 14 August 1971

  • Terry Cox: drums
  • Herbie Flowers: electric bass
  • Chris Laurence: acoustic bass
  • Elton John: piano
  • Cantores em Ecclesia Choir, directed by Robert Kirby
  • Paul Buckmaster: string arrangement

"Holiday Inn" (4:16) Recorded 9 August 1971

  • Roger Pope: drums
  • David Glover: bass
  • Caleb Quaye: acoustic guitar
  • Davey Johnstone: mandolin & sitar
  • Elton John: piano;
  • Lesley Duncan, Sue & Sunny, Barry St. John, Liza Strike, Roger Cook, Tony Burrows, Terry Steele Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson: backing vocals
  • Paul Buckmaster: string arrangement

"Rotten Peaches" (4:56) Recorded 14 August 1971

  • Herbie Flowers: electric bass
  • Terry Cox: drums
  • Ray Cooper: tambourine
  • Chris Spedding: slide guitar
  • Davey Johnstone: acoustic guitar
  • Rick Wakeman: organ
  • Diana Lewis: ARP synthesiser
  • Elton John: piano;
  • Lesley Duncan, Sue & Sunny, Barry St. John, Liza Strike, Roger Cook, Tony Burrows, Terry Steele, Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson: backing vocals

"All The Nasties" (5:08) Recorded 11 August 1971

  • Nigel Olsson: drums
  • Dee Murray: bass
  • Ray Cooper: tambourine
  • Elton John: piano
  • Cantores em Ecclesia Choir directed by Robert Kirby;
  • Paul Buckmaster: arrangement

"Goodbye" (1:48) Recorded 27 February 1971

  • Elton John: piano
  • Paul Buckmaster: string arrangement

Production

  • Producer: Gus Dudgeon
  • Engineer: Robin Geoffrey Cable
  • Remastering: Tony Cousins
  • Editing: Gus Skinas
  • Digital transfers: Ricky Graham
  • Surround sound: Greg Penny
  • Assistant: Crispin Murray
  • Orchestra contractor: David Katz
  • Choir director: Robert Kirby
  • Arranger: Paul Buckmaster
  • Art direction: David Larkham
  • Design: David Larkham
  • Artwork: Gill, Yanis
  • Illustrations: David Larkham
  • Photography: Bob Gruen, David Larkham
  • Cover photo: David Larkham
  • Liner notes: Gus Dudgeon, John Tobler

Charts

Album

Year Chart Position
1972 UK Album Chart 41
1972 Billboard USA Pop Albums 8

Singles

Year Single Chart Position
1972 Levon Billboard US Pop Singles 24
1972 Tiny Dancer Billboard US Pop Singles 41

References


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