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Elton John: Madman Across the Water Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

266 customer reviews

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Madman Across The Water
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, May 14, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

With the Hit title track, plus Levon; Tiny Dancer , and more. From 1971.

Named for a cut that originally appeared on his Tumbleweed Connection album, Madman Across the Water yielded some of Elton John's earliest AOR staples. "Tiny Dancer," like the previous "Your Song," was introduced and carried by John's masterful piano composition. The song's sense of longing also employed the falsetto chorus that would become as much of a trademark as his costumes. "Levon," another entry into the John/Taupin "ballad of" category, is one of their finest pieces. The orchestration gives the song not only its sense of foreboding, but also its release of tension as the song ends. "Rotten Peaches" became a favorite, as did "Holiday Inn." There's also a different interpretation of the title track than appeared on Tumbleweed Connection. --Steve Gdula
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 14, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Mercury / The Rocket Record Company
  • ASIN: B000001EGC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,112 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Levi Stofer on March 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The magical period of 1970-1978 now known as Elton John's "Classic Years" yielded many wonderful albums in a short frame of time. Many people seem to single out "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" as his best. This may be because of the fact that Sir Elton was at his most popular by that time.
In my opinion, "Madman Across the Water" is his best. Recorded in 1971, it contains some of the most soulful songs Elton John and Bernie Taupin ever created.
Yes, it contains the commercial hits "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon" but unlike some of Elton's late 70s albums, this one goes a bit deeper than that. The title track is a haunting epic that evokes frightening images while leaving a melody in your head that urges to sing along. "All the Nasties" and "Goodbye" also stand out as favorites, but as a whole this album works better than any other EJ recording.
One major reason is the overall sound. On many of the songs, orchestration is used to intensify the emotional anthems to higher levels than a piano will allow. Also, the album gives some room to breathe between the more serious songs like "Indian Sunset" with transitions to more fun songs like "Razorface" and "Rotten Peaches", which are all great tunes in their own right.
This was the album that really got me rolling on my Elton John collection. I would also highly reccommend "Tumbleweed Connection", "Honky Chateau", and "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy". But start here. You won't stop.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Blight on January 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
In my opinion, Madman Across the Water stands nobly as one of the greatest albums ever recorded. This album, produced at the height of the Elton John/Bernie Taupin frenzy during the early 1970's, is nothing short of a masterpiece. Although this album went platinum, it has not received the same level of historical attention as other Elton John albums. The reason for that escapes me, but suffice it to say that those who own Madman Across the Water have discovered the secret treasures of this album.
This album includes two Elton John hits that you may still hear occasionally on adult radio stations: "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon". While these songs are excellent, they are only the beginning, the first two tracks, on this incredible CD. This album contains what could be my favorite song ever: "Indian Sunset" is an epic, soaring, affective song about the Native American Indian at the time of colonization, and it's unforgettable. The title track is a mesmerizing journey led masterfully by Elton's haunting, intense vocals. (I like this version of "Madman" better than the one on the remastered Tumbleweed Connection because of the embellished instrumentation.) "All The Nasties" and "Goodbye" are equally compelling and representative of how marvelously Elton presents brooding, melancholy, thoughtful melodies. "Holiday Inn", "Razor Face", and "Rotten Peaches" are more upbeat and up tempo, but they follow the pattern of interesting lyrics from Taupin and infectious music and vocals from Elton.
At their peak, Elton John and Bernie Taupin were an unstoppable combination in writing extraordinary music.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By peteyspambucket on November 17, 2004
Format: Audio CD
A revelation. For newcomers and fans of Elton John's music, this album and the self-titled are MUST HAVES. The 5.1 mix is so amazing that it reveals and clears up lots of sections and instrumentations. The performances are still the great landmark performances that I've loved since 1973 when my brother came back from Korea with a cassette of this album. The only piece that has changed, for me, due to the remix, is INDIAN SUNSET (just before "I take only what is mine, Lord"), because there is a part where the celli and bass sound louder than the piano, whereas they were barely audible in older mixes. It changes the song at that moment for me.

The sound, the sound, the sound.... I never thought I would hear the strings this clearly. In some songs, I could clearly tell that it is maybe two or four violins, 2 cellos, 2 violas, and 2 bass. And the old sound, would have me believe it were an entire orchestra --- "reverb" can be a wonderfully useful effect. As you may expect, Elton and his piano are anchored in the center channel, and they are both very crisp and clear. The backing vocals are often in the rear channels, as are the orchestra. The guitars, acoustic and electric, are so clear and isolated, that I am finally getting a great appreciation of the size of his band. Percussion like bongo drums, and tambourines, and synthesizer effects are clearer than ever and very realistic. The duelling banjos in HOLIDAY INN have NEVER sounded so good. I could keep going on with superlatives, but I will simply say that the sound is better than most modern rock SACDs (the Bon Jovi ones, for instance, and also 3 Doors Down). There is NO harsh tape hiss to be heard, it's just the music.
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