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Tumbleweed Connection Deluxe Edition Box set, Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Jun. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Commercial Marketing
  • ASIN: B00108YG2Y
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 128,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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BBC Review

Elton pushed hard for his breakthrough, releasing albums with prolific zeal which the industry today would view as counter-productive. His self-titled second had emerged in April 1970, and just six months later the superior Tumbleweed Connection came out. With Your Song from its predecessor finally giving him a hit, this country-tinged set – often described as a concept album, on the basis that several songs reference cowboys and guns – was expected to clinch his star status. Yet he had to wait a little longer, as despite making the US top ten, it lacked singles.

It’s the sound of a songwriting team hanging on to their perceived rock credibility, not yet stumbling on the pop chops that sent the Elton brand supernova. Produced by Gus Dudgeon with orchestral arrangements by Paul Buckmaster, this is almost as laden with Americana as Bernie Taupin’s lyrics. Elton sings in a distinctly Yankee twang and the influence of The Band’s Music from Big Pink is evident throughout. Ballad of a Well-Known Gun sets out the album’s stall, a mid-tempo country-rocker gilded by period guitar fills from Caleb Quaye and a backing choir including one Dusty Springfield. Themes flicker here which reoccur between tracks: gunslingers young and ageing, a sepia sense of saloons and one-horse towns. My Father’s Gun and Talking Old Soldiers overtly try to enter the heads of ailing John Waynes.

The best songs are those which transcend Taupin’s Western fantasies. Come Down in Time is an exquisite ballad which remains one of John’s most under-acclaimed tracks. Where to Now St. Peter? allows itself more time to float than the formulaic structures which later became his trademark, and he exhibits a keening falsetto. Amoreena (used over the opening sequences of Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon) bristles with drama, although Lesley Duncan’s Love Song (a rare case of Elton covering a friend’s song) can’t glide past its cheesy lyrics. The climactic Burn Down the Mission – a live showstopper at the time – enjoys a grandstand finish, all bombast and infectious enthusiasm. Relatively (it’s sold a million) overlooked in the canon, Tumbleweed… is a crafted, often impassioned work.

--Chris Roberts

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Format: Audio CD
Reginald Dwight's 3rd album proper was released in late 1970 and firmly established Elton John as one of the great singer-songwriters of the Seventies. This June 2008 DELUXE EDITION on Mercury 06007 53052556 is a fully upgraded 2CD version of that breakthrough vinyl album - and in my books is one of the jewels in Universal's very hit and miss `DE' Series. Here are the English cowboys and American pistols:

1. Ballad Of A Well-Known Gun
2. Come Down In Time
3. Country Comfort
4. Son Of Your Father
5. My Father's Gun
6. Where To Now St. Peter?
7. Love Song
8. Talking Old Soldiers
9. Burn Down The Mission
Disc 1 is the 10-track album originally released in the UK in October 1970 on DJM Records DJLPS 410 and in the USA on Uni Records 73096 (47:04 minutes)

1. There Goes A Well-Known Gun
2. Come Down In Time (Piano Demo)
3. Country Comfort (Piano Demo)
4. Son Of Your Father
5. Talking Old Soldiers (Piano Demo)
6. Into The Old Man's Shoes (Piano Demo)
7. Sisters Of The Cross (Piano Demo)
8. Madman Across The Water (Original Version)
9. Into The Old Man's Shoes
10. My Father's Gun (BBC Session)
11. Ballad Of A Well-Known Gun (BBC Session)
12. Burn Down The Mission (BBC Session)
13. Amoreena (BBC Session)
Disc 2 is the BONUS. 10 of the 13 tracks are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED (1 to 7 and 11 to 13) while the other 3 are rarities with upgraded sound from their previous release in 1988 (1 track) and 1995 (2 tracks) (61:07 minutes)

PACKAGING:
The LP originally sported a textured gatefold sleeve with an attached 12-page booklet which has been faithfully reproduced in the excellent 28-page booklet that accompanies this set.
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1 Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This review is for the Deluxe CD version of Tumbleweed Connection.

Perhaps it was the slightly austere 'old americana' cover (actually shot here in Britain) that slightly put me off when this first came out in 1970, but Tumbleweed Connection has - for me - been an album that got lost in the deluge of Elton John albums that followed as he became one of pops superstars. My stupidity is my loss. Having recently bought his eponymous 'Elton John' album in the Deluxe version, I decided that now (2013!) might be a good time to investigate 'Tumbleweed'. In a word, it's gorgeous. So much so, you wonder how his career might have developed had fame not grabbed him by the shirt collar in the way it did.

As with the 'Elton John' and 'Captain Fantastic and the Dirt Brown Cowboy' Deluxe packages, the new transfers are beautiful representations of the original master tapes, warm, mellow and resonant. The original CD transfers often sound thin and constricted in comparison - these Deluxe versions are getting closer to the warmth of vinyl. So, though I am new to the music on this album, you can only sit and wonder at the sounds and emotions coming out of your speakers. If nothing else, Elton John albums are quality recordings, and this Deluxe version does it justice. This is a textbook lesson in how to re-release an album in expanded packaging while remaining faithful to the original, and the project pays off handsomely here. It's a very well produced piece and a lovely listen.
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By S J Buck TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is a superb re-issue with a whole disc of extra tracks (13 in all). Previous reviewers have already given details so I will not repeat a track by track analysis.

Suffice to say though that the original album is one of Eltons finest. There are no singles. In a way its a concept album, but not in a prog-rock way. The theme is the American west and it beautifully done. The arrangements from a full band with added strings to just Elton and Piano are impeccable. If you don't already own this album then this is an essential classic of its era.

The disc of extra tracks is a mixed bag, but if you are a fan then to hear the early Piano demos of some these tracks is a chance to hear the songs in a form normally never heard by the public. Amongst them is superb vocal/Piano only rendition of My Fathers Gun, which despite one slightly mis-fingered chord from Elton, is a brilliant example of what made him a success in the first place.

I had the previous special edition of this album but have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my first version of this album as I put off getting it until I could wrap my hands around this deluxe edition. The wait was well worth it. The sound quality is exceptional considering these songs were recorded 40 years ago. It was only when I put my headphones on when I realized how much better this album sounded than any of the other classic years remasters from the mid to late 90's.
The first disc is the album as originally released with 10 songs that as sound crisp and clear as they are ever going to sound.
The second disc you'll find 13 demo versions and BBC recordings, most of which are the same songs on the album. They're not remastered as those of the first disc but stripped down as they are they compliment the album well.
Tumbleweed Connection is one of Elton John's finest albums. My advise would be to get the deluxe edition rather than the regular version. It costs more but it's worth every penny!
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