- Audio CD (10 May 1995)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
- Label: Virgin EMI
- ASIN: B000001EG4
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 63 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,725 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Tumbleweed Connection Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Tumbleweed Connection (Remastered)
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, 10 May 1995
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ELTON JOHN Tumbleweed Connection (1995 UK 12-track CD album released as part of the remastered Classic Years collection including two bonus tracks; Into The Old Mans Shoes and Madman Across The Water [Original Version] picture sleeve booklet reproduces original artwork and contains extensive notes)
Tumbleweed Connection is part of the early catalogue of Elton John's work that Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose reportedly once said he would love to own the publishing rights to as a work of art. Indeed, it does contain some of John's most expressive work as an artist, but with the showy stage presence and pop melodicism still under construction. Tumbleweed is characterized by John's balladeer approach, with John at his storyteller best on songs like "Burn Down the Mission." Even if the lyrics were generally written by Bernie Taupin, John's voice and inflection made every song seem deeply personal. The beautiful "Come Down in Time" displays the subtleties and sophistication of his talent, with the piano not yet serving as the instrumental focal point it would later become. The album also features the favourite "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" and "Where to Now St. Peter?" --Steve GdulaSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
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)
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. Along with photos from the time of both Elton and Bernie, there's a very informative new essay by noted writer JOHN TOBLER, press adverts and billboard posters from 1970, session details and the fold-out flaps of the digipak even reflect the pictures on the left and right of the inner gatefold of the original album - all very nice touches indeed. However, if I was to nitpick, the outer plastic wrap lists no information of any kind, which means the casual buyer picking it up off a shelf can't tell what's inside this DELUXE EDITION? But that's a minor niggle that can be fixed on repressings, because the really big news is the SOUND....
Sourcing the first generation original masters tapes from the Universal Archives, GIOVANNI SCATOLA and TONY COUSINS at Metropolis Mastering in London have carried out the re-mastering - and surely some kind of Audio Award awaits each of them. As the owner of way too many re-issue CDs - this is simply one of the best remasters of an old album that I've ever heard. Twenty seconds into the opener and I was already writing a review and picking my jaw up off the table as I went!
So what's changed? When GUS DUDGEON replaced the useless 1980s CDs with the excellent 1995 remasters, he got the best sound out of the tapes that he could at the time (he sadly passed away a few years ago). But 13 years on to 2008 and that's a lifetime in remastering techniques. These 2008 versions breathe - you can hear everything - and clearly too. A good example is the quietly delicate duet with LESLEY DUNCAN on her own "Love Song" - as pretty a tune as you could hope to hear - it's BEAUTIFUL now - finally given the clarity that it has always deserved. (She later did her own superlative version on GM Records in 1974).
Other vocal contributions come from DUSTY SPRINGFIELD, MADELINE BELL and Bronze Label Artist TONY HAZZARD on "My Father's Gun" and "Ballad Of A Well-Known Gun". UK folk duo SUE and SUNNY make a rare appearance on "Son Of Your Father" while IAN DUCK, the lead vocalist for HOOKFOOT puts in great harmonica work on one of the album standouts "Country Comfort". In fact, the majority of HOOKFOOT (his DJM label mates) makes up the bulk of his band - and would stay with him for years afterwards.
DISC 2 gives us excellent PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED Piano Demos along with two separate BBC sessions - the "Dave Lee Travis Show" from April 1970 and the "Sounds Of The Seventies Show" from July 1970. They vary in sound quality, but are more than pleasantly good. Having said that, there are THREE genuine sensations on Disc 2. When Sting was asked to do a cover for the all-star "Two Rooms" compilation in 1991, he wisely chose "Come Down In Time", which for me has always been the best track on the album. Well track 3 on Disc 2 is a recently found PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED PIANO DEMO of "Come Down In Time" and it's sensationally good - just beautiful. Stripped of clutter and intruding instrumentation, the melody shines though, and luckily this is one of those demos that is in TIP-TOP STUDIO QUALITY CONDITION - very little hiss - just him and his lovely song. It's truly fantastic stuff and will remind many a weary fan of why they loved Elton John in the first place - he was a bloody good songwriter.
Second up is the near 9-minute "Original Version" of "Madman Across The Water" with MICK RONSON on Lead Guitar instead of Chris Spedding (Spedding was the guitar player on the shorter album version finally released on the "Madman Across The Water" album in October 1971). Along with the next track discussed, it turned up on the 1995 re-issue CD as a bonus track. What makes this version better is the UPGRADED REMASTER, which gives his raunchy guitar work an in-your-face clarity that pummels real axe-power into the song. Ronson, Bowie and Mott fans will absolutely love it!
Last is a rare B-side. Although "Tumbleweed" produced no singles at all, "Your Song" from the previous album "Elton John" was given a belated UK release in January 1971 with a unique non-album B-side, "Into the Old Man's Shoes". It first turned up on the 1995 Gus Dudgeon remaster with good sound - but here its upgraded sound quality is STUNNING!
To sum up: I've loved coming back to this album - the great sound quality - actual tunes with thought-provoking lyrics - the attention to detail in the well-thought out packaging - the bonuses you'll play more than once - all of it. And his 2nd self-titled album “Elton John” has received the lavish DE treatment too – and with the same high quality results.
Well done to all involved…and roll on “Honky Chateau” and “Madman Across The Water”…
Another reason to buy this album is how underrated it is and I have no idea why. I have never haired any of these songs on the radio and non-are on his greatest hits albums. I couldn’t recommend this enough!
There are some real surprises in the content of this album, not least the full blooded attempts at country rock in 'Country Comfort' and 'Son Of Your Father'. There is also some of his most original and poignant tracks here too, as in the beautiful 'Come Down In Time' and 'My Father's Gun'. Simplicity is the key to another couple of tracks, including 'Love Song' which sounds more like Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' than anything else, and the slightly morose 'Talking Old Soldiers'.
But the highlights, as you might expect from such a potent song-writing force, are really something else. 'Amoreena' is a powerful, tight song with punching piano and Hammond Organ, and is sung with a passion so fierce, it blows you away. 'Where To Now St. Peter?' is as close to proper psychedelia that Elton John ever got, and has a fascinating lyric to boot. 'Burn Down The Mission' is a gospel-oriented song not far removed from 'Border Song', which has a punchy brass section finale at the end of each part of the song.
The CD also includes two extra tracks, one of which is really worth having, the original version of 'Madman Across The Water'. Quite why it is not an extra track on 'Madman Across The Water' itself is a bit of a mystery, but this CD really benefits for it, and it wouldn't sound at all out of place on the album as a bona-fide track anyway.
The country theme explored in some of the songs and the instrumentation may not be to everyones tastes initially, but the standard of songcraft on this album, coupled with stunning performances throughout the album should make up for any reservations you may have about investing in this great album.
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