Release date: 10th June 2022
Elton John’s fourth studio album release in little over two years, Madman Across The Water has been a long held dear favourite of artist and fans alike.
Madman Across The Water was largely written after Elton had made his initial foray to America; offering the opportunity for lyricist Bernie Taupin to witness first-hand the landscapes and people he’d only seen on a screen or on the page. Recorded at Trident Studios in Central London in February and August 1971, it was the first album where all five players of Elton’s fabled band line up – Dee Murray, Nigel Olsson, Davey Johnstone and Ray Cooper – were featured, albeit not on the same tracks.
While the UK were still deciding about Elton, these nine tracks struck a chord with Elton’s US audiences, reaching the Top 10 and its singles, ‘Levon’ and ‘Tiny Dancer’ both hit the US Top 50. After years as a ‘best kept secret’ to Elton’s fans, ‘Tiny Dancer’ has gone on to become one of his most loved songs, third only to Rocket Man and Your Song in global streaming lists. Capturing the headiness of California at the time of Elton’s first US concerts, the song was used to phenomenal effect in Cameron Crowe’s 2000 film Almost Famous.
This celebration of the album to mark its 50th anniversary comes in three different formats. All formats contain Bob Ludwig’s definitive 2016 remaster of the main album. There are 18 previously unreleased tracks across the Super Deluxe 3CD/1BR version, which also tidies up stray rare material from the era, piano demos of the album, and the audio of the BBC Sounds For Saturday concert, broadcast in 1972. The Blu Ray contains a 5.1 mix by Greg Penny, plus the Sounds For Saturday and his 1971 Old Grey Whistle Test performance. The audio of the Super Deluxe CD/BR set will be available on a 4LP set.
The box set includes a full historical essay with interviews with many who helped make the album, as well as memorabilia and artwork from the Rocket Archive.