Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection

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Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection
Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection.jpg
Studio album by Elton John
Released 30 October 1970
Recorded March 1970
Studio Trident Studios
(London, England)
Genre
  • Roots rock
  • counrty rock
Length 46:56
Label DJM (UK)
UNI (US)
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Elton John
(1970)
Tumbleweed Connection
(1970)
Friends
(1971)
 
Singles from Tumbleweed Connection
  1. "Country Comfort"
    Released: 1970 (New Zealand only)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars
Robert Christgau B−
Q 3/5 stars
Rolling Stone (mixed)
Rolling Stone (deluxe edition) 4.5/5 stars
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3/5 stars
Uncut 4/5 stars
The Village Voice C+
Yahoo! Music (favourable)

 

  "Tumbleweed Connection" is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Elton John. It is a concept album based on counrty and western/Americana themes.

 

Contents

Background

All songs are written by John and Bernie Taupin, with the exception of "Love Song" by Lesley Duncan. The album was recorded at Trident Studios, London, England in March 1970 and released in October of the same year. It peaked at #2 on the UK Albums Chart and #5 on the US Billboard 200 chart. In the US, it was certified gold in March 1971 and platinum in August 1998 by the RIAA.

In 2003, Tumbleweed Connection was ranked #458 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson appear for the first time together on this album as the rhythm section on "Amoreena". Olsson had played on one track on "Empty Sky" for John in 1969. It is Murray's first appearance on an Elton John album.

No singles were released from the album by either DJM or Elton's US distributor, Universal Records (However, "Country Comfort" b/w "Love Song" was released as a single in New Zealand). Basic tracks for three of the LP's titles: "Come Down In Time", "Country Comfort" and "Burn Down The Mission" were recorded at Trident during the sessions for the previous LP, Elton John, with overdubs completed for Tumbleweed Connection. An early version of "Madman Across the Water", featuring Mick Ronson on electric guitar, was also recorded during the sessions for the album. It was released on several albums and reissues of Tumbleweed Connection, though the track was ultimately re-recorded for the "Madman Across the Water" album.

"Country Comfort" was recorded in 1970 for "Gasoline Alley", the second album by Rod Stewart. Stewart also performed the song live with Elton John dressed as a hornet, live at a fund-raising gig at the Vicarage Road Stadium of the Watford Football Club (the Watford Hornets) on 5 May 1974 (Nazareth were the opening act), the same month that Elton John's eighth album, "Caribu" was released for the price of £1.00.

 

Artwork

The wraparound cover photo for the album was taken at the Sheffield Park Railway Station, approximately 30 miles south of London on the Bluebell Railway in the County of Sussex. Photographer David Markham captured John (seated to the right in the photo but appearing to the left on the front cover, shown above) and Taupin (standing to the left, on the back cover) in front of the 1930s-era station to represent the album's Rural Americana concept, despite the English location. Additional photos were made from the interior of a train on the rail line for the album liner notes and libretto.

 

Track listing

All tracks written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" 4:59
2. "Come Down in Time" 3:25
3. "Country Comfort" 5:06
4. "Son of Your Father" 3:48
5. "My Father's Gun" 6:20
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Where to Now St. Peter?" 4:11
7. "Love Song" (Lesley Duncan) 3:41
8. "Amoreena" 5:00
9. "Talking Old Soldiers" 4:06
10. "Burn Down the Mission" 6:22
     
     
     

 

Personnel

  • Madeline Bell – backing vocals (1, 4, 5)
  • Paul Buckmaster – arrangement, conductor, orchestration
  • Tony Burrows – backing vocals (1, 5)
  • Brian Dee – Hammond organ (10)
  • Ian Duck – harmonica (3, 4)
  • Lesley Duncan – backing vocals (1, 4, 5, 7), acoustic guitar (7)
  • Mike Egan – acoustic guitar (10)
  • Herbie Flowers – bass guitar (2, 3, 10)
  • Kay Garner – backing vocals (1, 4, 5)
  • Dave Glover – bass guitar (1, 4, 5, 6)
  • Tony Hazzard – backing vocals (1, 5)
  • Gordon Huntley – steel guitar (3)
  • Tammi Hunt – backing vocals (4)
  • Karl Jenkins – oboe (2)
  • Elton John – lead vocals, piano (1, 3-6, 8, 9, 10), Hammond organ (8), backing vocals (10)
  • Robin Jones – congas (10), tambourine (10)
  • Skalia Kanga – harp (2)
  • Chris Laurence – bass guitar (2, 10)
  • Barry Morgan – drums (2, 3, 10)
  • Dee Murray – backing vocals (3, 6), bass guitar (8)
  • Nigel Olsson – backing vocals (3, 6), drums (8)
  • Roger Pope – drums (1, 4, 5), percussion (1)
  • Caleb Quaye – lead guitar (1, 4, 8), acoustic guitar (1, 3, 5), electric guitar (5)
  • Dusty Springfield – backing vocals (1, 5)
  • Les Thatcher – acoustic guitar (2, 10), twelve-string acoustic guitar (3)
  • Johnny Van Derek – violin (3)
  • Heather Wheatman – backing vocals (4)
  • Yvonne Wheatman – backing vocals (4)

 

Production

  • Gus Dudgeon – producer
  • Robin Geoffrey Cable – engineer
  • Gus Skinas – editing
  • Ricky Graham – digital transfers
  • Greg Penny – surrond mix
  • Bernie Taupin – lyricist
  • David Larkham – art direction, design, cover design, artwork, photography
  • Barry Wentzell – photography
  • Ian Digby-Ovens – photography
  • John Tobler – liner notes

 

Charts

Chart (1971) Position
Australian Albums Chart 25
Dutch Albums Chart 32
US Billboard Pop Albums 24

 

Certifications

 

 

 

 

Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection

UK DJM DJLPS 410 stereo (1970).

Matrix (hand etched)   K 54008-A3      K 54008-B2

Album produced by Gus Dudgeon.

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean, unmarked, and free from tears, stains or stickers.

The album's hinged cover is in excellent condition, displaying only minor signs of wear.

The album cover has a strong hinge and spine, displaying clear, printed script.

The album's textured cover has no script on the rear side, denoting a very early pressing.

The 12 page booklet is perfectly stapled in place inside the album's hinged cover.

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