ARTIST: Elton John
TITLE: Tumbleweed Connection
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #5 US, #2 UK
SINGLES: Love Song
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Ballad of a Well-Known Gun, Country Comfort, Burn Down the Mission
LINEUP: Elton John, Caleb Quaye, Roger Pope, Dave Glover, Herbie Flowers, Nigel Olsson, Barry Morgan, lots of others
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Elton John finds his 70’s sound and improves his songwriting and arrangements.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: From the first notes of “Ballad of a Well Known Gun”, modern listeners recognize Elton John’s signature sound. This is the album where it begins to coalesce.
The arrangements and melodies are more rock-and-roll than before, and Elton’s vocals are also schooled in more of a rock idiom. Gems like “Amoreena” and “Country Comfort”, and “Burn Down the Mission” populate the record. There’s somewhat of a theme, with a lot of songs with gun allusions, keeping a western theme.
There’s still a few tracks where it doesn’t all hold together. The selection for a single (“Love Song”) seemed out of place. It bombed, but the album did well on FM radio and sold and sold despite no single.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Amoreena” was used in the opening credits of Dog Day Afternoon.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. The gem is the original version of “Madman Across the Water”
GRADE: B+: Most everything is a great listen, with just a few tracks that are semi-skippable.