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Madman Across the Water

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iTunes Review

Elton John’s fourth album is a dusky, dense set of big pop gestures and lush ballads that, conceptually, detail Elton in America. It’s rich with shimmering melodies, booming pianos and guitars, and syrupy-sweet orchestral arrangements that sometimes hint at prog rock. There’s lots of magic and emotional depth in Bernie Taupin’s storyteller lyrics and Elton’s warm, dynamic vocals and performances—from the California girl in the haunting and pretty “Tiny Dancer” to the Native American warriors in the string-and-piano epic “Indian Sunset” to the homeless man in the blues-y “Razor Face.”

Customer Reviews

Elton's Darkest Sounding Album

Perhaps Elton’s darkest sounding album, I simply love the mood this album creates. Thanks to Paul Buckmaster’s stirring and at times, even frightening orchestral arrangements, this album is a pretty heavy affair.

Plus, there is something about the way Elton’s piano was recorded. It has such warmth and depth to it. I don’t hear this type of sound quality on any other Elton John album.

Hits like Tiny Dancer and Levon were majestic storytelling songs and instantly harken me back to a simpler time. But it’s the deep album tracks that remind me why this album is so good. Razor Face, All The Nasties, Holiday Inn and the last track, Goodbye, are excellent.

Taupin once again, paints vivid pictures with his words, as only he can. And Indian Sunset is nearly a short story set to music. This song, about the plight of the American Indian never fails to move me.

Producer Gus Dudgeon’s steady hand brought a rich sound quality (thanks also to some unique session back-up singers that resemble a choir on some songs) that I don’t think was ever repeated.

Best Elton Album

We've all heard Elton's Greatest Hits but some of the songs on his earlier albums have slipped through the cracks, which is a shame because they really are some of his finest musical compositions.

My personal favorites on this album are "Holiday Inn," "Levon," and "Razor Face." If you like Elton John and want to hear some of his best songs ever, this album is A MUST HAVE!!!!

One of Elton's Finest

Easily, one of Elton's finest albums. The title track is his best work. Teamed with the brilliant arranger, Paul Buckmaster, the level of genius displayed here allows this album to hold up not only well, but for the ages.


Born: March 25, 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Elton John was the biggest pop star of the '70s, grabbing headlines and generating hits throughout the world. As it turned out, this was merely the first act in a remarkable career that kept him at the top of the charts for over 25 years. He charted a Top 40 hit single every year between 1970 and 1996, a sign that he knew how to both change with the times and mold the times to fit him. Initially marketed as a singer/songwriter, John soon revealed he could craft Beatlesque pop and pound out rockers...
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