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Elton John – Madman Across the Water (1971)

January 17, 2016

UKexemplary artwork by Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Made in the UK Artist #1: Duran Duran

Made in the UK Artist #2: The Charlatans

Made in the UK Artist #3: Elton John


[Album 445/1001]

I have the good fortune of owning this album on cassette and LP.Elton_John_-_Madman_Across_the_Water

Surprisingly, it’s a different experience depending on the listening medium.

And not just because of the usual differences of portability, audio quality, general awesomeness, etc.

If you don’t have Madman Across the Water already, it’s well worth the investment, especially on a program A/B format (Indian Sunset really ought to be a side opener, not merely a track 5 in a continuous tracklist).

To help decide which format is right for you, a slideshow:








From → 1970s

  1. Sweet circles! WELL DONE on this one. Stepping up your game!

  2. Oh shit. Coloured tape? That’s bound to be the next big thing now…

    • It felt very Elton too, a bit of flair even with the tape colour!

      • Yeah, good old Reg!

      • One of the highlights of my teaching career thus far was when reading a story in French with a character named ‘Reginald.’
        I asked the students if they knew who Reginald Kenneth Dwight was, and impressively, a couple knew Elton. I said, that’s right, Elton John.

        I resumed teaching, 5 seconds later, a student yells SIR – not to address me politely, but to correct my lack of respect for the knighted Sir Reginald!

      • Hope Sir Elton doesn’t read this… he’d flip his lid at that kind of disrespect! And from a teacher too… FOR SHAME.

      • I blame it on inexperience – it was almost a decade ago now, fortunately I haven’t made the same mistake since!

  3. Holy crap Geoff, you keep transcending!

    I thought I owned this great record as an SACD… something like that. I went and looked but it’s not where it should be… I’ll find it!

    • My thanks Aaron!
      It’s worth tracking down – if it has vanished, the good news I found both used (and inexplicably have seen it unsold a few times), so a crisp $5 bill should be able to get you both on a future Taranna trip!

      • Oh it’s here somewhere. I thought I had a vinyl too, but I could be wrong. Damn, I seem to be unable to keep track of this album in my house…

  4. Zack permalink

    This is one of my favorite albums ever. But I’ve only owned it on CD or Digital Download. It may be time to get the cassette for those sweet circles. If only there was a cassette store left somewhere on planet Earth.

    • You just have to drive north for a bit Zack, surprisingly, the Value Villages I’ve been to in Canada still have tapes galore!

  5. Great advice! You can never have too many copies of this one. I LOVE this album. Though I sadly only own the CD. Now I need to go scrounging for a vinyl copy….

    • Much appreciated sourgirl, and owning the CD is at least far better than the alternative of not having it at all. I was amazed to find it in good shape as part of a 3 for $10 vinyl deal – happy scrounging!

  6. ianbalentine permalink

    Great choice! I don’t think one can go wrong with anything Sir EJ released up to and including 1975, but this one is particularly great. By the way, does anyone know if Madman Across The Water (the song) is really about Richard Nixon?

  7. ianbalentine permalink

    Aw, shucks. Was kinda hoping it was…

  8. Nice post, Geoff – I’m a sucker for circles! I have this one on my list (the last of the Elton albums I wanted to get my hands on). Now you’ve got me wonder whether I should start collecting cassettes. Ha!

  9. Well done dude….your setting the bar high! Speaking of Bar don’t let Aaron near one….all the Red Wine will go M.I.A!

  10. Nice post, afraid I just can’t do EJ though.

  11. Tangled Up In Music (by Ovidiu Boar) permalink

    I’m a big Elton fan and this might just be his best album!

    • No counter-arguments here – though on any given day, I might choose any one of those early 70s records, too many good choices is a good problem to have!

  12. I love this record -It is his version of Springsteen’s Nebraska (to me) And the title track haunts me in a way that is almost too much —- Like watching “The Revenant” last night—-great-great movie an emotional ice-bath and volcano but not something i can take on a regular basis

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