This article is about the album by Elton John. For the musical of the same name, see Tumbleweed Connection (musical).
Tumbleweed Connection is the third album by English singer/songwriter Elton John. It is a concept album based on country and western/Americana themes.
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.
In 1975, the film Dog Day Afternoon featured "Amoreena" in the opening sequence. In 1998, a bootleg CD was released called Tumbleweed Collection. This was a collection of piano demos and live tracks.
The song "Country Comfort" was released as a single from the album as a b side to "Your Song" by A&M, and one of the songs recorded during the sessions, "Into the Old Man's Shoes" was released as a b-side for at least one single issue of "Your Song". 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. Rod 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 the 5th May 1974 (Nazareth were the opening act) (the same month that Elton John's eighth album, Caribou was released), for the price of 1 pound.
Album cover photo:
The cover photo of the album was taken at the Bluebell Rail Station in Horsted Keynes, England, approximately 30 miles south of London. Photographer David Larkham photographed John (seated, right) and Taupin (standing, left) in front of the station to add a sense of Americana realism to the album concept, despite the rail station being English. Additional photos were made from the interior of a train on the rail line for the album liner notes and libretto.
All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.
"Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" - 4:59,
"Come Down in Time" - 3:25,
"Country Comfort" - 5:06,
"Son of Your Father" - 3:48,
"My Father's Gun" - 6:20,
"Where to Now St. Peter?" - 4:11,
"Love Song" (Lesley Duncan) - 3:41,
"Amoreena" - 5:00,
"Talking Old Soldiers" - 4:06,
"Burn Down the Mission" - 6:22,
Bonus tracks (1995 Rocket and 2001 Mercury reissue):
"Into the Old Man's Shoes" - 4:02,
"Madman Across the Water" (original version) - 8:51,
Bonus tracks (2008 deluxe edition):
"There Goes a Well Known Gun" - 3:27
alternate take of "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun",
"Come Down in Time" (Piano demo) - 3:21,
"Country Comfort" (Piano demo) - 4:12,
"Son of Your Father" (Piano demo) - 4:13,
"Talking Old Soldiers" (Piano demo) - 4:13,
"Into the Old Man's Shoes" (Piano demo) - 3:40,
"Sisters of the Cross" - 4:38
early 1970 demo not available elsewhere,
"Madman Across the Water" (Original version, featuring Mick Ronson on lead guitar) - 8:52,
"Into the Old Man's Shoes" - 4:06,
"My Father's Gun" (BBC session) - 3:43,
"Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" (BBC session) - 4:36,
"Burn Down the Mission" (BBC session) - 6:52,
"Amoreena" (BBC session) - 5:12,
Elton John - piano, organ, keyboards, vocals,
Caleb Quaye - guitars,
Roger Pope - drums,
Dave Glover - bass guitar, backing vocals,
Herbie Flowers - bass guitar,
Jason Barnhart - bass guitar, backing vocals,
Nigel Olsson - drums, backing vocals,
Barry Morgan - drums,
Gordon Huntley - steel guitar,
Brian Dee - organ,
Ian Duck - harmonica,
Lesley Duncan - acoustic guitar, vocals, backing vocals,
Mike Egan - acoustic guitar,
Kay Garner - backing vocals,
Tammi Hunt - backing vocals,
Tony Burrows - backing vocals,
Dusty Springfield - backing vocals,
Madeline Bell - backing vocals,
Paul Buckmaster - conductor,
Dee Murray - Bass,
Gus Dudgeon - producer,
Robin Geoffrey Cable - engineer,
Gus Skinas - editing,
Ricky Graham - digital transfers,
Greg Penny - surround mix,
Bernie Taupin - lyricist,
Paul Buckmaster - arranger,
David Larkham - art direction, design, cover design, artwork, photography,
Barry Wentzell - photography,
John Tobler - liner notes,
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license