Elton John's 'Madman Across the Water' Gets Deluxe Edition

Post by: Rick Ellis 10 June, 2022

When Elton John released the album Madman Across The Water in 1971, it came out at a pivotal time in his career. 1970's Tumbleweed Connection was John's second album and while the record label didn't even release a single, it went to the #2 position on the UK album chart and #5 in the U.S. 1971 brought the release of the soundtrack for the movie Friends, followed by the live album 17-11-70, which was taken from a live radio broadcast and only released because it was so widely bootlegged.

So Madman Across The Water found John with a growing reputation, but still unable to follow through with another hit single following 1970s' top ten hit "Your Song." That changed with the release of this album, which included the singles Levon (#24 on the U.S. chart) and the now-iconic Tiny Dancer (#41 on the Top 40 chart). Produced by Gus Dudgeon, Madman was recorded just as John had put together the arguably definitive line-up of his touring band, with guitarist Davey Johnstone joining Dee Murray on bass and Nigel Olsson on drums. While Dudgeon barely allowed them to play on the album, their sound helped form the songs and that vision would explode on the follow-up album, 1972's Honky Chateau. Neither single was a massive hit, but they hinted at what was to come.

Madman fared poorly in the U.K., topping at #41 on the album charts. But it hit #8 on the U.S. album chart and looking back, it's a very underrated album from an artist on the brink of superstardom.

Now it's being re-released today in a 50th anniversary edition that will be available in three different formats, incuding a 3CD/Blu-ray collection that'll offer the original album (remastered by Bob Ludwig in 2016), five rare bonus tracks, a dozen solo piano demos, an unreleased full version of outtake "Rock Me When He's Gone," John's live set from BBC's Sounds of Saturday performing nearly the entire album, surround mixes and more. The packaging features a 104-page book featuring rare photos, memorabilia, liner notes and essays, plus a reproduced concert poster from 1971. (The audio on the three CDs will also be available on four LPs, and a 2CD edition - without the Blu-ray or Sounds of Saturday audio - are also available. 

Below is a track listing of the complete set:

CD 1: Original album (2016 Bob Ludwig remaster) and bonus tracks

  1. Tiny Dancer
  2. Levon
  3. Razor Face
  4. Madman Across the Water
  5. Indian Sunset
  6. Holiday Inn
  7. Rotten Peaches
  8. All the Nasties
  9. Goodbye
  10. Indian Sunset (Live Radio Broadcast)
  11. Madman Across the Water (Original Version feat. Mick Ronson)
  12. Rock Me When He's Gone
  13. Levon (Mono Single Version)
  14. Razor Face (Extended Version)

Tracks 1-9 released as DJM Records (U.K.) DJLPH.420/UNI Records (U.S.) 93120, 1971
Tracks 11-12 released on Rare Masters - DJM/Chronicles (U.K.) 514 305-2/Polydor/Chronicles (U.S.) 314 514 138-2, 1992
Track 13 released on UNI U.S. single 55314, 1971
Track 14 released (in surround) on Madman Across the Water SACD - Island/Rocket B0003610-36, 2004

CD 2: Demos (previously unreleased except *)

  1. Madman Across the Water (1970 Piano Demo)
  2. Tiny Dancer (Piano Demo)
  3. Levon (Piano Demo)
  4. Razor Face (Piano Demo) *
  5. Madman Across the Water (1971 Piano Demo) *
  6. Indian Sunset (Piano Demo)
  7. Holiday Inn (Piano Demo) *
  8. Rotten Peaches (Piano Demo)
  9. All the Nasties (Piano Demo) *
  10. Goodbye (Piano Demo)
  11. Rock Me When He's Gone (Piano Demo)
  12. Rock Me When He's Gone (Full Version)

Tracks 4-5, 7 and 9 released on Jewel Box - Rocket/EMI/UMC (U.K.) 071 590-8, 2020

CD 3: BBC's Sounds for Saturday - rec. 11/11/1971, transmitted 4/29/1972 (previously unreleased)

  1. Tiny Dancer
  2. Rotten Peaches
  3. Razor Face
  4. Holiday Inn
  5. Indian Sunset
  6. Levon
  7. Madman Across the Water
  8. Goodbye


  • Greg Penny 5.1 surround mix of original album and "Madman Across the Water" (Original Version feat. Mick Ronson)
  • Sounds for Saturday video footage
  • Tiny Dancer/All the Nasties (The Old Grey Whistle Test - 11/17/1971

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Last modified on Friday, 10 June 2022 23:15