Elton John, Madman Across the Water

This is from a 1971 album which I only recently started listening to in its entirety in 2014 (when I finally got a car with a decent sound system). It’s full of long form storytelling with tracks like Levon and the very famous Tiny Dancer. If, like me you’re impatient to get to those and other epics on the album (like Indian Sunset) then you might have skipped past Madman . . .shame ‘cos this is a real slow burner. It gets into your ear with great chord changes and jarring changes of pace. When Elton hits the note on “it looks like rain” you’re hearing his vocals at their peak although this 2007 version is, as the title suggests, from his more advanced years — still good though because ever the alert musician, Elton has altered his singing style to adapt for the changes age has worked on his voice (I wish other legends from yesteryear would do the same, i.e. McCartney and Gallagher at the 2012 Olympics). For a live version showcasing the voice when it was still capable of those higher ranges you have to go back to the 70s.




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