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Tumbleweed Connection

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Title: Tumbleweed Connection  
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Subject: Elton John, Ballad of a Well-Known Gun, Bernie Taupin, Burn Down the Mission, Elton John: The Classic Years
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Tumbleweed Connection

Tumbleweed Connection
Studio album by Elton John
Released 30 October 1970
Recorded March 1970; Trident Studios
(London, England)
Genre Roots rock[1]
Length 46:56
Label DJM (UK)
Uni (US)
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Elton John chronology
Elton John
Tumbleweed Connection
Singles from Tumbleweed Connection
  1. "Love Song"
    Released: 1970
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [2]
Robert Christgau B−[3]
Q [4]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[5]
Rolling Stone (deluxe edition) [6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [7]
Uncut [8]
The Village Voice C+[9]
Yahoo! Music (favourable)[10]

Tumbleweed Connection is the third album by English singer-songwriter Elton John. It is a concept album based on country and western/Americana themes.


  • Background 1
  • Album cover photo 2
  • Track listing 3
    • Bonus tracks (1995 Rocket and 2001 Mercury reissue) 3.1
    • Bonus tracks (2008 deluxe edition) 3.2
  • Personnel 4
  • Production 5
  • Charts 6
    • Peak positions 6.1
    • Year-end charts 6.2
    • Certifications 6.3
  • References 7


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.[11][12] 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 DJM, 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.[13]

"Country Comfort" was recorded in 1970 for Gasoline Alley, the second album by Rod Stewart. 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 5 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 Railway, 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 railway station being English. Additional photos were made from the interior of a train on the rail line for the album liner notes and libretto.[14] The cover is a wraparound design, so the above sample image only shows John's half of the image.

Track listing

All songs written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, except where noted.

Side one
  1. "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" – 4:59
  2. "Come Down in Time" – 3:25
  3. "Country Comfort" – 5:06
  4. "Son of Your Father" – 3:48
  5. "My Father's Gun" – 6:20
Side two
  1. "Where to Now St. Peter?" – 4:11
  2. "Love Song" (Lesley Duncan) – 3:41
  3. "Amoreena" – 5:00
  4. "Talking Old Soldiers" – 4:06
  5. "Burn Down the Mission" – 6:22

Bonus tracks (1995 Rocket and 2001 Mercury reissue)

  1. "Into the Old Man's Shoes" – 4:02
  2. "Madman Across the Water" (original version) – 8:51

Bonus tracks (2008 deluxe edition)

  1. "There Goes a Well Known Gun" – 3:27
    • alternate take of "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun"
  2. "Come Down in Time" (Piano demo) – 3:21
  3. "Country Comfort" (Piano demo) – 4:12
  4. "Son of Your Father" (Piano demo) – 4:13
  5. "Talking Old Soldiers" (Piano demo) – 4:13
  6. "Into the Old Man's Shoes" (Piano demo) – 3:40
  7. "Sisters of the Cross" – 4:38
    • early 1970 demo not available elsewhere
  8. "Madman Across the Water" (Original version, featuring Mick Ronson on lead guitar) – 8:52
  9. "Into the Old Man's Shoes" – 4:06
  10. "My Father's Gun" (BBC session) – 3:43
  11. "Ballad of a Well-Known Gun" (BBC session) – 4:36
  12. "Burn Down the Mission" (BBC session) – 6:52
  13. "Amoreena" (BBC session) – 5:12





  1. ^ Zimmerman, Kent (2004). Sing My Way Home: Voices of the New American Roots Rock.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "CG: elton john".  
  4. ^ "Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection CD Album". 20 February 1996. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  5. ^  
  6. ^  
  7. ^ "Elton John: Album Guide". Rolling Stone. Portions of this album guide appeared in The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (Fireside, 2004). Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "Music Reviews". Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  9. ^  
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ a b "Elton John > Artists > Official Charts".  
  12. ^ a b : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums"Tumbleweed Connection"Allmusic: . Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Mick Ronson sessions". Retrieved 19 January 2015. 
  14. ^ "Horsted Keynes Rail Station". On This Very Spot. Retrieved 2014-02-14. 
  15. ^ a b  
  16. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 15, No. 25".  
  17. ^ "Tumbleweed Connection" Elton John – (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch).  
  18. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006.  
  19. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE.  
  20. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1971" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1971". Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "American album certifications – Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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