Tumbleweed Connection is the third studio album by English singer-songwriter Elton John, released in October 1970 in the United Kingdom and January 1971 in the United States. 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.
Instead of repeating the formula that made Elton John a success, John and Bernie Taupin attempted their most ambitious record to date for the follow-up to their breakthrough. Half of the songs don't follow conventional pop song structures; instead, they flow between verses and vague choruses. These experiments are remarkably successful, primarily because Taupin's lyrics are evocative and John's melodic sense is at its best.
Tumbleweed Connection is part of the early catalog of Elton John's work that Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose reportedly once said he would love to own the publishing rights to as a work of art. Indeed, it does contain some of John's most expressive work as an artist, but with the showy stage presence and pop melodicism still under construction. Tumbleweed is characterized by John's balladeer approach, with John at his storyteller best on songs like "Burn Down the Mission
Back home, Sounds was unreserved in its praise: There isn’t one track on this album I could fault, wrote Penny Valentine. In January 1971, little more than three months since the Elton John album became his first US chart record, Tumbleweed Connection entered the Billboard charts at an impactful N. 8. Even more impressively, it gave Elton two of America’s biggest albums at the same time, with his previous, eponymous release at N. 1 that week. Within seven days, those positions were N. 1 and N., respectively; another week on, he had two of the top six albums in the country.
Tumbleweed Connection. Released October 30, 1970. Tumbleweed Connection Tracklist. 1. Ballad of a Well-Known Gun Lyrics. 2. Come Down in Time Lyrics.
Tumbleweed Connection is interesting primarily because of the themes that Taupin has taken on and the melodies John has created. The performances are fine but somehow they lose the force one can envision them having had in some earlier stage of production. It is still an exciting album, one that I have played endlessly for a week, but it is also something of a missed opportunity. Tumbleweed Connection is simpler than John’s last album and next time around I hope he goes all the way and gets down to nothing but the basics. He is one of the few who is good enough not to need anything else
|A1||Ballad Of A Well Known Gun
Acoustic Guitar, Lead Guitar – Caleb QuayeBacking Vocals – Dusty Springfield, Kay Garner, Lesley Duncan, Madeline Bell, Tony Burrows, Tony HazzardBass Guitar – Dave Glover*Drums, Percussion – Roger PopeGuitar – Caleb QuayePiano – Elton John
|A2||Come Down In Time
Acoustic Bass – Chris LaurenceAcoustic Guitar – Les ThatcherBass Guitar – Herbie FlowersDrums – Barry MorganHarp – Skaila KangaOboe – Karl Jenkins
Acoustic Guitar – Caleb QuayeBacking Vocals – Dee Murray, Nigel OlssonBass Guitar – Herbie FlowersDrums – Barry MorganHarmonica – Ian DuckPiano – Elton JohnSteel Guitar – Gordon HuntleyTwelve-String Guitar [Acoustic] – Les ThatcherViolin – Johnny Van Derek
|A4||Son Of Your Father
Backing Vocals – Kay Garner, Lesley Duncan, Madeline Bell, Sue And Sunny*, Tammi HuntBass Guitar – Dave Glover*Drums – Roger PopeHarmonica – Ian DuckLead Guitar – Caleb QuayePiano – Elton John
|A5||My Father's Gun
Backing Vocals – Dusty Springfield, Kay Garner, Lesley Duncan, Madeline Bell, Tony Burrows, Tony HazzardBass Guitar – Dave Glover*Drums – Roger PopeLead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Caleb QuayePiano – Elton John
|B1||Where To Now St. Peter?
Backing Vocals – Dee Murray, Nigel OlssonBass Guitar – Dave Glover*Drums – Roger PopeLead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar – Caleb QuayePiano – Elton John
Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals – Lesley DuncanComposed By – Lesley Duncan
Bass Guitar – Dee MurrayDrums – Nigel OlssonLead Guitar – Caleb QuayePiano, Organ – Elton John
|B4||Talking To Old Soldiers
Piano – Elton John
|B5||Burn Down The Mission
Acoustic Bass – Chris LaurenceAcoustic Guitar – Les Thatcher, Mike EganBacking Vocals – Elton JohnBass Guitar – Herbie FlowersCongas, Tambourine – Robin JonesDrums – Barry MorganOrgan – Brian DeePiano – Elton John
|DJLPS 410, DJLPS.410||Elton John||Tumbleweed Connection (LP, Album, Gat)||DJM Records , DJM Records||DJLPS 410, DJLPS.410||UK||1970|
|93096, 73096||Elton John||Tumbleweed Connection (LP, Album, RE, Gat)||UNI Records, UNI Records||93096, 73096||US||1971|
|DJLPS 410, DJLPS.410||Elton John||Tumbleweed Connection (LP, Album)||DJM Records , DJM Records||DJLPS 410, DJLPS.410||UK||1970|
|FL-2023||Elton John||Tumbleweed Connection (LP, Unofficial)||First Record||FL-2023||Taiwan||Unknown|
|DJM 22088, DJF 20410||Elton John||Tumbleweed Connection (LP, Album, RE)||DJM Records , DJM Records||DJM 22088, DJF 20410||UK||Unknown|