Tumbleweed Connection: Rolling Stone's #458 of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Tumbleweed Connection
Studio album: Elton John
Released: October 30, 1970
Recorded: March 1970
Genre: Roots rock, country rock

Tumbleweed Connection is Elton John's third studio album. His attempt at American country and western themes, it reached number 2 on the UK Albums Chart and number 5 on the US Billboard 200 chart. 
No singles were released from the album in the US. It was certified platinum in the US in August 1998.  In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Tumbleweed Connection number 458 of the 500 greatest albums of all time. 

Country Comfort
"Tumbleweed Connection needs no improvement; 
it is one of the best country-rock albums 
ever written by London cowboys."
David Fricke in Rolling Stone 

Elton John
Elton John

Three of the album's tracks - "Come Down in Time," "Burn Down the Mission, " and "Country Comfort" - were recorded during the sessions for the previous LP,  Elton John, and overdubbed for Tumbleweed Connection. "Come Down in Time" was covered by Sting in 1991 for the Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin tribute album. For the same LP, Phil Collins recorded "Burn Down the Mission." "Country Comfort" was covered by Rod Stewart for his album, Gasoline Alley.Australian country singer Keith Urban recorded a cover of "Country Comfort" on his 2004 album Be Here.


Amoreena, about a young man yearning for his distant loved one, continues the country-inspired rock sound characterized in the album.  John is accompanied for the first time by bass player Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson, who would form the core of his rhythm section until 1975. Al Pacino's film Dog Day Afternoon opens with this song

My Father's Gun

"I re-listened to it it a couple years ago.
Sometimes you hear things differently."
Miranda Lambert for the Tennessean

"My Father's Gun" tells the story of a young Confederate soldier whose father dies in battle during the American Civil War. After burying his dad, the young man takes his gun and rejoins the fighting. Country singer Miranda Lambert covered the song for the tribute album Restoration: Reimagining the Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Lambert told the Tennessean she chose "My Father's Gun" because of the impact it had on her personally. "I re-listened to it a couple years ago," Lambert recalled. "Sometimes you hear things differently. And I had gone through some things in my life. It's almost like I re-discovered it, and it impacted me totally differently as an adult who had been through some things. It's crazy how music can touch you over and over again.

Talking Old Soldiers

"Talking Old Soldiers" is a story of a young man and an old man inside a bar. The old man describes his loneliness and his former comrades "who've passed away." He thanks the young man for listening. No one else does. In a Rolling Stone interview, John said that it "was a very David Ackles-influenced song." The Tumbleweed Connection album was dedicated "with love to David." The song was covered by Bettye LaVette in 2007 on her album The Scene of the Crime.


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