Tumbleweed Connection: Rolling Stones #458 of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2012)

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 reached number 2 on the UK Albums Chart and 5 on the US Billboard 200 chart. 

It was certified platinum in the US in August 1998. In 2012, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Tumbleweed Connection number 458 among the 500 greatest albums. 

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. 

Sting covered "Come Down in Time" 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." 

Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin

Rod Stewart included his take on "Country Comfort" on 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 its impact on her personally. 

"I re-listened to it a couple years ago," Lambert recalled. "Sometimes you hear things differently. And I have gone through some things in my life. It's almost like I re-discovered it, and it impacted me 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 thanked the young man for listening. No one else does. In a Rolling Stone interview, John said 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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