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Reviews: Elton John: Tumbleweed Connection

Reviews: 12

Review by Ovation March 21, 2005 (11 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
My favourite of Elton's albums. "Love Song" is transformed in multichannel. The harmonies stand out and the song, simple as it is, envelops you in texture and richness. "Come Down in Time" is a treat as well. "Where to Now, St. Peter", with the effects pedal on the electric guitar shining through as never before. I could go on and on. I have all the early releases in SACD now (soon to add Peachtree Road) and all I can say is: bring me more. The Elton John series is the best showcase in pop/rock of the potential of MCH hi-res music. I've read many complaints about "in the band" mixes (not just in this set, but in general) and how a lot of listeners prefer the rears be used for ambience. I have some SACDs and DVD-As that use the rears like that, and they're nice (essentially makes a two channel recording seem like it has a much wider soundstage) but I think that approach is limiting (though I'd lend it more credence for live performances--though even there, the DVD concerts I have (Gabriel and Krall and others) demonstrate the potential of re-imagining a performance from a different perspective). So far (and I have about 50 hi-res MCH discs) I've found one track on one disc where I prefer the two channel mix. That's it. I love being immersed in the sound and I think more mixers/masterers should adopt that approach. Be daring. No need for annoying 360 degree sound effects panning--analogous to space battles on DVD movie soundtracks--but space the musicians out and around the listener. Let us hear the articulations of the various instruments/voices. They don't need to be swirling and twirling around, but let me be in the middle, awash in the music. To those producers out there looking for a model of how to do it right, grab the Elton series and listen, really listen. Even if the music itself doesn't appeal to you (though I can't imagine that myself), there is certainly much to admire and learn from in this set of recordings from a technical standpoint, if nothing else.

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Review by 51surr June 14, 2005 (2 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This has always been my favorite Elton John album.

Liner notes say they were inspired by The Band's earthy music for this album and it shows in its' country tinge. This isn't a typical Elton John album in that it had no hit songs and wasn't nearly as pop. A definite country/rock feel to the album which is what I enjoy about it.

I enjoy being immersed in the soundfield and that's what this album does. The bonus track of the original version of Madman Across The Water is quite adventureous in the MCH use and is what I have used to demonstrate an engaging MCH mix.

I don't listen to stereo when I have MCH. Why?

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Review by bruser August 22, 2005 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
What a beautiful job of surround mixing on this classic recording! Of the E.J. series, I have heard this one, his first album and Captain Fantastic, and I have to say this is the best sounding of those three. Greg Penny did a beautiful job of recreating the soundstage for surround on this one. I thought Captain Fantastic sounded a bit thinner overall and not as full on the bottom end. It's difficult to pick out any single track as a highlight here, becase it's all so well done. Certainly "Come Down in Time" and "Amoreena" are really juiced in surround, and the bonus track of "Madman Across the Water" rocks harder than the more familiar string-laden version. If only all 35 year old recordings could me made to sound this good...

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Review by StyleAndEntertainmen February 8, 2009 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Quick review. This is a fantastic sounding MC disc. No compression, full bass, extended highs, crystal clear vocals & piano. The music is great, of course, but since this is a reissue you can read a million reviews on that. The MC mix is agressive, but the engineers never forget the focus is front and (usually) center. So lots of support instruments & singers in the rear channels, but never leads or Elton's vocals. Overall, just a fantastic sounding disc irrespective of age!

Highly Recommended

Styln

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Review by analogue February 24, 2009 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Wow!!! Elton John in the early part of his career on sacd. The sound quality of this release is stellar. The sheer presence of the sound is incredible. This is not some lightweight transfer. eLTON'S VOICE and his music really comes through with great warmth, realism and feeling. The actual instruments sound real and Elton's voice is fantastic. When you sit back and really listen it's amazing just how good a singer he was back in the day. And what a band he had playing with him.

I can't recomment this Elton John sacd enough. It truly is special. The sound quality really shows off what sacd is capable of. Especially with classic rock albums.

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Review by Shakespear777 June 18, 2009 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
What bottom end and how beautiful in total. This has got to be one of the all time great SACDs of its genre and I thank the good people on this site who gave me a hint of its greatness or I would have surely passed it up.

Just one anecdote. Amorena was a favorite of mine in High School '72. So I turned up the volumne and it started with some rather loud piano. Then like huge avalance came an all enveloping thunder of sound that stunned and amazed me. I can't do this all the time for fear of hearing loss because it was topping at 100db. Not only did this experience bring me back to 1972, and the joy that opening sequence brought me, but left me speechless in the process. There was no distortion, just beautiful, clean, well positoned music.

I'm not recommending loud listening, just making a comment on the sonics.

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Review by jrsanfilippo August 25, 2009 (2 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
All I can say is that this is an unbelievable album in SACD. You must own this! I would say this for all Elton John SACD's!

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Review by ruxtonvet June 13, 2010 (1 of 19 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a very unpleasant noisy album. Listen to some songs on Amazon before buying. The instruments are almost all electronic and distorted. The songs are not melodic. Consumer beware.

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Review by tdunster December 3, 2012 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This sacd sounds wonderful and given how cheap it can be bought there really is no excuse not to own it.

I own three CD versions of this but it's unlikely they will ever be played again.

Highly recommended.

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Review by wiggy57 September 7, 2014 (1 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Truth be told, I have never been a fan of Elton John, Liked some of his music, but find the man himself to be a pompous prat. I picked up "Madman Across The Water" cheap on ebay, and boy was I pleasantly surprised. I knew he had a good voice but this SACD blew my socks off. So when I saw "Tumbleweed Connection" cheap on Amazon, I took another chance. Again I was gobsmacked, the clarity of the tracks again blew me away. I can't say which is my favourite track as I am still working my way through this masterpiece. Tracks 2 & 7 I find I keep going back to the most. Elton, you are still a bit of a prat, but shit, you can write some kick ass tunes. Can't wait to buy more of this man's early work and maybe, just maybe I won't find him as much of a prat as I did. The M/C on this and "Madman Across The Water", I find intelligently done. No fancy gimmicks, just an enhancement of the music. Buy these now before everyone catches on and push the prices up.

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Review by Mtphill September 15, 2014 (1 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Simply remarkable. The sound stage provided in the remix does add a very fullness that will cause another listen. I purposely loaded the original to compare and just couldn't get over how much better the multi-channel mix sounded. I love 2 channel and will not argue it as an original intent, but will say with proper speaker setup this version offers a completed depth of stage presence. It's as if they were all half circled on a stage before you. Vocals are goose-bumpy good!!

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Review by Marpow September 28, 2014 (2 of 9 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Elton John Tumbleweed Connection 2004 Hybrid SACD-DSD
After reading reviews for this disc that where almost all positive I thought I would take a stab, especially at $16.94. I would consider my self an Elton John Greatest Hits fan, loving the hits, not so much the others. Back to this disc.
Performance: Just OK for me, glad it is in my library and glad I didn't pay more. No hits.
Stereo Sonics: I listened to the disc in stereo after I listened to in multi channel. Not super great, just good enough to listen while doing something else.
Multi Channel Sonics: This was the the point of purchase so I sat and listened with an open mind. I had a real hard time at first as too bright, but after adjustments to bass, treble, and sub I got it dialed in to my taste. I must say I usually don't have to do this. The surround mix is quite good and I did enjoy it. The first track towards the end I was irritated by cowbell in rear left. I have continued problem with percussion instruments (cowbell, sticks, etc) it seems the multi channel mixing professionals have problems, sometimes, blending these few instruments in.
Packaging: Jewel plastic case with rounded corners. Really good mini booklet, true to original LP. Good liner notes by John Tobler 1995 of this 1970 recording.
One little miss: there are two additional tracks not on the original LP, Into The Old Mans Shoes and Madman Across The Water. For some reason there is no mention of Into The Old Mans Shoes either in the original liner notes or the John Tobler notes.
I purchased the other 4 multi channel Elton discs, I will probably enjoy them better as they have HITS. I have the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 40th Anniversary Blu Ray and that is awesome.

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