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  Island -
  Elton John: Madman across the Water
  "Madman across the Water"

Elton John
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Review by peteyspambucket November 17, 2004 (10 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A revelation. For newcomers and fans of Elton John's music, this album and the self-titled are MUST HAVES. The 5.1 mix is so amazing that it reveals and clears up lots of sections and instrumentations. The performances are still the great landmark performances that I've loved since 1973 when my brother came back from Korea with a cassette of this album. The only piece that has changed, for me, due to the remix, is INDIAN SUNSET (just before "I take only what is mine, Lord"), because there is a part where the celli and bass sound louder than the piano, whereas they were barely audible in older mixes. It changes the song at that moment for me.

The sound, the sound, the sound.... I never thought I would hear the strings this clearly. In somes songs, I could clearly tell that it is maybe two or four violins, 2 cellos, 2 violas, and 2 bass. And the old sound, would have me believe it were an entire orchestra --- "reverb" can be a wonderfully useful effect. As you may expect, Elton and his piano are anchored in the center channel, and they are both very crisp and clear. The backing vocals are often in the rear channels, as are the orchestra. The guitars, acoustic and electric, are so clear and isolated, that I am finally getting a great appreciation of the size of his band. Percussion like bongo drums, and tambourines, and synthesizer effects are clearer than ever and very realistic. The duelling banjos in HOLIDAY INN have NEVER sounded so good. I could keep going on with superlatives, but I will simply say that the sound is better than most modern rock SACDs (the Bon Jovi ones, for instance, and also 3 Doors Down). There is NO harsh tape hiss to be heard, it's just the music. The subwoofer channel is very tastefully subtle, and you will barely notice it's supportive effects (unless you turn it up!).

I've always considered this album on of Elton's first truly great albums, and this SACD has me listening to it over and over in the past week. I must have heard it 20 times already, and still counting. Someone at UNIVERSAL loves me, because with all 6 of these Elton SACDs, I will be listening and writing reviews for a while. :-) (BTW, can you just imagine what they might be able to do with The Beatles?????)

Do I have to say it? HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -- my first desert island SACD

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Review by SrPedro September 28, 2005 (4 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Wow! Wow! Wow! This recording is amazing and revitalized my desire to spend my hard earned $$$ on recorded music. On the stereo presentation, Elton's vocals come out of the center like he's standing there in my living room. While the music has always been good, I mean, heck, even an MP3 of his aren't bad, this album is sonically remarkable adding presence that make it down right inspiring. If you like Elton John, have a decent HiFi, buy this one.

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Review by analogue February 25, 2009 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a clssic album by Elton in his prime from the early days. Tiny dancer is a song every rock fan knows as well as Levon. And from the moment you press play and hear the first piano keys of Tiny Dancer......and from the exact momemnt in time you hear Elton;s voice through the know this is a tremendous sacd and a special listening event. The transfer is stellar in every regard and this clearly shows what sacd is capable of.

Drums sound like real drums and all insruments sound alive. Elton;s voice was so good in the early to mid 70's.its really shocking to hear it in it's full roundness and richness. The guy could sing no question about it.

I can;t imagine anyone who loves this album and who owns it in any other medium to not like this, In fact you will love it. It's sounds warm, full, rich and very.....very real and life like. My family and friends who never heard of sacd before and had no knowledge of what it is but who love Tiny Dancer and Elton were literally blown away when they heard this. They were stunned to say the least.

I think it;'s the life like realness and the solid and rich sound that grabs the attention of the listener. Remember what I said about the piano??? Well this album has it in spades.

Also there is a song called Indian Summer that I never heard of. I was shocked to my core at how good the song is. And the sound is uncanny.

Highly recommended.

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