Song of the Day #3,695: ‘Madman Across the Water’ – Elton John

Elton John’s Madman Across the Water is my seventh favorite album of 1971, though it would be more accurate to say the first side of Madman Across the Water made the list. When ‘Tiny Dancer,’ ‘Levon’ and ‘Madman Across the Water’ are three of your first four songs, you can pretty much hang up your hat and call it a day.

The other tracks — ‘Razor Face,’ ‘Indian Sunset,’ ‘Holiday Inn,’ ‘Rotten Peaches,’ ‘All the Nasties’ and ‘Goodbye’ — are all solid, if not up to the level of the opening classics.

Madman Across the Water was John’s fourth studio album, and (excluding his debut) the worst chart performer of his first eleven. The six albums that followed this one hit Billboard’s #1, while Madman peaked at #8. That was over a five year span from ’71-’75. Talk about a winning streak.

[Verse 1]
I can see very well
There’s a boat on the reef with a broken back
And I can see it very well
There’s a joke and I know it very well
It’s one of those that I told you long ago
Take my word I’m a madman don’t you know

[Verse 2]
Once a fool had a good part in the play
If it’s so would I still be here today?
It’s quite peculiar in a funny sort of way
They think it’s very funny everything I say
Get a load of him, he’s so insane
You better get your coat dear
It looks like rain

[Chorus]
We’ll come again next Thursday afternoon
The In-laws hope they’ll see you very soon
But is it in your conscience that you’re after
Another glimpse of the Madman across the Water

[Verse 1]
I can see very well
There’s a boat on the reef with a broken back
And I can see it very well
There’s a joke and I know it very well
It’s one of those that I told you long ago
Take my word I’m a madman don’t you know

[Verse 3]
The ground’s a long way down but I need more
Is the nightmare black
Or are the windows painted?
Will they come again next week
Can my mind really take it?

[Chorus]
We’ll come again next Thursday afternoon
The In-laws hope they’ll see you very soon
But is it in your conscience that you’re after
Another glimpse of the Madman across the Water

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,695: ‘Madman Across the Water’ – Elton John

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Agreed that the first half of this album is stronger than the second half, but a great album overall.

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