Readers' Poll: The Best Elton John Songs of All TimeYour picks include 'Levon,' 'Your Song' and 'Rocket Man'
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10. 'Madman Across the Water'
Elton John originally recorded the title track to Madman Across the Water as part of the Tumbleweed Connection sessions with future David Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson in 1970. They couldn't find a place for it on the album, and it didn't quite fit with the American West vibe of the album. Roughly a year later, John re-cut the song with guitarist Chris Spedding taking the place of Ronson and Rick Wakeman on organ. The result is something that approaches prog rock. It's one of the most ambitious pieces in John's vast catalog, and it features some of Bernie Taupin's most bizarre lyrics. It has a One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest vibe of someone writing in an insane asylum. Fans were delighted a few years ago when he brought it back into his set list.