[ ]   [ ]   [ ]                        [ ]      [ ]   [ ]
Elton John — Burn Down The Mission
Album: Tumbleweed Connection
Avg rating:
7.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 659









Released: 1970
Length: 6:15
Plays (last 30 days): 1
You tell me there's an angel in your tree
Did he say he'd come to call on me
For things are getting desperate in our home
Living in the parish of the restless folks I know

Everybody now bring your family down to the riverside
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps
It's time we put the flame torch to their keep

Burn down the mission
If we're gonna stay alive
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven
See the red flame light the sky

Burn down the mission
Burn it down to stay alive
It's our only chance of living
Take all you need to live inside

Deep in the woods the squirrels are out today
My wife cried when they came to take me away
But what more could I do just to keep her warm
Than burn burn burn burn down the mission walls

Now everybody bring your family down to the riverside
Look to the east to see where the fat stock hide
Behind four walls of stone the rich man sleeps
It's time we put the flame torch to their keep

Burn down the mission
If we're gonna stay alive
Watch the black smoke fly to heaven
See the red flame light the sky

Burn down the mission
Burn it down to stay alive
It's our only chance of living
Take all you need to live inside
Comments (115)add comment
 whitebuffalo wrote:
I used to think Elton John was a genius arranger as well as a great composer. The truth is that he recorded the piano and the vocal, handed the song off to Gus Dudgeon (1942-2002) and left the building (https://mixonline.com/recording/interviews/audio_gus_dudgeon/). According to an interview I read with Gus somewhere, Elton approved of every finished track but one. Here's to Gus, wherever he is. And here's to Bernie, who wrote some of the most poetic and evocative lyrics of his career on this album.

 
Indeed.  Don't forget Paul Buckmaster.  He and Gus were both very responsible for that early "Elton John" sound.  Witness the orchestrations and esp. the horns on this track.  Yum.
 peter_thurlow wrote:
his best album!
 
 
You thinketh , tis more betta than G.B.Y.B.R ???
 Andy_B wrote:
One of the albums I had stolen from me during some obscure party years ago that I have seriously regretted it's absence.
 

Update:  I was able to find this album in very good condition complete with picture booklet insert at a small botique in Flagler Beach, Fl a while ago and get this, it was only $4.00!  I am stoked to have found it! 
Last play: Apr 29, 2012

PSD FTW
his best album!
 
Blessed was thy earliest stuff, Sir Elton...whenst thou was simply Elton.
I have nothing against Elton...but if he makes the RP cut, why not some Ben Folds?
 mnuisance wrote:
When Elton ruled. Man, this is good.
 

{#Yes}  My sentiments exactly. I loved the lyrical themes Taupin took on...not just generic love/loss, but really storytelling. And Elton's wildman piano (at times reminding me of Moon's drumming for The Who)...great combo.

 Andy_B wrote:
One of the albums I had stolen from me during some obscure party years ago that I have seriously regretted it's absence.
  I have re-purchased the CD at least twice. There's a two-disc set that has alternate versions, it's actually pretty cool. At least for hardcore EJ nerds.


 Andy_B wrote:
One of the albums I had stolen from me during some obscure party years ago that I have seriously regretted it's absence.
 
Cool !  I had my Stones Let It Bleed LP stolen, too.  thank god I still have the cover  {#Mad}

One of the albums I had stolen from me during some obscure party years ago that I have seriously regretted it's absence.
 xkolibuul wrote:
No song is played too much on RP, let alone this one.  Sheesh.
 
mrbox wrote:
Have to agree with Bill that few artists were as good "then" and as bad "now" as Elton John. His albums before "Rock of the Westies" were transcendent. - But Bill, you play THIS tune TOO MUCH given how many stellar alternatives there are before 1975. Refresh your Elton John preferences!
 
 

What a dichotomy! I could not disagree more with the first part of the sentence and agree more with the second part!{#Lol}
This is sort of the "Vegas-y" track from the CD...
Absolute classic album..I agree with the other comments asking for MORE!!!
No song is played too much on RP, let alone this one.  Sheesh.
 
mrbox wrote:
Have to agree with Bill that few artists were as good "then" and as bad "now" as Elton John. His albums before "Rock of the Westies" were transcendent. - But Bill, you play THIS tune TOO MUCH given how many stellar alternatives there are before 1975. Refresh your Elton John preferences!
 


 sirdroseph wrote:
For the love of all that is good and proper; can you please play more classic Elton??!!!!!{#Pray} Automatic 10
 
I agree wholeheartedly!

 fitzworld wrote:
As much as I generally love most of Elton John's music this is just too much like a cheesy show tune. I can't listen to this without imagining Broadway dancers cavorting around on a stage.
 
You mean Elton right?  {#Laughing}

As much as I generally love most of Elton John's music this is just too much like a cheesy show tune. I can't listen to this without imagining Broadway dancers cavorting around on a stage.


Sir EJ is coming to perform in little Prince George BC and forgoing the latte sucking world of Vancouver. It's driving their classic rock DJs nuts. {#Bounce} Personally, just lovin' it!

Care to chime in, Vancouverites?


 cc_rider wrote:
you may the only other person who's ever heard of 'Blue Moves'. Some great songs on it. Some, uh, not-so-great ones too. 
The last Elton release I bought - 4 times! The pressing must have been defective because every LP had a skip in the same place. Anyway, I was just consuming Elton output on entropy by then.... Not a very memorable album.

For the love of all that is good and proper; can you please play more classic Elton??!!!!!{#Pray} Automatic 10
 Papernapkin wrote:
I have to laugh when I hear Bill say, 'That's Elton John.' After 30 years I'm surprised we need a DJ to remind us who this artist is.
 
Not everyone is as old as you. 

 ugly wrote:
I'll never forget holding this full sized album in my hands and just thinking it was absolutely amazing. I think I got it for Christmas one year.
 

A bit of irony in that, eh?  I guess it's good nobody burned down the mission before Christmas.  ;-)
Play anything from this album/cd: it is all grerat.
Have to agree with Bill that few artists were as good "then" and as bad "now" as Elton John. His albums before "Rock of the Westies" were transcendent. - But Bill, you play THIS tune TOO MUCH given how many stellar alternatives there are before 1975. Refresh your Elton John preferences!
I used to think Elton John was a genius arranger as well as a great composer. The truth is that he recorded the piano and the vocal, handed the song off to Gus Dudgeon (1942-2002) and left the building (https://mixonline.com/recording/interviews/audio_gus_dudgeon/). According to an interview I read with Gus somewhere, Elton approved of every finished track but one. Here's to Gus, wherever he is. And here's to Bernie, who wrote some of the most poetic and evocative lyrics of his career on this album.

Not a big fan of Elton's.  Very quickly grew very tired of this song and the whole album.
I have to laugh when I hear Bill say, 'That's Elton John.' After 30 years I'm surprised we need a DJ to remind us who this artist is.
I'll never forget holding this full sized album in my hands and just thinking it was absolutely amazing. I think I got it for Christmas one year. Music doesn't have the same feeling when I buy a CD.
{#Sunny}
 mfassett wrote:

I think Blue Moves is a pretty good record, even if there are a few songs i can't stand on it... there are also some great songs on it.  
 
you may the only other person who's ever heard of 'Blue Moves'. Some great songs on it. Some, uh, not-so-great ones too.

A classic from high school.....I dont' know why this song in particular makes me want to run outside in the rain and laugh?  Of course, then my headphones would fall off and the moment would be lost......
Ahh! Back from in the day when Elton John was Rock n' roll! And so fine he was too. Alas, no more.
 ProgFusion wrote:

"Madman Across the Water" is my favorite Elton John album. But I'd say everything he did was good, up to and including "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." After that, forget it.
 
I think Blue Moves is a pretty good record, even if there are a few songs i can't stand on it... there are also some great songs on it.  
redstorm wrote:


Like Beethoven? and i'm really serious about this....it's kinda hard to think beyond ourselves, but 100-200 years from now will they be talking about the genuis of Elton John, Hendrix, Clapton, Beatles?.....i'm thinking yes! {#Yes}


I agree with you. The music from that era is already forty years old, and it's still going strong.

I believe that there are many modern artists who are just as talented as Beethoven, but we don't notice, because the musical genres are different, and because modern musical instruments, recording technologies, and distribution methods, allow more of those musicians to come to the fore, rather than just a few standing out.

I also believe that there are just as many talented artists making music today, as there were forty years ago. Unfortunately, you have to search to find them. Radio Paradise is a good place to look, of course. For my favorite genres, Progressive Rock and Jazz Fusion, there are some other good sources, all on the Internet. You'll also find some good music on various movie and television soundtracks.

What do all those sources (and sixties and seventies radio) have in common? The selection was/is being done by people who love music! Contrast that with today's radio, and television music stations. There, the musical selection is firmly controlled by corporate committees. Thus, these days, very little real art reaches the mainstream. Can you think of more than a handful of hits from the last five years that might be considered memorable? I know I can't.

Darn it. You got me going on one of my hot buttons, and it got heavy. So back to the celebration, and your point...

Great music from the sixties and seventies — Yay!!! Great modern artists — Yay!!! Their music will last for 200 years!!!

{#High-five} {#Dancingbanana_2} {#Drummer} {#Cheers} {#Meditate}

 woodchuk wrote:
Elton John is truly one of those talents that will be remembered for centuries into the future....
 

Like Beethoven? and i'm really serious about this....it's kinda hard to think beyond ourselves, but 100-200 years from now will they be talking about the genuis of Elton John, Hendrix, Clapton, Beatles?.....i'm thinking yes! {#Yes}

Elton John is truly one of those talents that will be remembered for centuries into the future....
nagsheadlocal wrote:

And not long afterward he produced "Madman Across the Water," another classic that has been all-but-forgotten in the glare of the disco and smooth rock he later took to commercial success.


"Madman Across the Water" is my favorite Elton John album. But I'd say everything he did was good, up to and including "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." After that, forget it.


 JJAB wrote:
I bought this album in 1970 when I was 15, and it has left a strange, ethereal emotion that returns each time I hear it.  Of course, music does this, and happens to anyone with a favorite song.  But this album was so powerful and moving and different from what was coming out at the time, even from Elton John.  It was a rock album that was mostly ignored when it was released (not quite sure why I purchased it), but, like any classic, it has withstood the test of time, and is a beautiful rock album today, one of my all-time favorites.

 
Yeah, we're about the same age and I too bought this album on a whim. I was more into Cream and Hendrix at the time and it was a departure. And not long afterward he produced "Madman Across the Water," another classic that has been all-but-forgotten in the glare of the disco and smooth rock he later took to commercial success.

Well, I don't begrudge the man his money or fame. But it's too bad it ruined his composing abilities somehow.

I bought this album in 1970 when I was 15, and it has left a strange, ethereal emotion that returns each time I hear it.  Of course, music does this, and happens to anyone with a favorite song.  But this album was so powerful and moving and different from what was coming out at the time, even from Elton John.  It was a rock album that was mostly ignored when it was released (not quite sure why I purchased it), but, like any classic, it has withstood the test of time, and is a beautiful rock album today, one of my all-time favorites.

 redstorm wrote:

Pure Musical Genius!! This man has been making wonderful music, for a generation. I've seen him from central park, the garden, the horsehoe (ohio state), to vegas!!! the music just pours out of him.  He is like the genre of singer-songwriters (along w/ bernie taupin) who transformed a musical generation. Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Stevie Winwood, Chuck Berry, Carol King, these folks impacted our lives!


  Absofuckinglutely! (Well, at least my life)

Pure Musical Genius!! This man has been making wonderful music, for a generation. I've seen him from central park, the garden, the horsehoe (ohio state), to vegas!!! the music just pours out of him.  He is like the genre of singer-songwriters (along w/ bernie taupin) who transformed a musical generation. Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Stevie Winwood, Chuck Berry, Carol King, these folks impacted our lives!


redeyespy wrote:
I've been listening to this album tonight for the last half hour. I turn on RP, and then....love these sort of coincidences. Or perhaps this occurence is of the Celestine variety? Either way, this is a fabulous album, start to finish.
Dig. I'ma go home and put it on. I've listened to album a hundred times or more. Still awesome. c.
I've been listening to this album tonight for the last half hour. I turn on RP, and then....love these sort of coincidences. Or perhaps this occurence is of the Celestine variety? Either way, this is a fabulous album, start to finish.
snowcat wrote:
Awesome record all the way through.
I concure........
Back from the day when Elton John could impart spine-tingling chills and goose bumps.
Awesome record all the way through.
Vandy005 wrote:
Great transition from Beethoven to Elton... :eek:
Filet Mignon followed by Jello :lol:
:taped-shut:
Vandy005 wrote:
Great transition from Beethoven to Elton... Keep up the great work Bill!!
:yes:
It's been in my head all day. Bill, you're reading my mind.
Oh yes!! Love this early album.
My Favorite Elton John. That piano gets me every time.
I've probably listened to this album hundreds of times. It still grabs me. I'm still not sure what Bernie was trying to say, maybe he was painting a picture instead of telling a story. Regardless, it's still stunning after all these years. c. edit> I think his 'phrasing' is part of the appeal. In the break it rushes along, a tiny fraction ahead of the beat, creating urgency. Then he slows it back down, drawing the phrases out, as if in resignation. The man is pure genius at drawing emotion out of a song. c.
Great transition from Beethoven to Elton... Keep up the great work Bill!!
Waybo wrote:
"Easy to forget how good he was, considering how bad he got..." Bill, so true!
Fourth!
Oh EJ, Come back to us...
Great! :bananapiano: :bananapiano: :bananapiano:
fab segue here, quite brilliant Beethoven, Elton(then) and Bill(now)....
sharkartist wrote:
Another classic from the best album that Eeej ever did.
I agree- great writing, arangements, lyrics, and packaged in a beautifully themed sleeve.
Another classic from the best album that Eeej ever did.
Waybo wrote:
"Easy to forget how good he was, considering how bad he got..." Bill, so true!
I third this! :clap:
"Easy to forget how good he was, considering how bad he got..." Bill, so true!
:bananapiano:
Great song great album great band! Not just Elton happenin' here..............
Not true pattiecovert! For an old fart like me'self, a great tune oozing great memories.
Almo80 wrote:
yesterday on RP there was another Vienna Tang and Elton John combo....must go well together...like wine and cheese...
"Oh oh, she's a cheddar cheese girl..."
Corny.
Time will prove EJ to be one of the classical composers of the modern era.
Little_Wing wrote:
Just had to get this back to the top!!
yesterday on RP there was another Vienna Tang and Elton John combo....must go well together...like wine and cheese...
lmic wrote:
So Elton produced only 4 brilliant, masterful albums? (5 if you consider GBYBR two) What a loser!
I think our comments actually are bemoaning what happened to him. There could have been so much more, but the show took hold of him and would not let go. Our loss. When he was good, he was phenomenal.
So glad to hear this on RP. ‘Tumbleweed Connection' stands apart for me – even from the other Elton albums of the same period – there's just something unique and wonderfully coherent about this record. Not quite a concept album, but all the thematic consistency of one. And the efficiency of storytelling in some of the songs is remarkable. Funny thing is, this album connects with me more in a musical/narrative way than any of his recent Broadway/Disney "musical" scores do. Just a wonderful, old-fashioned sort of melancholy on these tracks.
So Elton produced only 4 brilliant, masterful albums? (5 if you consider GBYBR two) What a loser!
sharkartist wrote:
Yeah... this record along with Madman and Yellow Brick Road are Sir EeeJ's only saving grace.
I thought Yellow Brick Road was the beginning of the end.
Gave me chills when I was 11. Gives me chills now. Elton, Elton, Elton....
alux wrote:
Add Honky Chateau into that lineup and you got it right.
what about "Captain Fantastic"?
Lonestar wrote:
Terrible follow up to Beethoven -- seriously where's the connection besides piano? It's not talent.
I Agree
Love the early Elton! Brilliant.
Terrible follow up to Beethoven -- seriously where's the connection besides piano? It's not talent.
SEAMLESS TRANSITION OUT OF BEETHOVEN'S FUR ELISE!!! BRAVO!!! :notworthy:
Add Honky Chateau into that lineup and you got it right. sharkartist wrote:
Yeah... this record along with Madman and Yellow Brick Road are Sir EeeJ's only saving grace.
Yeah... this record along with Madman and Yellow Brick Road are Sir EeeJ's only saving grace.
Beack when Elton didn't suck.
Pinnacle era of Elton's work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
well....since when I was a kid my mother use to love Elton's song....but those from the 80's till now (songs that really now I can't stand anymore).....growing up I surprisely found me to like the very early Elton's period/productions from the 70's....really great songs!...well mum....why don't you like them?
indypaul wrote:
I believe he had throat surgery in the 90's. Since then I've noticed he has rearranged his vocals around the high notes.
True. Check out the Live in Australia album. He's just recovering and decides to perform live with orchestra nonethess. It's the transition time between the old great Elton and the new mediocre one.
Great stuff... Kids of today dont know what there missing
kitsch
This album is a classic. Back to the days when it was about music. After "Goodbye Yellowbrick Road" it was all about Elton.
so many years since I've heard this. I was a teenager then and this song still rocks thanks for the blast
Say what you want about Elton. I saw him when I was sixteen,(1985), and have appreciated his talent ever since. The man can play and sing! "Burn Down the Mission if we're gonna stay alive." After having lived next to an old Spanish Mission in California I finally began to understand the meaning of this song.
not my favorite EJ but I'm liking it :hungry: :drummer: :motor: :bananapiano: :moon:
One of my favorite albums of all time.
Total Dreck! . . . .LMAO!!!! I just learned a new word . . . Thanks to Bill!!!!
In 1971 I came back from 2 years in South America and heard this album. Who was that English dude with the American themes? Well, we all know now! It's Sir Elton at the top of his game.
i love elton's early stuff.
sccaflagger74 wrote:
I'm a fairly young guy, 32, and my parents were older than the music from this era so my impression of Elton John is his stuff from the 90s and 00s and I always found it to be horrible dreck. Thanks to RP I now appreciate Elton John and his (older) music. He has some good stuff! 8 for me. This is why I like RP, it's breaking all my stereotypes about older music and introducing me to great new stuff too.
Funny how experiences can differ. i'm exactly 32, and in high school I (along with many friends) were HUGE EJ fans--mostly based on old stuff like this. I agree with you about the later stuff for the most part. The current broadway material is atrocious. He should quit while ahead! But I love this album--Amoreena has a kick ass piano intro...
sccaflagger74 wrote:
I'm a fairly young guy, 32, and my parents were older than the music from this era so my impression of Elton John is his stuff from the 90s and 00s and I always found it to be horrible dreck. Thanks to RP I now appreciate Elton John and his (older) music. He has some good stuff! 8 for me. This is why I like RP, it's breaking all my stereotypes about older music and introducing me to great new stuff too.
This is one of those bits that my Dad and I both agreed on. Thumbs Up!
I'm a fairly young guy, 32, and my parents were older than the music from this era so my impression of Elton John is his stuff from the 90s and 00s and I always found it to be horrible dreck. Thanks to RP I now appreciate Elton John and his (older) music. He has some good stuff! 8 for me. This is why I like RP, it's breaking all my stereotypes about older music and introducing me to great new stuff too.
When Elton ruled. Man, this is good. :bananapiano:
Great album - got the SACD surround version of it. Contains as a bonus the original version of "Madman Across the Water" clocking in at 8 minutes and some, I think. It's better than the one we all know.
this is the best EJ album. I wish Bill would play Madman Across the Water (version on this album with Mick Ronson)
Great stuff!
One of his best albums!
indypaul wrote:
A very underrated album.
I agree. The entire album is a fine work of art that I have trouble finding any fault with.
this is by far a classic ej album, possibly his best from his best period, this and madman, damn he was good then.
jmwspg wrote:
Is it just me or has his voice become deeper over the years?
I believe he had throat surgery in the 90's. Since then I've noticed he has rearranged his vocals around the high notes.
OK, there is no planet on which this is a "marginal"! :naughty:
A very underrated album.
Elton's best work IMHO
One of his best.
Is it just me or has his voice become deeper over the years?
i LOVE old Elton..... especially this song, and "Where to Now, St. Peter?" :clap: :cheers: