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PMC Provides Lost Tracks For Elton John’s “Madman Across The Water” 50th Anniversary Release

Founder and chairman Peter Thomas sourced demos of the tracks from the company's music archives that were originally acquired from Trident Studios.
PMC founder and chairman Peter Thomas holding a version of the 50th anniversary release of Elton John's "Madman Across The Water."

PMC founder and chairman Peter Thomas delivered seven long-lost demo tracks for the 50th anniversary release of Elton John’s 1971 album “Madman Across The Water” following a request for assistance from Universal Music Group, the artist’s recording label. enabling a collector’s dream of a full album of demos to be assembled for the first time.

Thomas had previously supported Univeral in supplying a track for the Record Store Day re-release of John’s first U.S. album. For the 50th anniversary re-release of “Madman Across The Water,” the label wanted to create a full album’s worth of demo tracks to provide fans with added insight into the creative process that went into the songs.

A long-time collector of John’s early work, Thomas has a considerable collection of his music, including many rare and unusual versions of songs and albums that he curates as part of the PMC music archives.

“After the release of earlier Elton John box sets, I contacted Universal to let them know I had in the PMC archives collection a number of never-before-released demo tracks that I had acquired from contacts at Trident Studios, where this album was recorded,” he explains. “They were interested in including some of the tracks from my Elton John collection for future releases and took one for the 2020 Record Store Day release.

“I was delighted when they contacted me again during the compilation of this new anniversary box set to enquire whether I could assist,” he continues. “Of course, I was happy to help and was able to provide seven tracks, including the piano demo of the future hit Tiny Dancer.”

The process of supplying the rare tracks began with Thomas creating digital transfers from the original tapes before passing them on to Universal. They provide a first-time opportunity to hear the intimacy of the piano-only tracks that John recorded. “These are not take 30 or 40, but the very first recordings made of these tracks,” Thomas adds. “It’s a real treat for fans to hear them in their raw, unrefined form, before the outstanding production work by Gus Dudgeon, and Paul Buckmaster’s arrangements, turned them into the two-time Platinum album we all love.”

Thomas was also able to supply very rare items of memorabilia for inclusion in a 104-page coffee table book that forms part of the box set release. In appreciation of his assistance in this exciting project Thomas and PMC are credited on the album sleeve and souvenir book.

“Madman Across The Water” was released on June 10, 2022 and is available in a variety of formats. And go here to listen to the demo version of Tiny Dancer.


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