“Tin Man” by America

As one would be led to believe by reading the title, “Tin Man” was in fact inspired by the American classic The Wizard of Oz (1939). Said film was a childhood favorite of America’s Dewey Bunnell, who wrote and sang this particular song. And originally he set out for the lyrics to be based on the movie. But as time progressed, it became more of an exercise in, according to Bunnell’s own words, “poetic license”. And what it means in layman’s terms is that he pretty much threw cohesiveness and linearity out the window.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for America's Tin Man at Lyrics.org.

So what we have instead is a surrealist piece which was also inspired by the psychedelic age of the 1960s. Indeed even if you were to read Dewey’s own exhaustive explanation of “Tin Man”, you may walk away even more confused about the song’s meaning than you were beforehand. But that being noted, all things considered it’s pretty clear that this song is meant to be self-interpretative, or “opening your eyes, expanding your mind and looking at things differently” as Bunnell expounded in the aforementioned explanation.  Or yet another way of viewing it is as he and the band being more concerned with dropping a track that sounded cool as opposed to one which necessarily made sense.

Release Date of “Tin Man”

This is the lead single from America’s fourth album which is titled “Holiday”. The track was officially made public by Warner Bros. Records on 1 August 1974. 

Writing and Production

It was written by band member Dewey Bunnell and produced by George Martin.

“Tin Man” on the Charts

“Tin Man” was successful in that it reached number 1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart and number 4 on the Hot 100, in addition to having a good showing on Canada’s RPM charts. And for the record, it didn’t have a chance to appear on the UK Singles Chart because it was never released as a single across the pond.

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