Published on June 27, 2016
“Tin Man” is a 1974 song by the pop rock band America. It was written by band member Dewey Bunnell and produced by George Martin, who also plays the piano part on the recorded version. The song was included on the band’s album Holiday, also from 1974.
The song’s title and some of its lyrics refer to the Tin Woodman from The Wizard of Oz. Songwriter Bunnell was quoted describing the parallel: “My favorite movie, I guess. I always loved it as a kid. Very obscure lyrics. Great grammar – ‘Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man.’ It’s sort of a poetic license.”
Dan Peek – who describes “Tin Man” as “quintessential Dewey, easy stream of consciousness with a major seventh acoustic bed” – states that Bunnell “actually begged us not to record the song. Knowing Dewey it was probably reverse psychology; if it was, Gerry and I fell for it, insisting it was perfect for the album.”
Released as the first single from Holiday, “Tin Man” became the band’s fourth top-ten hit in the US, spending three weeks at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1974. The song reached number one on the Billboard easy listening chart in October of that year. In the UK, the song was relegated to the B-side of another album track, “Mad Dog”, released in July, but both sides failed to chart.