Levon (song)

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For individuals known as King Levon, see King Leo (disambiguation).
Single by Elton John
from the album Madman Across the Water
B-side "Goodbye"
Released November 29, 1971
Format Vinyl record (7")
Recorded February 27, 1971; Trident Studios
(London, England)
Genre Rock
Length 5:22 (album version)
Label Uni (US)
DJM Records (UK)
Writer(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Tiny Dancer"
Music sample

"Levon" is a song written and recorded by Elton John with lyrics written by Bernie Taupin. It is from John's fourth album Madman Across the Water and was recorded on February 27, 1971.[1] The song reached #24 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #6 on the Canadian RPM singles chart.[2]


Bernie Taupin, who wrote the lyrics for "Levon", was inspired by The Band's co-founder, drummer, and singer Levon Helm to name the title character after him. The Band was apparently John's and Taupin's favourite group in those days. The "Alvin Tostig" mentioned in the song (Levon's father) is, according to Taupin, merely fictional.[3]

Notable covers and performances[edit]

"Levon" has since been covered by several artists, including Jon Bon Jovi (who covered the song on the tribute album Two Rooms and claims that "Levon" is his favourite song of all time and that he looks up to Elton John as his idol)[4] and Canadian rock singer-songwriter Billy Klippert. Phil Lesh and Friends started playing the song in April 2012 shortly after the death of Levon Helm.


  1. ^ Madman liner notes
  2. ^ Library and Archives Canada, Top Singles - Volume 16, No. 26, 12 February 1972
  3. ^ Straight Dope Science Advisory Board, 24 March 2000. The Straight Dope Mailbag, "In the Elton John song 'Levon,' who is Alvin Tostig?". Accessed 15 July 2008.
  4. ^ Archive of the Bon Jovi Library

External links[edit]