Levon (song)

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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 Symphonic rock
Length 5:22 (album version)
Label Uni (US)
DJM Records (UK)
Songwriter(s) Elton John, Bernie Taupin
Producer(s) Gus Dudgeon
Elton John singles chronology
"Tiny Dancer"
"Tiny Dancer"
Audio sample

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


According to Gus Dudgeon, Bernie Taupin was inspired by The Band's co-founder, drummer and singer Levon Helm to name the song after him. The Band was apparently John and Taupin's favourite group at the time. In 2013, however, Taupin said that the song is unrelated to Levon Helm.[3]

The "Alvin Tostig" mentioned in the song (Levon's father) is, according to Taupin, merely fictional.[4]

Notable covers and performances[edit]

"Levon" has 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, saying that he looks up to Elton John as his idol)[5] and Canadian rock singer-songwriter Billy Klippert. Phil Lesh and Friends started playing the song in April 2012, shortly after Levon Helm's death.


  1. ^ Madman liner notes
  2. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". www.collectionscanada.gc.ca. 
  3. ^ Green, Andy (September 26, 2013). "Bernie Taupin on Elton John's New LP: 'It's Kudos All Around'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ "In the Elton John song 'Levon', who is Alvin Tostig?". The Straight Dope. March 24, 2000. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Bon Jovi - official website - www.bonjovi.com". 30 June 2007. 

External links[edit]