Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
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|"Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"|
Cover to 12" single issued in 1978
|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road|
Château d'Hérouville, France
|Genre||Glam rock, progressive rock|
|Songwriter(s)||Elton John, Bernie Taupin|
|Goodbye Yellow Brick Road track listing|
"Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" is the opening track on the double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John. The first part, "Funeral for a Friend", is an instrumental created by John while thinking of what kind of music he would like at his funeral. This first half segues into "Love Lies Bleeding".
Composition and recording
In the Eagle Vision documentary, Classic Albums: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, John said the two songs were not written as one piece, but fit together since "Funeral for a Friend" ends in the key of A, and "Love Lies Bleeding" opens in A, and the two were played as one elongated piece when recorded.
The grandiose introduction to "Funeral for a Friend" was performed on ARP synthesizer (erroneously credited as A.R.P.) by the album's engineer, David Hentschel, who, John recalled, overdubbed track after track of music and synthetic atmospheric effects until the mini-opus was complete. With lyrics like "And love lies bleeding in my hand/Oh, it kills me to think of you with another man", Elton John uses death symbolism as an angry take on a breakup song.
Release and reception
The song was well received by critics. AllMusic's Donald Guarisco called "Funeral for a Friend" "a stunning instrumental" with "a powerful fusion of classical and rock elements where a gentle, lyrical motif is developed and energized until it builds into a powerhouse full of emotion and bombast."
"Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" was too long for a single release, but got plenty of airplay on FM stations that were predisposed toward rock epics. The whole piece together is just over 11 minutes long. A fan favourite, it became a staple part of many an Elton John tour set list.
- The song was covered live by the American progressive metal band Dream Theater, and appears on the 1995 EP A Change of Seasons.
- American progressive metal band Redemption also covered the song as a bonus track on their 2011 album This Mortal Coil.
- "Love Lies Bleeding" was covered by the Clearwater, Florida-based band Très bien! on The Next Great American Band.