|Single by Elton John|
|from the album Madman Across the Water|
|Released||29 November 1971|
|Format||Vinyl record (7")|
27 February 1971; Trident Studios|
|Length||5:22 (album version)|
|Songwriter(s)||Elton John, Bernie Taupin|
|Elton John singles chronology|
"Levon" is a song written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin and recorded by Elton John. John recorded it on February 27, 1971 and released it on his fourth album, Madman Across the Water. The song reached number 24 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at number six on the Canadian RPM singles chart.
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.
The "Alvin Tostig" mentioned in the song (Levon's father) is, according to Taupin, merely fictional.
Notable covers and performances
"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 favorite song of all time, saying that he looks up to Elton John as his idol) and Canadian rock singer-songwriter Billy Klippert. Phil Lesh and Friends started playing the song in April 2012, shortly after Levon Helm's death.
In Popular Culture
The season 1 Midnight Caller episode "But not for me" (also known as "A kiss for the Dying") features a kidnapper named "Levon Tostig".
- Madman liner notes
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". www.collectionscanada.gc.ca.
- Green, Andy (September 26, 2013). "Bernie Taupin on Elton John's New LP: 'It's Kudos All Around'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- "In the Elton John song 'Levon', who is Alvin Tostig?". The Straight Dope. March 24, 2000. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
- "Bon Jovi - official website - www.bonjovi.com". 30 June 2007. Archived from the original on 30 June 2007.