Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is one of the greatest contemporary music records ever made. Funeral for a Friend introduces the record in no uncertain terms and blasts the ears with an organ like synthesizer tune (performed on an ARP synthesizer by Engineer David Hentschel) and it converts into a musical track, no words just a mini-opus. Then at 5:50 Elton starts to sing. Outside of critic and fan-base circles, this introductory record piece is scantily known, but it’s a keeper.
In the 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.
Rolling Stone readers picked this song as number three in a list of “deep cuts” by Elton John, songs that only a true fan would know, even though it has received significant exposure over the years. Interestingly the song had a strong influence on the Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion albums and, in particular, the song “November Rain“.
The roses in the window box
Have tilted to one side
Everything about this house
Was born to grow and die
Oh it doesn’t seem a year ago
To this very day
You said I’m sorry honey
If I don’t change the pace
I can’t face another day
And love lies bleeding in my hand
Oh it kills me to think of you with another man
I was playing rock and roll and you were just a fan
But my guitar couldn’t hold you
So I split the band
Love lies bleeding in my hands
1. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding – wikipedia
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is a masterpiece, and this couplet is its crown jewel. “Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” is my all-time favorite song by Elton John.
I like your crown jewel description!
This is one of the best from Elton. It showed he could deliever more than pop hits…great combination. That writing of him and Bernie was incredible.
It’s awesome creativity isn’t it?
Yes it is Matt…I liked that he ventured into more than just hits.
One of my all time favorite albums. I never tire of listening to it.
Hi Cindy. It’s one of my favourites as well. Thanks for taking the time to comment.