John's Track of the Week: "Levon"

Song: Levon
Artist: Elton John
Album: Madman Across the Water
Year: 1971

Like many of the great artists over the past 50 years, so many of Elton John's songs stand out.  However, to me, "Levon," is one of his best efforts.  Chronicling a three-generation father-son dynamic, as well as the struggles and questions that accompanied life in the late-1960s to early-1970s, John provides some of his strongest vocals here, to fit with its powerful piano backing.  I feel it's pieces like this that really help to preserve a time period for future generations.  Yes, I know that John's "Daniel" would probably be a better choice in this regard, as it discusses the Vietnam war much more directly, but overall, this song and many others function as a time capsule.

Whether you love Elton John, hate him, or have no definitive feelings either way, this track can be an enjoyable, pleasant listen- one that lets you appreciate what music used to be.  Today, no one could put out something like this and expect success.  On the contrary, a song, and an album like this would almost undoubtedly crash and burn in today's music scene, even in the pop realm.  So enjoy Elton John, and artists like him, for the simplicity and nostalgia that they may provide.  Even if just for five minutes or so, I think it's worth the effort.

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