Track of the Day: 'Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding'

A reader in New Bern, North Carolina, recommends a long, slow-starting track that was originally two separate songs—good to play in the background of a lazy Sunday:

“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.” 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.

Our reader adds, “I saw Elton in concert in Savannah in 2013—he still has it.”