The Elton John Song Maynard James Keenan Couldn’t Sing

Apart from being two celebrated musicians, Maynard James Keenan and Elton John don’t have much in common. While one is known for his eccentric songs and music videos representing his distinctive style, the other is considered an icon with a career spanning six decades.

Keenan and John’s two different musical approaches had crossed paths when A Perfect Circle frontman wanted to release an anti-war cover album. However, the singer couldn’t get what he wanted when he tried to perform ‘Border Song’ due to the Rocketman’s uniqueness.

Maynard James Keenan Released A Cover Album

Maynard James Keenan’s band A Perfect Circle released its third studio album entitled ‘Emotive‘ on November 2, 2004. The album is primarily a collection of anti-war cover songs such as John Lennon’s world-renowned anthem ‘Imagine’ and Depeche Mode’s ‘People Are People.’

Upon its release, the album received generally positive reviews from music critics and debuted at  No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 chart. The band later entered a hiatus during which Keenan focused on his other band, Tool, which made this album the band’s last release until 2018’s ‘Eat the Elephant.

Maynard James Keenan Couldn’t Sing An Elton John Cover

During a 2018 interview with Apple Music, Maynard James Keenan opened up about A Perfect Circle’s then-new album, ‘Eat the Elephant,’ which came after 14 years of hiatus. Naturally, the musician first started talking about the band’s previous record that included cover songs.

Keenan was being interviewed by another precious musician who has years of experience in the music industry, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich. Therefore, Ulrich wanted to know more about the Tool frontman’s approach when it comes to making a cover album in terms of picking the songs.

During the interview, the Metallica icon asked Maynard James Keenan if there were any songs that he wanted to include in the ‘Emotive’ album during the making but couldn’t. Apparently, Keenan tried to sing Elton John’s 1970 track, ‘Border Song’ for the record.

Unfortunately, Keenan failed to pull the song off as Elton John’s unique and one-of-a-kind approach gave the song zero room for improvisation. Since the Tool frontman felt obligated to sing the song almost the same as John, the band couldn’t get it right and dumped the project for good.

When asked if there was any song that didn’t make it to the album, Keenan said:

Elton John’s ‘Border Song.’ I couldn’t pull it off. It all comes down to how Billy and we had other people in the room that helped us with that record as well. We couldn’t quite get the vibe to make it. That one, you almost had to do a straight cover because Elton John is such a very specific sound and approach. It was definitely left on the cutting room floor, it was best left in the garbage untouched.”

You can listen to ‘Border Song’ and watch the interview below.