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Non Smiley Smile Stuff => General Music Discussion => Topic started by: Ron on February 27, 2013, 09:00:42 PM



Title: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on February 27, 2013, 09:00:42 PM
How much longer are we going to have to wait until Billy Joel takes his rightful place as "legend" ?  I think once Paul Macca passes away, people are going to be looking straight at Billy Joel (and Elton John) as the resident "living legends" in the music industry.  I dont' know why Billy Joel never get mentioned whenever people are talking music, he's been incredibly successful and anybody would argue he's talented as hell but nobody ever really talks about him. 

I've always thought he was great.

My favorite Billy Joel song would be "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant". 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMij0UwhZU0

I just like everything about it.  He's like Mozart to Elton John's Beethoven. 

The "Innocent Man" album is awesome.  Every song is good; "Easy Money" and "Christie Lee" are the two weakest songs, but hell they're both pretty decent too.  The title song is awesome, and then of course there were all the hits... Check out "This Night".  I noticed when I was in music theory class back in the day that he lifted the melody from "Pathetique" by Beethoven. 

"This Night"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRvDvVu-Jzo


"Pathetique Sonata" (Beethoven)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly1iTD0zB1Y


The Innocent Man album was meant to be a tribute to the doo wop Music Billy loved when he was a kid.  Listen how complex the background harmonies are on Uptown Girl... have you ever paid attention?  Notice how they mix it up between the different verses, the haphazard way they fade in in the background, the way the hold notes, or repeat notes at whim.  Billy arranged all that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCuMWrfXG4E

I'd love to hear a vocals only mix of that so I could pick everything out.  I never even noticed it the first 1000 times I heard it.  How amazing is that drum breakdown?  Wow.  Also, do you think Christie left him because she was taller?  Hmm.  Things to ponder. 




Or how about "I Go to Extremes" ?  Lyrically I think he's one of the best.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XQzLOe_l-4


Man, that ROCKS! 


Of course he also was masterful at ballads and piano pieces, I always liked "Summer, Highland Falls" although i can't explain why.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygNNpvzuNFA

Just masterful.  Even a loudmouth like me can't think of anything to say about this song except that it's great.  It makes the tip of my nose hurt a little bit everytime I hear it.



Famously, Billy stopped writing lyrics after his "River of Dreams" album, which featured the incredible "Lullabye", apparently written to his 8 year old daughter about his impending divorce from Christie Brinkley.  So not only was he amazing, he PEAKED at a moment when his talent finally proved useful to him in his personal life.   Stunning, honestly.  Then he quit?    Amazing.

"Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhxeOaFe7hc


That's how great he was when he stopped.  I don't know if I can think of another artist who purposefully stopped writing in their prime, at such a high calibre.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jason on February 28, 2013, 09:31:39 AM
Billy Joel is surprisingly effective as an album artist. Up until 1985 or so his albums are pretty much all good stuff. Granted, the inevitable fall off occurred, but even then he was relatively consistent. A master craftsman for sure.

Billy Joel rules. Deal with it.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Sunflowerpet on February 28, 2013, 12:20:04 PM
I love "The Nylon Curtain" album from 1982; very beatlesque.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: the captain on February 28, 2013, 05:30:58 PM
Ron, I have disagreed with you many times before ... but not this time.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on February 28, 2013, 09:57:03 PM
I was watching a 70's soul reunion show on t.v. last night, one of those pbs deals.  When I was a kid, all the pbs reunion shows were the artists from the 50's.  Then all the shows were the 60's artists.  Now all the shows are the 70's artists... the shows are always the same though, long forgotten musicians finally getting some respect for damn fine songs they recorded a long time ago, it's like the stuff has to age for people to come back around to them.  It was even like that for the Beatles, until about 1995 and the Anthology Albums they had been kind of swept into the bargain bins. 

Even "Wings".  Wings was an awesome band, but nobody but audio nerds talk about Wings.  It's like they're not quite old enough even with Paul's stature, to be something anybody gives much respect.

So I think Billy Joel is caught in that strange time where he's old enough to be a has been but not old enough to be a legend yet.  Of course he already is, but it's not popularly accepted yet like it should be.  I don't know what his personality is like, either, but he kind of seems like he's not a fame whore, I think he's content to do his appearances and tours whenever he feels like it, and doens't want to do the things Paul does like work the grammies, etc. 

Just a fantastic talent, it's such a shame that he hasn't written anything in 20 years. 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jason on February 28, 2013, 11:09:54 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqY6mXULzpw

This is my favorite clip of him ever...this was when he played the Soviet Union in 1987. "LET ME DO MY SHOW, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!"


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Wild-Honey on March 01, 2013, 01:37:46 AM
I love Billy Joel.   I have a book about Synethesia called "Tasting the Universe", and there is a chapter and interview with  Billy and how he has this ability.   He can see the colours of the different musical notes, and grapheme to colour.  He also said his music comes to him in his dreams.  It's a fascinating book. 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Alan Smith on March 01, 2013, 03:12:34 AM
If that's the case (the music in the dreams and such), then old Billy must not have closed his eyes since Uptown Gerl


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Wild-Honey on March 01, 2013, 04:15:02 AM
The River of Dreams Album ;)


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: the captain on March 01, 2013, 02:20:16 PM
I've been thinking about this thread a little bit. While I'm not a huge Billy Joel fan or intimately familiar with his whole catalog, I was born in 1976 to a music-loving family that included four older siblings, so it would be impossible not to know a lot of those mega-hits. I'm not the most qualified person to write about him, but I'll give a shot to offering some thoughts

Billy Joel is the kind of musician who will always struggle to get critical respect in his own time because he was writing pop songs that were meant to be loved. (And it worked, obviously.) If there's one thing pop critics seem obsessed with, it's proving to themselves, to each other, and to the world that the least valuable part about pop is, well, pop. They're obsessed with proving it--and thus themselves--to be high art. Concepts, themes, challenges, as if an infectious melody about falling in love or having your heart broken were as easy to do as it is to hear. Well, it's not easy. Try it.

So you have someone like Joel who isn't challenging to listeners. The cleverness in his songs sounds like simplicity.

What might keep him from being truly legendary to me is that he isn't really changing things. I don't know of any innovations; rather, he was releasing great examples of what already existed stylistically. But maybe that's not true, or maybe it's a false criterion to being legendary.

As time passes, what one has to notice is a huge body of hits. You don't have to love them ... but plenty of people clearly do. What is a musician supposed to do, if not make music that people want to hear? The late '70s through early or mid-80s saw a run of really good, mostly unpretentious pop. And for whatever else critics or music snobs everywhere believe, want, or say, "it's still rock 'n' roll to me." I'm only recently, after a 25-year hiatus, admitting that this stuff is good and I want to listen to it. By the late '80s, I was too interested in the tough guy hair metal (oxymoron?) of the day. Then I fell into the very snobbishness about which I'm writing here. The past few years I've been climbing out and looking around at what it cost me in listening pleasure.

Right now, I've got An Innocent Man playing on Spotify as I get ready to head out for the evening ... and it's listening pleasure!





Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: SMiLE-addict on March 01, 2013, 03:44:46 PM
I love Billy Joel.

One thing I really respect about him is, after he put out his River of Dreams album, he basically said, "that's it" and has never put out a studio album since (aside from the classical one). I recall reading somewhere that he said 'I've got no more songs in me' and that's what made him stop. A lot of artists would continue to write songs and put out albums long after they've run out of steam, simply because they can, or don't know what else to do with their lives, or some other reason. But I admire someone who knows when he's out of steam, and calls it quits before he starts producing a lot of mediocre stuff.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: SMiLE-addict on March 01, 2013, 03:48:35 PM
Interview on his last song here:
http://www.billyjoel.com/node/15819


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: SMiLE-addict on March 01, 2013, 03:55:16 PM
BTW I like The Stranger album best.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8Z6Yi_tlhs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI3MwwWYC3Q


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on March 02, 2013, 03:23:25 PM
Good comments, I agree with them. 

On the freaking out in concert post Real Beach Boy, that's awesome.  He also did the famous grammy thing, if nobody's heard it, I don't know if tape is floating around or not of it.

That year, Frank Sinatra was getting a lifetime achievement award from the Grammies.  He comes out to take his acceptance speech... he starts rambling a little bit, and THEY PLAYED BUMPER MUSIC AND WENT TO A COMMERCIAL!  The crowd was loudly booing while the music was playing, it was incredibly disrespectful to fucking FRANK SINATRA to 'walk out' on him. 

So later in the show, Billy Joel performed "River of Dreams" which was huge that year.  When he got to the breakdown at the end where he waits a few seconds... he prolonged it.  Slowly, he lifts his arm up and stares at his watch, and says "Valuable advertising time slipping by.... valuable advertising time slipping by...."... waited about 15 seconds, then broke back into the song. 


Class. Act. If you ask me. 


(BTW, later Frank said that he was glad they rolled the music because he was running out of things to say)


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on March 02, 2013, 03:25:33 PM
What might keep him from being truly legendary to me is that he isn't really changing things. I don't know of any innovations; rather, he was releasing great examples of what already existed stylistically. But maybe that's not true, or maybe it's a false criterion to being legendary.

Believe it or not, Billy addressed that very point in his rock and roll hall of fame induction speech.  Here's the text.

"Can you believe this?  That's the Washington Monument, you know? Thank you very much, Ray - Ray Charles.  This is a dream of mine.  I'm gonna wake up, "Oh, that was an amazing dream."  After so many people who wouldn't work with me for so long - I have a band, you know, I have a name, but the guys in the band have names.  

The drummer, Liberty's been with me going on 25 years.  The sax player Mark Avere has been with me since the earlier '80s.  Crystal Taniafare [?] has been with me through, like, six tours already.  I have a wonderful road crew.  Bobby Thresher is our production manager, and our tour's ending in April - I'm going to be passing these guys over to Bruce.  Bruce, you're taking them and, you know... these guys are the best, so that's why you want to work with them.  All the other people in the band, thank you so much.  And my soundman has been with me - Brian Ruggles has been with me 30 frickin' years.  I don't know how you can stand still listening to this stuff, 'cause I  got troubles myself some nights.  My production designer and lighting designer, Steve Comboom [?], 28 years.  

There are three women at my table I have to mention.  My mom, who gave me life.  Thank you, Mom.  My daughter, who changed my life - thank you, Alexa.  And my girlfriend, Caroline, who taught me how to dream again.  Anyway, this has been a great life; I've had the most amazing life, and it's mostly because of rock and roll music.  I love all kinds of music, and I'm right now writing what would be considered romantic mid-19th Century classical music, and Tommy's thrilled with this, I know.  Donny's going, "How do we market this stuff? You know, he won't even record it - he's just writing, you know?"  What am I going to do?  That's what I'm doing right now.  

This music has made such a wonderful life for me, and I want to thank you so much for doing the great job that you've done at Columbia Records - thank you so much.  Great company.  I just want to say this.  Now, I grew up in Levittown, OK?  Now... not exactly the epicenter of soul in America, you know?  And my parents were young people starting out; my Dad was an ex-GI, and they got a house for 40 bucks down, a quarter-acre, whatever it was - and they thought they were moving to the country, you know - they were getting out of the city.  And we kids growing up, we said, "This kind of sucks, you know?  There's gotta be something better than this."  And we, you know - it was nice to be out of Long Island, but - we didn't know this at the time - they would not sell Levittown homes to African American families.  We found this out later.  They would not sell homes to them.  

So where were we gonna find soul?  Where were we gonna find the soul of America?  You know where we got it?  We got it from the radio.  We got it from rock and roll music - that's where we got it from.  And I'm not talking about Pat Boone.  And I'm not talking about Fabian.  And I'm not talking about Frankie Avalon.  I'm talking about Ray Charles, and Little Richard, and Chuck Berry, and Fats Domino, and Wilson Pickett, and James Brown, and Otis Redding, and Little Anthony and the Imperials, and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers - that's where we got it.  So I wanna thank those people, 'cause they were the real pioneers.  And I know I've been referred to as derivative.  Well, I'm damn guilty.  I'm derivative as hell!  Let me just suggest this.  Anyone who is derivative like I'm derivative, who should be automatically excluded, would mean that there wouldn't be any white people here.   I know we're on TV, but we've gotta get some outrageous sh*t started here, you know what I mean?  Anyway, thank you very much.  Thank you."


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: the captain on March 02, 2013, 04:06:08 PM
That's an interesting speech. I wouldn't take it that far, myself (if I were making the argument), because someone can be largely derivative but introduce some new direction, tidbit, style, that makes it an innovation. You know, a 90-10 split, yet it's innovative for some reason. I'm not sure whether Billy Joel had that 10. But again, I don't care. There's something to be said for putting out work that shows mastery of the form, and that's what he did.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on March 02, 2013, 04:34:21 PM
It shows you his mindset.  It appears, that to him, innovation isn't even possible. 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: the captain on March 02, 2013, 04:48:33 PM
I'd have to disagree with him on that--otherwise our music would sound exactly like the music of 10, 25, 50, and 100 (and so on) years ago. Gradual innovation is (I'd say obviously) a reality.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: SMiLE-addict on March 02, 2013, 07:57:40 PM
Maybe Billy's listened to too much Beach Boys and thinks we're just singing That Same Song.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Wild-Honey on March 02, 2013, 08:45:44 PM
He's an incredibly humble guy, but I don't think he gives himself enough credit.  Isn't pretty much everything in life derivative?    I love what's been posted in this thread about Billy in the Soviet Union and the Grammy's. 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: krabklaw on March 02, 2013, 11:33:43 PM
I'll say this about Billy Joel- he's a terrific entertainer. Great to see live if'n you ever get the chance. His albums are good too.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Please delete my account on March 03, 2013, 12:34:42 AM
Quite a surprising thread. I've only heard Billy Joel's singles, I don't like any of them, and some of them I find positively terrible, especially the lyrics. "An Innocent Man" was on a various artists compilation we had on on a loop at work for a while and I have to say those are the most self-satisfied, self-righteous lyrics I've ever heard. 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Moon Dawg on March 06, 2013, 01:41:33 PM
I flinch every time "The Longest Time" and "You're Only Human" are played at my local supermarket. Billy is a talent, but I don't need to hear him. Agree with previous poster re smug lyrical content. "Piano Man" is one of the most condescending songs ever written about an artist and his audience.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on March 06, 2013, 09:42:30 PM
I'd have to disagree with him on that--otherwise our music would sound exactly like the music of 10, 25, 50, and 100 (and so on) years ago. Gradual innovation is (I'd say obviously) a reality.

Well his point was that he personally can't innovate, specifically because he's white. 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on March 06, 2013, 09:43:46 PM
I'll say this about Billy Joel- he's a terrific entertainer. Great to see live if'n you ever get the chance. His albums are good too.

I saw him once with Elton, he stole the show with "We didn't start the Fire".  Here's a guy in his 50's, he plays just killer Rock & Roll piano the whole show, then stands up, straps on a guitar, and played "We Didn't Start The Fire", place went crazy.  Blew the roof off the place. 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on March 06, 2013, 09:44:28 PM
Quite a surprising thread. I've only heard Billy Joel's singles, I don't like any of them, and some of them I find positively terrible, especially the lyrics. "An Innocent Man" was on a various artists compilation we had on on a loop at work for a while and I have to say those are the most self-satisfied, self-righteous lyrics I've ever heard. 

Re-read what you just wrote, and you'll finally top it! 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Moon Dawg on March 07, 2013, 04:47:39 AM
I'd have to disagree with him on that--otherwise our music would sound exactly like the music of 10, 25, 50, and 100 (and so on) years ago. Gradual innovation is (I'd say obviously) a reality.

Well his point was that he personally can't innovate, specifically because he's white. 

 Being white has nothing to do with why Billy Joel is not an innovator in popular music. The reason? He is a hack. A talented hack to be sure, but a hack nonetheless.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: joe_blow on March 07, 2013, 03:31:08 PM
I wouldn't call him a hack. He has sure put out some great music. Before he became huge in 1977, critics and hipster type music fans seems to respect him a lot more. It was much more cool to appreciate him in 1976 when he was playing Carnegie Hall than it was after the release of The Stranger.

my favorite album of his would be The Nylon Curtain.

I recall him saying in an interview in the 1980s that he never wanted to be a dinosaur. When asked to expalin that he stated that he didn't want to be an old artist that lives off his own fat. He seemed to be pretty transparent from as far back as I can recall, 1985 about wanting to retire from the music business. As much as people might want to say he's wasting his talent, he seems to be getting a great chance to live life and do what he wants. Sorry, Elton John, not everyone needs the spotlight liek you might think.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jason on March 07, 2013, 04:23:31 PM
I don't listen to Billy Joel to hear great art...I don't think his fan base does, either. It's pop music. No hidden meanings. Nothing to think too hard on. It's just pop music.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: the captain on March 07, 2013, 04:27:57 PM
I don't listen to Billy Joel to hear great art...I don't think his fan base does, either. It's pop music. No hidden meanings. Nothing to think too hard on. It's just pop music.

Exactly. And I'd add my color to that last sentence by ensuring "just" means "solely," but not in a diminutive way. It was tremendously successful at being what it was supposed to be. There's no sense it hating it for what it wasn't (and wasn't supposed to be).


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jason on March 07, 2013, 04:31:40 PM
Not everything has to be Pet Sounds to be good...a belief that is seriously lacking here.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: joe_blow on March 07, 2013, 04:45:28 PM
I don't listen to Billy Joel to hear great art...I don't think his fan base does, either. It's pop music. No hidden meanings. Nothing to think too hard on. It's just pop music.

Exactly. And I'd add my color to that last sentence by ensuring "just" means "solely," but not in a diminutive way. It was tremendously successful at being what it was supposed to be. There's no sense it hating it for what it wasn't (and wasn't supposed to be).

I would disagree. Although he has a lot of pop hits, if you delve into his album cuts and other projetcs you will find some stuff that might not be considred pop. I guess that would laso depend on yoru definition of pop.
Some examples of his work that I would consider more creative and not necessarily pop (in a way that was not a good fit for poular radio):

Goodnight Saigon
Captain Jack
Fantasies and Delusions (classical album)
The Ballad of Billy The Kid
Nocturne
The Mexican Connection
Big Man On Mulberry Street (maybe a different kind of "pop")



Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jason on March 07, 2013, 04:53:57 PM
I'd agree with that assessment, sure. His albums from Cold Spring Harbor until Turnstiles or so are definitely in the "singer-songwriter" vein. All of the albums from The Stranger until An Innocent Man are pretty much solid pop records from beginning to end.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Moon Dawg on March 07, 2013, 06:38:06 PM
  I  liked THE NYLON CURTAIN, but AN INNOCENT MAN turned me off forever.  Billy still owes Frankie Valli a tune for keeping "Uptown Girl" for himeslf!


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jason on March 08, 2013, 01:51:01 PM
An Innocent Man is great. f*** being "artistic". Let's just remember the golden oldies. How can anyone not like that album?


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Moon Dawg on March 08, 2013, 04:00:26 PM
 The contrived innocence of "The Longest Time" and the smugness of "Tell Her About It" could curdle milk fresh from the cow.  If Billy had really wanted to pay tribute to the pop/R&B styles of his youth, he would have produced "Uptown Girl" for Frankie Valli, thus giving The Four Seasons one final well deserved hit.

 Again, THE NYLON CURTAIN was a  good cycle of songs, easily my favorite Billy Joel album.

 To be honest, I guess something about him just bugs me. For two years in college I worked with a group of people that included several truly extreme Billy Joel fans. It changed me forever.  :lol


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jason on March 09, 2013, 08:57:09 AM
I always liked the fact that Billy pretty much kept politics out of his music for the most part, and that his "humanitarian" single release was You're Only Human (Second Wind). Instead of patronizing the teen suicide epidemic at the time (like how the Band Aid single patronized African poverty), he did the song so straight that he left a "mistake" in the recording. That's a rare case of honesty in pop music.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jason on March 11, 2013, 10:11:47 PM
http://www.youtube.com/user/stoots24

A wealth of Billy Joel videos and interviews here.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on August 07, 2013, 11:33:54 PM
I saw Billy Joel on american restoration the other day.  It was pretty interesting, because I had never seen anything, not musical, about him.  So basically, he asked teh guy at American Restorations to restore some old motorcycle for him. So the guy does a pretty good job, this is some rare bike from the 50's or whatever.

So he delivers it to Billy.  Billy owns a motorcycle shop in New York (I suppose), and they take brand new motorcycles, and then modify them to look more retro.  pretty cool stuff.  So the whole elepant in the room was that Billy and his crew were obviously extremely talented motorcycle mechanics, but yet they had this other guy restore one for the show.  Although the bike was nice, it pretty much paled in comparison to everything else in the room.  

So Billy spent a considerable effort in going over every nice detail in the bike and complementing the hell out of the guy, when it was obvious to everybody that it wasn't anything special, lol.

I heard a bit on Sirius a few weeks ago too about some shows he's been doing, basically now he's trying to do shows where he can spend a large amount of time playing album cuts instead of singles.  I get the impression that he sick to death of playing the same songs over and over again... it's amazing because he's got about 40 hits, and he's even tired of playing ALL of those so I think he is just so over the whole "You're amazing" thing.  I've got to be honest, he came off as just a regular guy on the motorcycle bit.  I imagine he's one of those guys who got more famous than he wanted to get.  


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Lonely Summer on August 09, 2013, 10:49:12 PM
I don't doubt it - and I have to admit, I am tired of the big hits that get played all the time, but he's got a deep catalog, been listening to Turnstiles lately, some good songs on there.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Rocky Raccoon on September 08, 2013, 01:35:43 AM
I have every album Billy Joel made and I do believe he is a legend, something I think many would agree with me on.  I think he's one of the greatest songwriters of his time, he is an absolutely incredible pianist, and he still remains one of the best concert performers around.  I was fortunate to see one of his now famous Shea Stadium shows in 2008, something I will remember for a long time, he sang New York State of Mind as a duet with Tony Bennett and Boys of Summer with Don Henley.  I was also very fortunate to see Billy perform with Paul McCartney a year later at the same spot (where Shea Stadium was torn down and Citi Field was built in its place).  Seeing Sir Paul was exhilarating enough but seeing him and Billy Joel together was just incredible.  I don't think Billy Joel needs to write new songs.  The songs he wrote are timeless, "Miami 2017" in particular seems to become only more relevant as time goes on and "Allentown" remains a biting commentary on the nonexistence of the American dream and I can still relate to the anger and anxiety in a song like "Pressure."  I truly think that he will be remembered as one of the all time greats if he isn't viewed as such already.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Ron on October 02, 2013, 08:17:51 PM
I agree with you Rocky... I saw him and Elton once.  I was supposed to go with somebody, basically got DUMPED so I went to the show alone, bought a nosebleed seat and watched him and Elton tear it down.  He of course did everything awesome, but when he stood up and played guitar on "We didn't start the fire" that was some of the coolest stuff I'd ever seen.  What a performer. 


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: bluesno1fann on October 02, 2013, 10:53:26 PM
I'm pretty sure that Billy Joel is considered a legend. Surprised people think otherwise  ???


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Gabo on October 03, 2013, 03:30:25 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqY6mXULzpw

This is my favorite clip of him ever...this was when he played the Soviet Union in 1987. "LET ME DO MY SHOW, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE!"

lawlz. this made my week


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: RangeRoverA1 on October 31, 2013, 05:23:32 AM
Tbh, I'm not familiar with Billy Joel as an artist & that little dose I've heard of him wasn't to my liking (counting DWB). Nevertheless, I'll follow all the suggestions & advices given in this thread & shall post my thoughts about Billy's music. Meanwhile, hear Westlife's terrific cover of Uptown Girl (skip further for the actual song - the video starts with some boring chat):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blVsgv0OISY

Hope any of you, including Ron, enjoyed it as much as I did some 6 years ago on radio & still do. I even think it's better than the original, despite that I like Billy's voice.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Smilin Ed H on October 31, 2013, 01:33:46 PM
He's not legendary; he's not edgy;  he's not innovative; he'll probably never be cool. But he is good, Very good. Which is all that matters to me.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on October 13, 2018, 08:03:46 PM
If you still have a Sirius/XM subscription, check out channel 30 which is featuring Billy Joel for a short time.
I'm only a casual fan and an not familiar with his "deep cuts". But he had many top quality songs and I'm enjoying listening to the station.
He gives info about the process of creating songs. In the early stages of the song "Movin Out" he played the melody on the piano. One of his band mates said, er, Billy, you know that melody is the same as Neil Sedaka's "Laughter in the Rain?" Joel said " drat" (actually he used another word lol). He made changes to the melody, made it more percussive, and had another hit.
He's given props to other artists. He's praised Traffic, Ray Charles, and Led Zeppelin. And he says that they play LZ songs during soundchecks instead of his songs.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Wata on October 14, 2018, 07:08:45 AM
To me, 2nd to 6th song of "An Innocent Man" is by far the best set of doo-wop songs after its era. Among them, "The Longest Time" is a true masterpiece and reminds me of a cappella cover albums of doo-wop Japanese musician Tatsuro Yamashita (btw, he covered "Guess I'm Dumb" on one of his albums!), which are excellent as well.

Plus, Uptown Girl is the greatest Four Seasons song Four Seasons never sang.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on October 23, 2018, 01:12:37 PM
If you still have a Sirius/XM subscription, check out channel 30 which is featuring Billy Joel for a short time.
I'm only a casual fan and an not familiar with his "deep cuts". But he had many top quality songs and I'm enjoying listening to the station.
He gives info about the process of creating songs. In the early stages of the song "Movin Out" he played the melody on the piano. One of his band mates said, er, Billy, you know that melody is the same as Neil Sedaka's "Laughter in the Rain?" Joel said " drat" (actually he used another word lol). He made changes to the melody, made it more percussive, and had another hit.
He's given props to other artists. He's praised Traffic, Ray Charles, and Led Zeppelin. And he says that they play LZ songs during soundchecks instead of his songs.

I was just a casual fan before listening to his Sirius channel..now I'm approaching die hard levels.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on October 23, 2018, 09:03:29 PM
Yes I'm really enjoying this channel. BJ is on frequently talking about the genesis of his songs. He had a show devoted to an album with discussion of each cut.
He's had a "BJ the DJ" show where he played songs by other artists, commenting on what he likes about each song. And his daughter has also been on.

 Curiously, I have yet to hear "The Longest Time" which I agree is a colossal song.

Too bad it's only on this month.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on October 24, 2018, 12:54:54 AM
Hot take: Billy Joel is what Brian would’ve been in the 70s had he finished SMiLE and not had that breakdown


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on October 30, 2018, 08:43:27 PM
The Sirius channel ends in a few hours...I always liked his music but from hearing this every day, I'm now officially a die hard


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jay on October 31, 2018, 02:02:39 AM
I think Billy Joel is one of the most underrated songwriters.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on October 31, 2018, 12:24:31 PM
Oh easily. Songs from an Italian Restaurant alone bears that out.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on October 31, 2018, 01:43:14 PM
Was just listening. Announced that the channel has been extended "into November." Didn't say how long into the month.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on October 31, 2018, 02:43:14 PM
Awesome!!!! My daughter has been obsessing so I know she’ll be happy too


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jay on November 01, 2018, 12:20:23 AM
Oh easily. Songs from an Italian Restaurant alone bears that out.
And New York State of Mind, Captain Jack, Zanzibar...


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on November 01, 2018, 01:44:24 AM
My daughter Jaymie called him “East Coast Brian “ the other day and thanks to Sirius I finally hear why. I seriously underrated the hell out him. 

So basically my 11 year old turned me on to Billy Joel. What interesting times we live in


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: HeyJude on November 01, 2018, 01:01:56 PM
Most everything from "Cold Spring Harbor" (1971) to "The Nylon Curtain" (1982) are essential and filled with tons of amazing work.

After that, I think his stuff wasn't as consistent or impressive, though there still gems scattered through that final run of albums from 1983-1993. Not a huge fan of the pastiche stuff on "An Innocent Man". Some catchy stuff, no question, but I don't think I particularly need to regularly hear "Tell Her About It" and stuff like that. "The Bridge" from '86 is pretty bland, and seemed to be the beginning of his weird deal where he decided he wanted to be Ray Charles. "Storm Front" has some good stuff. I probably need to reassess his last album, "River of Dreams", but wasn't a fan of stuff like the title track.

Even though Joel himself hates "Cold Spring Harbor" (apparently due more to the circumstances than the music itself), it's a real gem. Almost like a lost Emitt Rhodes album.

While I think his last decade didn't produce a super ton of great stuff (again, with some key exceptions), I always thought it was a bummer he just gave it up in 1993. I suppose there's a fine line between "packing it up before you've overstayed your welcome" and just being lazy and finding that touring is far more lucrative.

His live shows for the last decade or two have been okay, but a bit hard to listen to as his band, while quite proficient, is on the bland side, and also Joel has dropped the key on just about every song.

While Joel's songs tended to not have a lot of layered multi-part vocals/harmonies (again, with some exceptions), BB fans should still find his 70s and early 80s stuff to be great and melodic, and he often actually had pretty good lyrics too.

Some of his best stuff is the buried album tracks. "All for Leyna", "If I Only Had the Words", all the non-hits on "The Nylon Curtain."

This guy truly had some Lennon *and* McCartney in him. Lennon-esque and McCartney-esque stuff is *all over* "The Nylon Curtain", and there's even a Harrison-esque guitar solo thrown in for good measure.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on November 01, 2018, 05:18:25 PM
I agree about the album tracks being better. One thing I thought was hilarious was him hating We Didn’t start the fire, calling it the worst melody he’d ever written. You know the Charlie Brown Christmas special where Schroeder plays Jingle Bells with one finger in disdain? That’s what he did when he demonstrated the melody for the interview


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on November 01, 2018, 06:31:47 PM
I've become a fan of "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" . That's a song I didn't pay much attention to when it came out.
In my present life situation I've been feeling very "inadequate" lately, as my Caregiver status has totally taken over (tip of the hat to all caregivers!). Always second guessing , am I doing all that needs to be done, am I, gulp, Perfect?
This song has really helped. Take a deep breath, get my second wind, lather, rinse, repeat. :-)


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: HeyJude on November 02, 2018, 10:11:33 AM
I appreciate Joel's honesty about his disdain for "We Didn't Start the Fire"; I think he fully realizes it's firmly in the "novelty song" category. But he weirdly does still do it sometimes in concert.

He's pretty much a tour-only guy at this point, and he does arena gigs almost exclusively (and then some stadiums), so he ends up feeling like he can't go too deep. I recall an interview from the last few years where he felt when they did "All for Leyna", the audience didn't care. I still wonder if applause after a song performed in a huge arena could ever feel *that* lackluster. It's not like he plays clubs where you can hear the restlessness during the song. But I digress...

On the other hand, he always rips into "Cold Spring Harbor" even though it's a really good album. I think he has bad memories because of the bad manager situation, and because of the weird mastering issues the album originally had where most of the songs ran too fast and Joel sounded kind of goofy (although even speed-corrected, his voice on that first album is strange and somewhat unlike what his voice sounded like later on).


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: HeyJude on November 02, 2018, 10:18:17 AM
Also worth noting is that Joel has a ton of stuff in the vaults that still hasn't come out. Little dregs of outtakes have been officially released here and there (mainly scattered on that "My Lives" boxed set), and Joel seems to feel even putting that small amount of stuff out is like barrel-scraping. But there is tons of stuff of most of his albums, alternates and totally different songs. Some of it has leaked out over the years, and I've only dabbled into knowing that material myself.

But he should have at least a 2-disc set out for all of his albums.

They did a nice box back in 2007 for "The Stranger", but skipped any studio outtakes and just put live stuff on CD and DVD for that set. That '77 live stuff is *great*, and they need to put the *complete* shows from those gigs instead of excerpts.

They did a "Piano Man" deluxe set a few years later, and finally officially released the excellent 1972 Philly in-studio radio broadcast in pristine quality (it was captured on multi-track), which has a bunch of "Cold Spring Harbor" songs, some that would end up on "Piano Man", and then several totally unreleased songs.

I just recently saw that an deluxe reissue of "52nd Street" was issued in Japan, but it's unfortunately all swag/packaging and nothing new audio-wise. Just original mix and then an old surround mix.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on November 21, 2018, 07:53:50 PM
I've become a fan of "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" . That's a song I didn't pay much attention to when it came out.
In my present life situation I've been feeling very "inadequate" lately, as my Caregiver status has totally taken over (tip of the hat to all caregivers!). Always second guessing , am I doing all that needs to be done, am I, gulp, Perfect?
This song has really helped. Take a deep breath, get my second wind, lather, rinse, repeat. :-)

Great GREAT song.

Oh and my wife is also a caregiver (she does senior care)


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on November 21, 2018, 07:56:11 PM
I appreciate Joel's honesty about his disdain for "We Didn't Start the Fire"; I think he fully realizes it's firmly in the "novelty song" category. But he weirdly does still do it sometimes in concert.

He's pretty much a tour-only guy at this point, and he does arena gigs almost exclusively (and then some stadiums), so he ends up feeling like he can't go too deep. I recall an interview from the last few years where he felt when they did "All for Leyna", the audience didn't care. I still wonder if applause after a song performed in a huge arena could ever feel *that* lackluster. It's not like he plays clubs where you can hear the restlessness during the song. But I digress...

On the other hand, he always rips into "Cold Spring Harbor" even though it's a really good album. I think he has bad memories because of the bad manager situation, and because of the weird mastering issues the album originally had where most of the songs ran too fast and Joel sounded kind of goofy (although even speed-corrected, his voice on that first album is strange and somewhat unlike what his voice sounded like later on).

From what I've heard, pretty much every concert he will judge what to play next based on the audience response (which ever one of two songs gets the loudest cheers) and more often than not the album track will get chosen


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jay on November 21, 2018, 10:11:35 PM
This might be my all time favorite song by him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5g75rHKecM


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on November 21, 2018, 11:08:28 PM
This might be my all time favorite song by him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5g75rHKecM

Great choice! Apparently this is about the one time (and last time!) he tried heroin.  He sounds a bit like Lennon here too..


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: Jay on November 22, 2018, 12:41:42 AM
This might be my all time favorite song by him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5g75rHKecM

Great choice! Apparently this is about the one time (and last time!) he tried heroin.  He sounds a bit like Lennon here too..
Knowing that, lines like "We were all so paralyzed" and "They exhausted our supplies" make sense. He does sound like John Lennon here to me too. He sounds a bit like how John did on the vocal for "How Do You Sleep?". Almost punk-ish and with kind of a sneering attitude.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on November 30, 2018, 09:30:11 AM
Well, it's over. Hopefully the channel will come back soon.
The station is now the Mannheim Steamroller Channel, through Christmas.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on November 30, 2018, 09:42:04 AM
:(


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: HeyJude on November 30, 2018, 01:02:10 PM
This might be my all time favorite song by him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5g75rHKecM

Great choice! Apparently this is about the one time (and last time!) he tried heroin.  He sounds a bit like Lennon here too..
Knowing that, lines like "We were all so paralyzed" and "They exhausted our supplies" make sense. He does sound like John Lennon here to me too. He sounds a bit like how John did on the vocal for "How Do You Sleep?". Almost punk-ish and with kind of a sneering attitude.

Lennon (and McCartney and Harrison) sounds are all over "The Nylon Curtain." Several tracks have Lennon-esque lead vocals ("Laura", "Surprises", others), he channels McCartney's on "Allentown" and "Where's the Orchestra?", and we even get a Harrison-esque lead guitar solo on "Laura."


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: NOLA BB Fan on December 26, 2018, 07:10:32 PM
Just read the announcement on FB

Billy Joel channel is up and running again on Sirius/XM channel 30. Until Jan 31.
Listening to it now.
Make it permanent already!


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on December 26, 2018, 07:35:12 PM
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much.


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on December 31, 2018, 07:50:05 PM
FYI- it's back up, but all the "chatter" is old, i.e. from October. Advising that because there has been upcoming concert info given, but it's outdated!


Title: New Billy Joel Forum
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on December 31, 2018, 09:08:50 PM
Just starting this out... very rough but it is a work in progress


http://firestarters.freeforums.net/


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: SMiLE Brian on January 01, 2019, 08:50:45 AM
Nice!


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on January 01, 2019, 10:40:51 AM
Come join the party SB! Well right now it’s a party of two but hell there’s an off topic section too :lol come on in!


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: SMiLE Brian on January 01, 2019, 11:55:20 AM
Billy C. Forum! :billy2


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: ♩♬🐸 Billy C ♯♫♩🐇 on January 01, 2019, 12:01:33 PM
:D


Title: Re: Billy Joel
Post by: joe_blow on January 07, 2019, 11:18:34 AM
I've been a big Billy Joel fan since 1980. I have all his albums and countless bootlegs. I would say my favorite work by Billy would be The Nylon Curtain, Glass Houses, and The Stranger. Contrary to what many have written, I also really like The Bridge and Storm Front.  However, in recent years I have found myself listening to him less and less. His interviews have been pretty much the same recycled stories for the last 30 years, as if he has nothing really to say. I guess that's how it is when you don't put out any new music but do interviews. If I had to do an all time Billy Joel Top 10 song list of non hits it might go like:

1. Vienna
2. Laura
3. Code of Silence
4. Leningrad
5. Roberta
6. Surprises
7. Captain Jack
8. Until The Night
9. Sleeping With The Television On
10. The Great Wall of China