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Author Topic: Billy Joel  (Read 4787 times)
Ron
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« Reply #25 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! 
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Moon Dawg
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« Reply #26 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.
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joe_blow
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« Reply #27 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.
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Jason
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« Reply #28 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.
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the captain
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« Reply #29 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).
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« Reply #30 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.
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« Reply #31 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")

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Jason
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« Reply #32 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.
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Moon Dawg
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« Reply #33 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!
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Jason
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« Reply #34 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?
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Moon Dawg
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« Reply #35 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
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 04:11:34 PM by Moon Dawg » Logged
Jason
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« Reply #36 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.
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Jason
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« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2013, 10:11:47 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/user/stoots24

A wealth of Billy Joel videos and interviews here.
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Ron
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« Reply #38 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.  
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 11:35:36 PM by Ron » Logged
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« Reply #39 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.
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« Reply #40 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.
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Ron
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« Reply #41 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. 
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« Reply #42 on: October 02, 2013, 10:53:26 PM »

I'm pretty sure that Billy Joel is considered a legend. Surprised people think otherwise  Huh
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« Reply #43 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
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« Reply #44 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.
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« Reply #45 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.
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« Reply #46 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.
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« Reply #47 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.
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« Reply #48 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.
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« Reply #49 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.
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