Billy Joel

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Billy Joel Singer

What a great addition to 70's and 80's music was Billy Joel.  William Martin "Billy" Joel was born in The Bronx in 1949.  Billy Joel's father was an accomplished classical pianist, and a reluctant Billy took piano lessons at the insistence of his mother.  Neighborhood kids thought Billy was taking dance lessons since both were offered in the same building, so Billy took up boxing, and even boxed in the Golden Gloves circuit.

After watching The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, Joel decided to take up music full time, and he joined a local band called The Echoes (circa 1964).  He was 14 years old.  In 1967 Joel joined a band called The Hassles, which released two albums in the late 1960's under a United Artists contract.  After The Hassles dissolved, Joel started a band called Attila, which had one release in 1970.  Joel's first solo album was released in 1971 (Cold Spring Harbor) and featured the songs "She's Got a Way" and "Everybody Loves You Now".  Initially, this album did not do well due to some recording glitches, but was later re-released.  After moving to Los Angeles and playing several notable gigs in 1972, Columbia Records signed Joel to a contract and eventually returned to NYC.   Piano Man was released in 1973.  Although the title track only reached 25 on the charts, it continues to be Joel's signature song.

As the 70's rolled on, Billy Joel continued to produce hit songs.  Songs you will remember:  "The Entertainer" from Streetlife Serenad (1974), "Say Goodbye to Hollywood" and "New York State of Mind" from Turnstiles(1976), "Just the Way You Are", "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)", "Only the Good Die Young", "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant", and "She's Always a Woman"  from The Stranger (1977), "My Life", "Big Shot", and "Honesty" from 52nd Street (1979). 

Billy Joel started the 1980's by attempting to quiet his critics that he was a soft rocker by releasing Glass Houses (1980).  Hit songs from this album included "You May Be Right", "Don't Ask My Why", "Sometimes a Fantasy", and "Still Rock and Roll to Me".  Other 80's songs you may remember include "Allentown", "Pressure", and "Goodnight Saigon" from The Nylon Curtain (1982), "Tell Her About It", "The Longest Time", "Keeping the Faith", "Leave at a Tender Moment Alone", "Easy Money", and the title track from  An Innocent Man (1983), "You're Only Human (Second Wind)" and "The Night is Still Young" from Greatest Hits Vol. 1 and 2 (1985), "A Matter of Trust", "This is the Time", and "Modern Woman" from The Bridge (1986), and "We Didn't Start the Fire", "And So It Goes", and "I Go to Extremes" from Strom Front (1989).

As years rolled on, Billy Joel was never able to re-capture his earlier chart success, although he has remained very active both in studio and on stage.  At the time of this writing in 2013, Joel was still selling out concerts as a top tour draw along with Elton John.  At the time of this writing, the Billy Joel Discography was as follows:

Listen for free or download any Billy Joel track for just 12 cents per song!

  • 1971: COld Spring Harbor
  • 1973: Piano Man
  • 1974: Streetlife Serenade
  • 1976: Turnstiles
  • 1977: The Stranger
  • 1978: 52nd Street
  • 1980: Glass Houses
  • 1980: Billy Joel: The Box Set
  • 1981: Songs in the Attic Live
  • 1982: The Nylon Curtain
  • 1983: An Innocent Man
  • 1985: Greatest Hits Vol 1 and 2
  • 1986: The Bridge
  • 1987: Концерт (Live)
  • 1988: Starbox
  • 1989: Storm Front
  • 1989: Souvenir: The Ultimate Collection
  • 1993: River of Dreams
  • 1994: A Voyage on the River of Dreams
  • 1997: Greatest Hits Volume III
  • 1997: The Complete Hits Collection: 1973-1977
  • 2000: 2000 Years: The Millennium Concert
  • 2000: The Ultimate Collection
  • 2001: Fantasies and Delusions
  • 2001: The Essential Billy Joel
  • 2004: Piano Man: The Very Best of Billy Joel
  • 2005: My Lives
  • 2006: 12 Gardens Live
  • 2010: The Hits
  • 2010: She's Always a Woman: Love Songs
  • 2011: Live at Shea Stadium: The Concert
  • 2011: Billy Joel: The Complete Albums Collection
  • 2012: Opus Collection