Song of the Day #2,568: ‘Allentown’ – Billy Joel

nyloncurtainMy third favorite album of 1992 is The Nylon Curtain, Billy Joel’s eighth studio album and the one he has called his personal favorite.

I’d likely give that title to The Stranger or 52nd Street, but this one would round out the top three.

The album, running just nine songs long, featured Joel’s most ambitious studio work. It’s his Beatles album.

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Song of the Day #2,419: ‘Vienna (Live)’ – Billy Joel

billy_joelYou never know what your kids will latch on to.

A few weeks back, we had a family movie night and watched 13 Going On 30, an under seen and underrated 2004 film. It’s a “young kid in a grown-up body” movie starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, and in my opinion the best of its genre, topping even Tom Hanks’ Big.

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Song of the Day #2,121: ‘Vienna (Live)’ – Billy Joel

billy_joelBilly Joel’s ‘Vienna’ is a song that I tend to forget when compiling lists like this one.

But when I listen to it again, it feels like the only song in the world I’ll ever need.

It’s so beautifully written and performed, so expertly produced by Phil Ramone, and its message is so simple and profound. It’s truly perfect.

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Song of the Day #2,111: ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ – Billy Joel & Jimmy Fallon

billy_joel_jimmy_fallonI have a feeling Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show will provide fodder for this blog for years to come.

The man is an unapologetic fan of so many musicians, not to mention a damn fine musician himself, and he never passes up an opportunity to turn a standard guest spot into a YouTube moment.

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Song of the Day #2,104: ‘Scenes From an Italian Restaurant’ – Mike Stein

thestrangerThe third song Jack Antonoff mentions in his Rolling Stone list is Billy Joel’s epic ‘Scenes From an Italian Restautant.’

Now I know what a great song this is, and how great Billy Joel is, and I suspect most of my regular readers share that opinion… but the man does not get much respect in the “cool” circles. So I’m heartened to see Antonoff unabashedly express his appreciation for a great songwriter.

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Song of the Day #1,914: ‘Piano Man [Live]’ – Billy Joel

pianomanI’ve featured Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man’ on the blog before, in its studio version, but I wanted to tell a little story about it so I dug up this nice 1975 live version on YouTube.

‘Piano Man’ has the honor of being the song I most misunderstood as a kid.

The year was somewhere between 1981-1986, making me somewhere between 9 and 14. I hope I was closer to 9.

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Song of the Day #1,508: ‘Piano Man’ – Billy Joel

Billy Joel is another strand in the ‘Piano Men (And Women)’ segment of my personal musical genome. That’s fitting, considering he gave it its name. And I didn’t feel right selecting any other song to represent him.

Joel doesn’t bridge any of my other categories in a meaningful way. Apart from the cinematic intro to ‘The Ballad of Billy the Kid,’ he’s never dabbled in country. His experiments with doo-wop and 50s pop on An Innocent Man aren’t exactly what I have in mind for my ‘Pure Pop’ category. And his street-smart style in no way derives from folk rock.

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