Song of the Day #4,150: ‘Zanzibar (Live)’ – Billy Joel

Our next Billy Joel anthology song comes from 1978’s 52nd Street, and this one is not about a person but a place.

‘Zanzibar’ wasn’t a hit at the time but it became a staple of Joel’s concerts and is a fan favorite. It’s a perfect representation of the jazz style Joel introduced to his pop rock for this album. Just check out those horn solos.

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Song of the Day #4,138: ‘Half a Mile Away’ – Billy Joel

The Random iTunes Fairy has been peeking in on the weekday conversation, as she is wont to do.

Just the other day I proposed a theme week on Billy Joel songs that would make good fodder for a Netflix anthology show. And she serves up ‘Half a Mile Away,’ a very strong candidate. With street smart characters like Little Geo and Angelina circling our restless narrator, this song could make for a great little New York-set character sketch.

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Song of the Day #3,321: ‘Rosalinda’s Eyes’ – Billy Joel vs. Paul Simon

Welcome to Round Four of Montauk Madness! The Elite Eight! Four contests that, if everything has worked out according to plan, will have you pulling your hair out trying to pick winners.

Our first battle faces off a couple of legendary New Yorkers: Billy Joel and Paul Simon. Joel defeated Michael Penn in Round One, Frank Sinatra in Round Two and Van Morrison in Round Three. Simon took out Elton John, Sting and Lucinda Williams. I voted for both of them every step of the way. Continue reading

Song of the Day #2,876: ’52nd Street’ – Billy Joel

52ndstreetIt’s nice to see the title track of Billy Joel’s 1978 album 52nd Street pop up on a Random Weekend so soon after my trip to New York City to see Hamilton.

I’ve always considered this jazzy rock classic one of the quintessential New York City albums, from its cover photo of Joel leaning against a wall on 52nd Street and Seventh Avenue to city settings like Zanzibar and the Herald Square of ‘Rosalinda’s Eyes.’

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Song of the Day #1,411: ‘Zanzibar’ – Billy Joel

Best Albums of the 70s – #18
52nd Street – Billy Joel (1978)

I’ve never understood why Billy Joel gets such a bad rap. Just the other day I happened upon a Slate article titled ‘The Worst Pop Singer Ever: Why, Exactly is Bill Joel So Bad?’

That’s the sort of garbage that only gets written about artists who are beloved by “the masses” and therefore un-hip.

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