Song of the Day #5,371: ‘Say Goodbye to Hollywood’ – Billy Joel

Just when I was dissing the Random iTunes Fairy for offering up a dreadful song yesterday, she bounces back with a sterling selection today.

‘Say Goodbye to Hollywood’ is the opening track of Billy Joel’s 1976 Turnstiles, his fourth album and the one released a year before he reached mega-stardom with The Stranger. This is one of my favorite Joel albums, even if several of its best songs sound even better on the 1981 live release Songs in the Attic.

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Song of the Day #4,734: ‘Don’t Ask Me Why’ – Billy Joel

Today is one of those Random Weekend days that aligns with a special occasion, giving me the opportunity to spin the dial and hope for an appropriate or hilariously inappropriate match of song and event.

In this case, today marks two such special occasions. One is Fathers Day, and the other is the 19th birthday of my older daughter, Sophia.

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Song of the Day #4,570: ‘Vienna (Live)’ – Billy Joel

Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songs…

‘Vienna’ – Billy Joel (1977)

Billy Joel’s The Stranger came out the same year as Rumours, a fact that doesn’t quite compute in my head. I think of Joel’s album as coming much later for some reason. That’s two all-time great albums in a single year. I look forward to seeing what else 1977 had to offer when I get there in my Decade series.

Four years contributed two songs to my list of 25 favorites, one each in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s.

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Song of the Day #4,509: ‘Stop in Nevada’ – Billy Joel

If you’re a Billy Joel fan, as I am, you find gems no matter where in his catalog you go. OK, maybe his last couple of albums were a bit thin on great material, but prior to the mid-80s, he was firing on all cylinders.

Take today’s SOTD, a cut from the second half of Piano Man, Joel’s 1973 sophomore album and his commercial breakthrough. ‘Stop in Nevada’ is a great song in the same country rock vein as much of the record. Casual Joel fans have probably never heard it. But if you know and love the man, this is one more solid song in a sea of them.

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Song of the Day #4,359: ‘The Great Wall of China’ – Billy Joel

I didn’t know back in 1993 when I bought Billy Joel’s River of Dreams that it would be the last album of pop songs he’d ever release. Maybe Joel has a surprise in store 27 years later, but it sure seems like this was his swan song.

This is far from my favorite Billy Joel album — a quick glance at his discography suggests I’d rank it at #11 of 12 — but it’s plenty good enough to be my #8 album of 1993.

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