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 #2,943: ‘Sleeping With the Television On’ – Billy Joel

glasshousesMy #2 album of 1980 would elicit gasps among the critical elite, who have long dismissed Billy Joel as a hack. Fuck ’em. Glass Houses is a blast — not The Stranger or 52nd Street great, but a whole lot of fun.

Rolling Stone wrote a vicious review of this album that ends with the admittedly catchy line “his material’s catchy… but then, so’s the flu.” And that’s about the kindest thing they had to say.

I don’t get it. But I’ve never gotten the hostility so many music snobs have for Billy Joel.

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Song of the Day #320: ‘I Don’t Want to Be Alone’ – Billy Joel

glasshousesGlass Houses, at the time, was a real kick in the ass for Billy Joel fans. The jazz touches and piano balladry of his earlier work was pushed aside for straight-up rock-n-roll. If there’s any piano on this album at all, it’s buried under layers of electric guitar, synths and heavy drums.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t Led Zeppelin. By any measure, Glass Houses is pretty mild… but from the man known for ‘Piano Man’ and ‘Just the Way You Are,’ ‘Sometimes a Fantasy’ was downright dangerous.

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