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Piano Man

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iTunes Review

Billy Joel's 1973 breakthrough album came after various would-be jump-starts for the multi-talented Long Islander. He'd already committed a solo debut (Cold Spring Harbor) before landing at Columbia, which issued Piano Man to AM and FM radio acclaim. Joel's sound would prove to be an appealing tonic to fans of Elton John and James Taylor, who'd already broken the singer-songwriter sweepstakes open. Joel would go full circle over the years, writing everything from standards like "Just the Way You Are" and rockers like "You May Be Right" before returning to big statements on The Nylon Curtain.) The big numbers here are, of course, the autobiographical title track (which seemed to yearn for Joel's mixed-blessing days of anonymity )and the cryptic, epic-length "Captain Jack.

Customer Reviews

Launched his career

This album launched Billy Joel's career so it is really surprising that no reviews have been posted. Here's one. Piano Man was his first hit. I've grown tired of it over the years but objectively it's a better than average song. Captain Jack was a concert favorite and a staple of AOR radio. You're My Home and If I Only Had the Words to Tell You are early ballads that foreshadowed much more successful ballads like Just The Way You Are. Worst Comes to Worst, Stop in Nevada and Somewhere Along the Line are songs that still work 33 years later. The Ballad of Billy the Kid is a funny metaphor for Bily Joel himself. The AMG review points up the Tumbleweed Connection similarity and I agree with that. You can pick up Captain Jack and Piano Man on the compilations, but if you are looking for some lesser - known but high quality songs, the ones I mentioned above should make you happy. The sound quality is a little muddy on them however.

The best and classic Billy Joel

I admire all his work, especially early, but this nearly debut effort will always be one of my all-time favorite albums. I listen to and love each song.

I Beg To Differ

Billy Joel is not a poor lyricist, in fact he is the greatest to ever live. His lyrics are interesting, entertaining, beautiful, and overall ingenious. For example, in his classic "Everybody Loves You Now," a song that doesn't happen to be included on this disc, there is one of the best lyrics of all-time. That line is "they all want your white body and they await your reply. But between you and me and the Staten Island ferry...So do I." Those words stick with you after you hear that song. And thus, Mr. Joel is not weak in any sense of the word, especially as a lyricist.


Born: May 9, 1949 in New York, NY [The Bronx]

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Although Billy Joel never was a critic's favorite, the pianist emerged as one of the most popular singer/songwriters of the latter half of the '70s. Joel's music consistently demonstrates an affection for Beatlesque hooks and a flair for Tin Pan Alley and Broadway melodies. His fusion of two distinct eras made him a superstar in the late '70s and '80s, as he racked an impressive string of multi-platinum albums and hit singles. Born in the Bronx, Joel was raised in the Long Island suburb of Hicksville,...
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