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Streetlife Serenade

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iTunes Review

Billy Joel wasn't a happy man. He'd had decent success with the Piano Man album, but he wasn't above biting the hand that fed him: the Streetlife Serenade single "The Entertainer" complained outright about Columbia Records executives cutting the single for "Piano Man" down from five minutes to make it more palatable to radio. Elsewhere on the album, Joel was scripting visions of a past and present that weren't leaving him with many options. The title track seemed to mock fellow performers. "Los Angelenos" sounds like he's lost whatever love he had for the west coast (except maybe his hooker friend "Roberta"), while "The Great Suburban Showdown" sounds as if Joel's packing in his entire career for a shot at moving back into his old Long Island bedroom. Two instrumentals ("Root Beer Rag" and "The Mexican Connection") suggest Joel was pressed for time. "Weekend Song" and "Souvenir" further pile on the existential despair, whether Joel's own or what he imagines from the corporate workers around him. He'd soon make it back to New York and kick into high gear.

Customer Reviews

Great Album!

This is a fantastic album especially Streetlife Serenader, but iTunes messed up Root Beer RAG not BAG, RAG!

Maybe the greatest unrecognized Billy Joel song!

Last of the Big Time Spenders is one of his all time greats-album makes it to 4 stars just for this one.

Great keyboards from Billy

STREETLIFE SERENADE is one of my favorite Billy Joel albums because it's a great showcase of his keyboard work. Back in the early 70s, before music was burdened by electronics, most progressive musicians, such as Billy, primarily used acoustic piano (Streetlife Serenade), electric piano (Los Angelenos), organ (Weekend Song) and moog synthesizer (Great Suburban Showdown, The Entertainer, Mexican Connection, Root Beer Rag). Beyond the excellent keyboards, this is a great collection of early songs. Many people overlook this album, but it's all classic 70s Billy Joel.


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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