Feb 212011

The other night I heard a Billy Joel song on the radio that I’d thankfully blocked from my memory for some time, “The Entertainer.” It occurred to me, as I made myself listen to the entire heaping pile of Broadway sea shanty shit, that I may hate this song more than what I’ve long considered The Worst Song in Rock ‘n Roll: Blood, Sweat & Tears‘ “And When I Die.” At least that BS&T turd is performed with true zest.

I know a lot of you can’t stand Billy Joel—and you can include me in that tally—but at least I can honestly state that I enjoy one of his songs without reservation, “Uptown Girl.” In other words, I’m not being unfair here because I dislike almost everything the guy stands for. “The Entertainer” combines many of the worst ideas ever put forth in a rock song: lyrics bemoaning not only the plight of the entertainer, but the phony “humble” entertainer; a fast-strummed Ovation acoustic roundback guitar; a possibly “odd” time signature (and definitely not a rock ‘n roll beat of any sort); Paul McCartney-cum-Sammy Davis Jr-style “blackface” singing; and a recurring “pennywhistle” synth part. It’s like he took all the worst bits from Emerson, Lake & Palmer and combined them with god knows what—probably “And When I Die.”

So, I’m willing to argue (with myself) that “The Entertainer” is The Worst Song in Rock ‘n Roll. I don’t need your assistance on that front, but what I am asking you to help me with is whether there is any redeeming value in Billy Joel’s “The Entertainer.” Consider this mission along the lines of one of those “If you can’t say anything nice…” threads.

I look forward to your assistance.


  68 Responses to “Billy Joel’s “The Entertainer”: No Redeeming Value?”

  1. hrrundivbakshi

    The opening lines — before various members of the band start adding their Channel 9 Weather Report instrumental “contributions” to the tune — are vaguely reminiscent of a Mike Nesmith “deep cut” from one of those late-era Monkees LPs.

  2. I can’t argue with your conclusion that this is the worst song in the history of rock and roll, but I think it has redeeming value as long as somebody out there likes it. I mean, isn’t that the point?

  3. hrrundivbakshi

    Not that you’re asking, but the local classic rock radio station convinced me the other day that “Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner was, in fact, the Worst Song In the History of Rock.

  4. At least Jukebox Hero provided the Jukebox Zeros with a killer band name. That’s not much of a redeeming quality but it’s more than When I Die has.

    I don’t know why I hate When I Die more than the Entertainer. I guess it’s like stepping in a gigantic pile of shit as opposed to just a really big pile of shit.

    I would submit Monday Monday for consideration as well, but deep down I know it can’t beat WID.

  5. OK, I’ve never heard the Billy Joel song before. Perhaps a regional favorite? I’m fine with it being the worst in Rock, or at least I can’t think of any songs that it’s better than.

  6. Mmm…Nice sentiment on your part, Hank Fan, but the judges cannot accept that answer:)

  7. Hey, if you must enter into my inner termoil over these two piles of shit, welcome to my world. I’ll take your “backing” of my continuing to deem the BS&T song as WSE under consideration. Thanks.

  8. Wherever you grew up, eh, must have been a beautiful place.

  9. BigSteve

    The problem with this whole concept is that neither song is “rock & roll” in the first place. Laura Nyro’s And When I Die is a good example of her weird Broadway/gospel fusion, and it’s not her fault BS&T turned it into a top40 deathmarch.

    The Entertainer pretty much announces that it’s not rock&roll. The singer is just in a “long-haired band” because it’s convenient and lucrative. The whole performance reeks of self-loathing, but I doubt that Joel is fully aware of how perfectly he’s playing the part.

  10. Hmph. I love Billy Joel, and I will say that he’s the reason I became the music freak I am to this day. My older brother brought home The Stranger in ’77 when I was 5 and that did it for me. I’ve never understood the hatred for Billy, and I’m not saying that as a fan. I’m saying it because I think the guy has made some quality work. But alas, it’s always been cool to bag on the guy, often for his lyrics.

    “The Entertainer,” from Joel’s third album was released in 1974 and was a modest “hit,” keeping him around briefly after the success of “Piano Man.” It’s not a great song, but it’s at least amusing enough given Joel’s circumstances at the time that he might very well have not been around much longer in the sense of putting out albums under his own name. The Streetlife Serenade album from which the song is taken has a lot of songs I like on it, but Joel himself has never had much to say about it.

    He doesn’t really care for “Uptown Girl,” either, which is funny you mention that song. I like it in its Frankie Valli tones, and I certainly like it more than “Tell Her About It,” which came from the same album. Although my personal tastes lean towards his 1982 work The Nylon Curtain as being his best.

  11. ladymisskirroyale

    Actually, I think “Goodnight Saigon” is even stinkier. And stupid. I’ve been forced to listen to an instrumental version of this (and other BJ tunes) created for a ballet barre music disc. Pain, sheer pain while executing plies or tendus.

    But I still carry a soft spot for “The Stranger,” especially songs like “Vienna.” “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” is a song that I continue to enjoy partly because when I was in high school it was a favorite song to choreograph to.

  12. She’s another one that could be the subject of the “Bullshit on” series.

  13. cherguevara

    I don’t care for this song, but really, is it worse than “We Built This City?” If you’re going to really pick the worst song in rock, you are going to end up with a completely useless piece of crap, most likely by a one-hit-wonder, the best they could muster, rather than some 2nd rate stinker by a “career artist.” IMHO.

    For example:

  14. Could be, although she’s written at least two great songs and delivered an excellent performance on one of those two: “The Bells” (writer and lead singer, backed by LaBelle) and “Wedding Bell Blues,” as performed by – shoot, I just forgot the band’s name, the “black Mamas & Papas”…

  15. As I explained the evils of “The Entertainer” to my 13-year-old son he asked, “Even worse than stuff like Lady GaGa?”

    “Yes,” I replied, “that stuff’s not even music. Hear our car rumbling over the road right now? That’s more musical than Lady GaGa.”

    So, I think The Worst Song in Rock ‘n Roll needs to be selected from songs that someone actually sat down and intended to write as a song, as a work of Art, to some extent, not any old cookie-cutter production by faceless Swedes or that ilk. Billy Joel poured his heart into “The Entertainer,” just as BS&T did their cover of Laura Nyro’s oh-so-serious “And When I Die.” And the results fall far short of their aspirations. To me, that’s special.

  16. If I were a sanctioned judge (I’m not) I not only would accept that answer I would not accept any other. What else matters?

    I’m with you Hank Fan.

  17. Welcome back gregg, you nice guy, you. (Damn you nice guys conspiring against my aim of proving there’s no redeeming value in “The Entertainer.” You make me seem…not so nice.)

  18. My wife agrees, this is the “skip” song on Billy Joel Greatest Hits I&II and we are both fans. I think it’s the synth at the top that kills it

  19. Anyone who has spent time on stage with a minimoog can appreciate the fact that it didn’t wig out mid song, especially on that stage.

    Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSksWyHsYw8&feature=related

    Chick tries it 3 times, first at about :38 then around 2:09 and again just after (you can see him this time). Typical of the day. Note the “Old Gray Whistle Test” in the background of both videos.

    Nice job Billy.

  20. Mr. M, you’re the nicest musical snob ever! Don’t sell yourself short.

  21. alexmagic

    Consider this mission along the lines of one of those “If you can’t say anything nice…” threads.

    If ever there was a time for a thread with no replies…

    A few things to cover here, without having the time yet to really take a run at the video performance, which I’m not sure I’m emotionally prepared to do anyway.

    First, “Juke Box Hero”, while far from a gem, is still about a hundred times better than this. It does, at the very least, offer some ironic entertainment, which even the dreaded “Goodnight Saigon” does, as well.

    Second, I get the McCartney/Sammy Davis Jr. thing, to an extent, but I think what Joel is really doing here is inadvertently revealing a spiritual kinship with Dennis DeYoung. Which makes me wonder: would Joel’s pretend tough guy act (I know, I know, he killed a guy in a boxing ring or something) win over rock badasses James “JY” Young and Tommy “Skywalker” Shaw enough to keep the Styx machine running longer than it did when fronted by DeYoung? That’s right, I’m asking you to consider a world where Billy Joel fronted Styx.

    Third, this:

    “The Entertainer,” from Joel’s third album was released in 1974 and was a modest “hit,” keeping him around briefly after the success of “Piano Man.”

    may be the most damning indictment of The Entertainer, if we reallywant to run it up against “We Built This City”.

    I want to say City is worse, because it really is bad on so many levels. The worst thing in Joel’s favor is that he was still young and had hopes and dreams as a musician at the time, especially compared to Starship. But I’d still say that Entertainer is just a song I really dislike vs. City, which is a full-fledged Rock Crime.

  22. I must urge you to hold off on determining The Worst Song in Rock ‘n Roll. Plans are being made to conduct a formal analysis/showdown to determine that title. I’d hate to see you blow your wad in this thread. Meanwhile, please help me determine if there is any redeeming value to Billy Joel’s “The Entertainer.”

  23. The only redeeming value about “The Entertainer” is that I think Billy Joel really has no idea how self-damning the song is.

  24. BigSteve

    The 5th Dimension. I agree that Wedding Bell Blues is a great song. The dreaded Barbara Streisand even had a credible hit single with one of her songs. I’m just saying that she’s a pop singer/songwriter who does not come out of the rock&roll tradition at all. She just happened to hit at a time when the walls between the genres were thinner.

  25. Yeah, I know what you were saying, but it’s the BS&T version of that song I most object to. Her version is just boring.

  26. misterioso

    “…I think what Joel is really doing here is inadvertently revealing a spiritual kinship with Dennis DeYoung.”

    I gotta say that is a stunningly astute observation, definitely in the “I can’t believe that never occurred to me before” category.

    I tip my cap, sir.

  27. misterioso

    Redeeming value? Heavens, no. No. None. “Somebody out there likes it”? Please.

    Still, “And When I Die” is really, really dreadful, and though I had forgotten it was by Laura Nyro, it makes sense. Let me state the standard qualifier: of course I am sorry she died so young. It’s not personal. I saw her open for Dylan in 1991. I am sure she was a good person. I have no such sentiments about Billy Joel.

  28. “The Entertainer” is crap through and through. I can defend some of Joel’s stuff but he is in his full smug, self-pitying, bragging, whining, fake Long Island tough guy pose here.

    If there is going to be real discussion about the worst song in rock, I’m going with something from the shit-hair-metal years. I can’t stomach any of that waste.

  29. shawnkilroy

    i think “The Angry Young Man” is worse than this.
    it beats “The Entertainer” at it’s own brand of awful.
    I like most of the album, The Stranger.
    I also like most of An Innocent Man, and a little bit of The Bridge if you can believe that, but i don’t consider it Rock And Roll at all, and I think the guy is a complete hammer.

  30. shawnkilroy

    That Blood, Sweat & Tears tune was pretty fuckin bad.
    I lump them in with 3 Dog Night & The Guess Who.
    It’s that satin jacket fat with a moustache music.
    there’s SOME gold in them thar hills, but not much.

  31. shawnkilroy

    sorry, NO.
    No Redeeming Value.
    That was the question, right?

  32. BigSteve

    Mod, I think you’re going overboard on the Lady Gagaphobia.

  33. BigSteve

    I meant to say earlier that for years I thought And When I Die was in fact a song from Oklahoma! I don’t know how I got this idea. I think it was the only way to explain the song becoming a hit. This was in pre-google days, before actual facts were at everyone’s fingertips. And then a good friend of mine who loves Laura Nyro turned me on to her, and it all became more comprehensible to me.

  34. The Entertainer has no redeeming value to me but it serves Billy Joel perfectly. Despite the fact that he is a rock star, the lyrics cast him as Everyman, just a hardworking guy who is getting the shaft from the Man, and who is defiant even though his luck may run out at any moment. It flies in the face of logic, but political campaigns are regularly won with a similar and equally disingenuous narrative.

    As an aside, that synth is a perfect example of how, even if you were a Billy Joel fan, there is one thing per song that would be especially hard to take.

    An open question for Billy Joel fans, which misguided arrangement choice is the toughest to take:
    1) the synth in the Entertainer
    2) When he says “No, no you had to be a BEEG shot” in Big Shot
    3) When he says “Working to hard can give you a heart attack-ACK-ACK-ACK-ACK-ACK” in Moving Out
    4) Other

  35. Wow. It’s been a good 25 years since I heard “The Entertainer.” I can only hope it will be at least 25 more years before I hear it again. No redeeming value whatsoever, and that may be the worst Moog part I’ve ever heard.

  36. pudman13

    My goodness, “Jukebox Hero” is a zillion times worse.

    I have a soft spot for Billy Joel because his blatant commercialism never hid who he really was, and he’s a character, for what that’s worth.

    I’m not sure why you’d pick this particular song as his worst (that honor must go to “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” no?), but here’s the something nice I have to say about it. In the grand tradition of Melanie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Graham Parker, The Sex Pistols, et al, he attacks his previous record label:

    “You’ve heard my latest record,
    It’s been on the radio.
    Ah, it took me years to write it,
    They were the best years of my life.
    It was a beautiful song.
    But it ran too long.
    If you’re gonna have a hit,
    You gotta make it fit–
    So they cut it down to 3:05.”

    Any song that messes with the business, even from a guy who never saw a commecial trend he didn’t like, is OK by me.

    Plus, when I was a kid I was amazed to hear “laid all kinds of girls” on the radio. That counts for something.

    Also, I like odd time signatures.

  37. pudman13, maybe it’s yet another measure of how much I dislike Billy Joel, but I’d venture to say “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is in his Top 10 – maybe even Top 5 – songs, as far as I’m concerned.

  38. pudman13

    well, that kind of comment says more about your opinion of his “better” work than it does about that song, kind of like when someone says they like PRETTY ON THE INSIDE better than LIVE THROUGH THIS or DA CAPO more than FOREVER CHANGES. (I don’t mean that as an insult–I’m just trying to contextualize. I might say something equally surprising about Joni Mitchell or the Band, or SANDINISTA.)

    But, really…you can’t find 5 songs on PIANO MAN or TURNSTILES you dislike less than that???

    I can find 5 songs on HOUR OF THE WOLF I dislike less than that, and, trust me, HOUR OF THE WOLF is worse than anything he did as a solo artist.

  39. “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” has no redeeming value whatsoever: that is, unless it is retitled: “We Didn’t Start the Fire But We Don’t Mind Cutting Social Security Benefits for the Next Generation.”

    Regarding your comments on “The Entertainer,” what’s this “beautiful song” that the record company “cut down to 3:05”? If the song is THAT autobiographical, shouldn’t there be a few clues?

  40. Off the top of my head, in some order, the (relatively) greatest songs by Billy Joel:

    1. Uptown Girl
    2. Piano Man
    3. Jeez, I can’t even slot a #3 song, but I can assure you that “We Didn’t Start the Fire” is among his Top 7 for me.

  41. pudman13

    The song he’s referring to is “Piano Man,” which isn’t my definition of “beautiful”, but it *is* my definition of something that shouldn’t have been edited. (I like it, by the way.)

  42. Let me try to bear with this, as I cringe at the site of the tracklist of a 2-CD greatest hits collection:
    3. Only the Good Die Young (swingin’ beat and possibly no grating lines, a la “heart-attACK-ACK-ACK,” which totally spoils anything toe-tapping about “Moving Out”)
    4. Tell Her About It
    5. Just the Way You Are
    6. Still Rock ‘n Roll to Me
    7. We Didn’t Start the Fire
    8. An Innocent Man
    9. The River of Dreams
    10. Keeping the Faith
    11. Captain Jack (only for the giggle over the “you just stay at home and masturbate” line)

  43. And yes, I had to dip into Vol. 3 of his greatest hits.

  44. misterioso

    Ouch. Ouch. This exercise hurts. “We Didn’t Start the Fire”! Oh my God!

    But, ok, I’ll play along. My five “favorite” Billy Joel songs, with videos which, I can tell you, pretty much ruin even the songs I don’t completely hate. My five most hated Billy Joel songs–pretty much any other group of five Billy Joel songs, but especially “sensitive” ballads like Honesty.

    5. All for Leyna (not really bad at all) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fChN-6VDakA

    4. Still Rock and Roll to Me (nostalgia, pure nostalgia) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eAQa4MOGkE&feature=related

    3. Allentown (I know it’s not good, in fact, but yet I don’t hate it) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHnJp0oyOxs&feature=related

    2. You May Be Right (I may be crazy but this is not that bad a song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo9t5XK0FhA&feature=relmfu

    1. Sometimes a Fantasy (I think this is kind of ok!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhJg1finpyU&feature=fvst

  45. shonuffnyesido

    No cop out for you, mr. moderator!

  46. BigSteve

    I used to kind of admire You May Be Right for its skill at boiling a Stonesy vibe into a perfectly efficient hit single. The singing is odious of course.

  47. “Allentown” is not bad; I’d forgotten about that one. That may knock “We Didn’t Start the Fire” to #8 on my list.

    “You May Be Right” is ruined for me when he stretches out “luuunatic” that one time.

    “Sometimes a Fantasy” is done in – for me – the second time I have to hear that cutesy “oh, oh, oh, oh.”

    I totally forgot about your first entry, but man, the opening seconds of the video ruined that one in short time! Interesting, but I don’t like the song even with my eyes closed. It’s like a bad XTC song, to be generous.

  48. “You May Be Right” is another great example. It’s not a good song by any stretch of the imagination but could win the distinction of being the most appealing turd in the punchbowl. But then he stretches out that “luuuunatic”, so it’s back to the drawing board, trying to figure out the least offensive Billy Joel song.

    I’ve been mulling this over for something like a decade now (it was an on going discussion with one of my brothers long before I discovered the Hall. We used to marvel at the sheer number of Billy Joel songs that we knew, especially given that neither of us had ever been a fan or owned an album) and I still feel no closer to making a decision than I was then. If I had a gun to my head I might choose Say Good Night To Hollywood or Only the Good Die Young or New York State of Mind. But I might choose the bullet.

  49. misterioso

    Of course. And has been duly pointed out, even in “good” songs there is always at least a moment that reminds you how thoroughly awful he is.

  50. I’d forgotten about “Say Goodnight to Hollywood.” That knocks “We Didn’t Start the Fire” down to the #9 slot. Still Top 10!

  51. misterioso

    It’s “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.” Not goodnight. And, no, I’m not proud that I know that.

  52. Yeah, right! You love Billy Joel, don’t you? Just admit it! Billy and Misterioso sitting in a tree…

  53. misterioso

    Sir, my seconds will be calling on your seconds.

  54. cherguevara

    Damn you, damn you Rock Town Hall for putting this craptacular song in my head for days. Dammit.

    Pianos are kind of a second class citizen in the halls of rock, aren’t they? Is there any piano-based band or artist who resides in the upper echelons of rock? Elton John is the only one I can think of. Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis are “royalty,” but am I horrible to say that their influence narrows down to a handful of tunes? There are guitar-based bands with great piano-based songs, but is there a non-guitar-centric band that stands shoulder to shoulder with Beatles/Who/Kinks/Clash?

  55. I wouldn’t say they’re second-class citizens, just not as common. The Beatles and other great bands of the past used their share of piano. The Band featured piano and organ in their arrangements way more than guitar. Likewise, Elvis Costello’s best music is keyboard based. It seems there’s a dearth of piano-playing leads in bands. Maybe that’s a function of it being hard to see the piano player on stage – or worse, that piano players look stupid behind one of those synth pianos.

  56. cherguevara

    I think you’re compounding my point. Those bands “used their share of piano,” but Elton is almost all piano-based. Joe Jackson? Ben Folds? I’d definitely rate Nilsson, but I’m not sure he counts as a piano-centered artist.

  57. Honestly, I’m not sure Elton John is that much more piano (or, more broadly, keyboard) based than classic Costello. Joe Jackson’s first two albums have more guitar than Costello’s records. Ben Folds was fine, but he didn’t have much to say after a while. Piano players usually can’t project enough in rock bands. Leon Russell, in his prime, was an exception. I don’t think there’s a bias against piano players as much as a higher degree of difficulty.

  58. OK, to clear a couple things up:

    It was Phil Ramone’s decision for Billy to sing the “ack-ack-ack” in “Movin’ Out.” Billy originally wanted some sort of an echo or effect to achieve this, but Ramone told Billy to just sing it. So the blame falls completely on Phil. Sure, it could be argued that Billy could have just said no, but it was also one of his first big hits (actually, it was the first released off The Stranger, but didn’t actually do anything until “Just the Way You Are” sent him into the stratosphere, and was then reissued), so it’s doubtful that he’s complaining.

    Billy has said in recent interviews that even he doesn’t enjoy “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” being one of his least musically satisfying compositions. I don’t like the song myself, it just being lyrically lazy as well. So for all the complaints about his lyrical prowess in general from the haters on here, you’d (possibly) have to give any of those songs more credence than this one.

    In regards to “Goodnight Saigon” being a turd of a ‘Nam-inspired tune, has everyone forgotten the much more abysmal “Walking on a Thin Line” by Huey Lewis and the News? It seems that writing songs about Vietnam was suddenly hip in the early ’80s, and none of them made much of a lasting impression. Truth be told, “Goodnight Saigon” is the track I usually skip on The Nylon Curtain, more for the unnecessary sound effects leading up into the tune than the tune itself. I really like the bridge’s melody to that song, however.

    And speaking of The Bridge, Billy has never been happy with that album and I’m certainly not a fan of it, save for “Big Man on Mulberry Street” and “Getting Closer.” The only co-write the guy did is on here (not counting the usual bouncing around of ideas between Billy and drummer Liberty DeVitto), and it’s a duet with Cyndi Lauper called “Code of Silence,” which certainly gets my vote as the “Other” on the current RTH poll. It’s a terrible song. I never enjoyed the other duet on the album with Ray Charles, “Baby Grand,” either.

    As a big fan, I find Joel’s work to slip severely at The Bridge. Storm Front now sounds dated, and River of Dreams has one song I like (“Great Wall of China”). That he called it quits as far as writing new pop material after that was not a decision I bemoan. At least the guy knew when to stop, which is more than I can say about 90% of other guys around his age out there still doing it. Costello, I’m looking at you.

  59. cherguevara

    I’ve always wanted to do a medley of “Allentown” and “Funkytown.” I think it could be really great.

  60. Interesting backstory, but echo effect or done live, that’s still annoying and a deal breaker in an otherwise decent Billy Joel song. I can imagine how the echo could have at least seemed like a cool idea.

    Despite what Billy feels about “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” it’s clinging onto the #9 spot on my list of Top 10 Billy Joel songs.

    More power to you, konajinx, for standing by Joel.

  61. alexmagic

    I had always been under the impression that the “ack-ack-ack” part in Movin’ Out was a tribute to the comic strip Cathy, of which Billy was a big fan. And that it had also been the inspiration for She’s Always A Woman.

    In our previous “Least Objectionable Billy Joel Song” thread, I was eventually able to come to a safe place within myself and offer “Don’t Ask Me Why” as his least awful song.

    Still a little disappointed no one has taken on the alternate reality where Billy Joel fronts Styx challenge. And so, composed over the last two minutes, I leave you with the first verse of the lost Joel-penned RTH ode, We Didn’t Start The Topic:

    Music died in ’83,
    Here comes the Holy Trinity.
    Frank Beard
    No beard.
    There were no steers on stage!
    Jeff Lynne,
    Always with his glasses,
    Prince in pants
    That show off asses.
    Batman soundtrack,
    Back To the Future
    After Part 2.

  62. A couple of things, Konajinx,

    – The word “haters” seems to imply an blind or unfounded hatred of something. But I’ve been exposed to plenty of Billy Joel over the years and I think that he has earned my disdain.

    – It never occurred to me that I might have an opinion on this, but Walking On A Thin Line wipes the floor with Goodnight Saigon.

    – Most of all, I’m thoroughly enjoying your defense of Billy Joel. Seriously. He’s reviled around here by all (except, I think, Jungleland) so to see you sticking up for him is both entertaining and perversely inspiring. You have your work cut out for you though…

  63. misterioso

    Superb idea, and perhaps there is room for a segue into Town Called Malice.

  64. Here’s my take on Billy Joel fronting Styx: Joel leaves the band after his idea of setting Kilroy Was Here in an Italian restaurant is rejected.

  65. Well, regardless…it’s obvious Joel is hated here, even if it is through hearing him and coming to that conclusion, which is fine. As a fan, I usually expect people to not like him.

    And as I said, Joel is the reason I love music, so yes, I would defend any artist that would represent that to me. But I also love his tunes.

  66. I just did some research and I think that Turnstiles might be the best Billy Joel album because it contains the biggest cluster of what I consider to be the least offensive Billy Joel songs: Say Goodbye to Hollywood, New York State of Mind, and I’ve Seen the Light Go Down On Broadway.

  67. Yeah Turnstiles also has “Summer, Highland Falls” which is one of my faves.

    I guess if I had to break down my fave ten hits and ten deep cuts it would be these:

    “Don’t Ask Me Why”
    “Only the Good Die Young”
    “My Life”
    “An Innocent Man”
    “All for Leyna”
    “Everybody Loves You Now”
    “Movin’ Out”
    “Big Shot”
    “The Stranger”

    Deep cuts:
    “Summer, Highland Falls”
    “Sleeping With the Television On”
    “The Great Wall of China”
    “Getting Closer”
    “Worse Comes to Worst”
    “Streetlife Serenader”
    “The Last of the Big Time Spenders”

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