Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Billy for Wednesday

I'm an unapologetic Billy Joel fan. This is a clip from 1978 (God bless YouTube) of Joel on the British music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, doing one of his best songs, "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)." This was written in the mid-70s, when New York was on the verge of bankruptcy and Joel was imagining a future without it. It may have been more accurate to write about $1600 studio apartments in the outer boroughs, but hey, hindsight is 20/20.

Yes, Billy fancied himself a hardcore rock star even though he was more a show-tunes guy, when he wasn't an appropriator of pop sounds from the '50s and '60s (and there ain't nothin' wrong with that). But I feel like that just makes him more charming, and however you would describe what he did, I think he was really good at it. Observe:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be a Joel fan. But of all of my old favorites, his music has not aged well. At all. In fact, listening to it now, most of it is terrible. The one exception is the live album "Songs in the Attic", which is still fantastic. But other than that, you can throw the rest of his material in your polluted NY rivers.

1:03 PM  

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