William Martin Joel was born in the Bronx on this date in 1949. Though he hasn’t recorded any new material in years, he has toured occasionally, drawing as large a crowd as ever. The quality of his music has held up better than most of his contemporaries.
I remember meeting him before a show and asking him to sign my 1970 Attila album which featured Billy and Jon Small thrashing through some heavy metal nonsense – it is commonly listed as one of the worst albums of all time. Billy scratched his name on the cover and smiled with a look that said ‘yeah, I know it was crap.’ Never takes himself too seriously, that’s one thing I like about him.
And yet, he can write some of the best love songs of all time. ‘Just The Way You Are’, ‘she’s Got A Way’, and ‘She’s Always A Woman are among his best. Between 1973 and 1997, Billy Joel placed 42 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, three of which reached #1. in order, here are his five biggest.
Happy 64th birthday Billy – and thanks for the songs.
#5 – MY LIFE (#3 – 1978)
#4 – UPTOWN GIRL (#3 – 1983)
#3 – TELL HER ABOUT IT (#1 – 1983)
#2 – WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE (#1 – 1989)
#1 – IT’S STILL ROCK AND ROLL TO ME (#1 – 1980)