I have to write about Elton John and Billy Joel. They are the absolute definition of Piano\Rock. They are are interwined in eveyone over 20's consciousness, showing the world that there is little difference between camp, retro-pastiche and "album-orientated rock". How did these two lads from the depths of ebony/ivory depravity do it?
I don't know.
But I still want to shout out to them. I bet that most people have a favorite Biily Joel and Elton John song. They are
song writers after all. Do we think of Steve Perry as a song writer? Do we even consider Mick Jagger as a song writer? Nope. I think that that Elton and Joel have somehow inherited the mantle of Tin Pan Alley song stylest. They surely owe more to Lennon/McCartney than Cole Porter. But their solo-ness gives them a claim to the troubadour/songwriter vacuum that was missing in the era of Blur Oyster Cult and Fleetwood Mac. People like a troubadour, dammit.
I don't have to post any MP3's because we know them all!
Someone Saved My Life Tonight, Piano Man, Matter of Time, Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man, Goodnight Saigon, Scenes from An Italian Restaurant, Sad Songs Say So Much. If it is worth knowing we already know it. Everytime I go into a grocery store I hear a Billy Joel song. They are more saturated than The Who, Led Zepplin and Queen. I honstly don't understand it. I can't disparage their talent at all; why so big, though?
Maybe we just really dig somebody playing the piano. Look at the perverse popularity of Piano Bars. Alex thinks piano players are funny (ask him about his ingenious VH1 Classic Keyboard Player theory), but he, like us all, had plenty of kind words for Ben Folds. Can we define the difference between the "piano man" and Ben Folds? [Roxanne gave me my first taste of Ben Folds at Jones Beach in 1998--truly memorable show] Is it "Ben Folds is just Gen X Billy Joel, isn't he?" He's awesome lyrically and he plays the **** out of the piano, but it still can't really compare with Radiohead or Wilco. Piano/Rock, which is perfectly typified by Billy Joel and Elton John, will always be a second class citizen to Guitar\Rock.
Now tell me what your favorite John or Joel song is case I know you like "Big Shot".
Or is it "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart"?