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Author Topic: OT: Billy Joel Is 68 Today -- And His Music Is Still Terrible
Golem
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Jake Romm
The Forward
May 9, 2017
quote:
What does the typical Billy Joel fan look like? It's a serious question. We can, I think to at least a small degree of accuracy, guess what the typical Sex Pistols fan looked like back in their heyday, or the typical Spice Girls fan in theirs. But, what about Billy Joel? His music is so nondescript, so family-restaurant friendly, so bland, so cheesy, that its lack of concrete identity aside from its popularity and its blandness makes it difficult to imagine just who buys his albums, just who packs the sold out arenas.
More

Agree? Disagree? No opinion?

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Mississippi fan
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I like some of his music. It's still a matter of personl taste anyway.
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oblongo
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Not my kind of music, but the dude has sold out Madison Square Garden something like 40 times in just the last four years and back in the 1980s had prime Christie Brinkley and Elle McPherson competing for his affection. He has to be doing something right.

[ 05-09-2017, 03:12 PM: Message edited by: oblongo ]

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Crimson Mask from FL
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If all critics were murdered in the forest and everybody heard it, would anybody give a sh*t?

So long from the Sunshine State!

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If you lames are the master race, my money's on the mud people.---Andrew Vachss

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Shaving Weezie Jefferson
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
If all critics were murdered in the forest and everybody heard it, would anybody give a sh*t?

So long from the Sunshine State!

All the good ones are dead anyway.
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Pbhero
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Trading in my Chevy for a Cadillac, ack-ack-ack!

I like that song.

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Tatsuya
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Hmmmm,didn't realize his music was considered bad. Haven't paid much attention to him since the late 80's but I was a moderate fan for a while in the late 70's and early 80's

Maybe there is no typical Billy Joel fan and maybe that's why he's been so successful for a long time

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Travlr
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I like a lot of his stuff, and other stuff by him, I'm quite content to leave alone. But I'm amused by the thought of someone who has dabbled very successfully in many different genres of music -- including classical and gospel -- and had it pay off for him. Certainly has the respect of his peers, including guys like Springsteen and Garth Brooks, so....

As to his music being bland and cheesy....I don't think the author bothered listening to things anything prior to The Stranger, although if he thinks Goodnight Saigon is bland and cheesy....well....opinions and a certain end part of the GI tract, y'know?

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The Traveller
a fan since '68....

"Reputation is what others think about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. The friction tends to arise when the two are not the same.... Guard your honor; let your reputation fall where it may."

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Greg Ganja
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BJ is the MAN!

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Your old lady's old lady has got skinnier legs!!!
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And BABY DOLL...shame on you mama...cause I know you better than anyone!


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Shaving Weezie Jefferson
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I like a good chunk of his catalog.
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FantasyWrestlerDrew
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All but like three or four of his albums were before my time but he's hot and cold with me. There are songs I absolutely love and here are songs I absolutely hate. There is no in between with me but if I really sat and thought about it there are probably a lot more songs I like.
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Firebreaker Pauly from NY
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In my opinion, other than a handful of songs, starting with An Innocent Man and everything since, it is fair to crap on him. (And to be fair, those albums moved, so somebody loved them). But everything before An Innocent Man is at worst solid and at best great!

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PVM
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I find him unbearable. And it's not that I hate singer/piano player artists or anything like that...I like pretty much everything by Elton John up to about 1984. That one article linked above does hit on one thing accurately: Billy Joel is perfect music for suburbia, especially NYC suburbia...which explains his popularity, as well as his blandness.
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davephlegmball
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He has a few songs i really like, but most of his stuff is awful.

I walked up to a limo with mirrored windows while walking down South Street in Philly one night (traffic moves really slow there 'round midnight on weekends). Somebody had just gotten out of one side of the limo and ran across the street to pick up some food across the way. I started making faces into the mirrored window and probably rambling on about something/cutting a promo. The window rolled down, and guess-who was behind it.

"How ya doing," he said. Guy came back from the pizza shop. Window rolled up, and they proceeded slowly down the strip.

I turned around to my buddy and the bunch of people who were there. "Hey--that was Billy Joel."

"Yeah," my friend said.

Billy was not out of tune that i could tell, at least. He likes cheesesteaks--or maybe it was a hoagie.

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Lee Wong
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quote:
Originally posted by PVM:
That one article linked above does hit on one thing accurately: Billy Joel is perfect music for suburbia, especially NYC suburbia...which explains his popularity, as well as his blandness.

This This This. If you want to know what the average Billy Joel fan looks like, go to any town in Nassau County and you have your answer. He has an absolutely slavish following out here. I will say though he is still a Long Islander through and through. There are many stories of Billy just showing up in a neighborhood bar and spending the afternoon shooting the breeze with the regulars.

I'm not a fan of very much of his music. However, a buddy of mine was Christie Brinkley's bodyguard and when Billy toured in 1986, my friend got a bunch of us second row at the Brendan Byrne Arena for Joel's show. It was fantastic. One of those shows where if you hear the songs that you heard a million times back to back to back it somehow provides a great concert experience.

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Gabba Hey
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He's a good successful artist. I've seen him and met him. He's a good guy. His music is pretty simple, catchy tunes. He appeals mostly to the over 40 crowd these days, and thats fine. He puts on a very good show. Not my favorite, but I have a ton of respect for him.

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reckoning
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I think The Stranger was his one good album. If you went through all his other albums and picked out the best stuff, you could end up with a decent playlist of 10-15 songs, but you'd have to go through a lot of cheese to find them.
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Wolverine
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Only song of his I like is "Pressure". Cool song and a freaky video


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PVM
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"Pressure" is a good video but the main keyboard riff (which is great) "borrows" a little too heavily from the first couple of lines of Bach's "Prelude in D Minor." Similar drum feel as XTC's "Making Plans for Nigel" also. Nothing legally infringing, but a bit unoriginal. Of course the video also "borrows" from "A Clockwork Orange" and "Poltergeist" among others.
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18 Guys Named Ramirez
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My son linked a song of his on Facebook and I responded by informing him "If there is a literal Hell, Billy Joel's Greatest Hits is playing over the flames".

It's really not that level of offensive, but it is pretty darn annoying nowadays.

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Mr. Parts Unknown
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
If all critics were murdered in the forest and everybody heard it, would anybody give a sh*t?

So long from the Sunshine State!

^^^^^^THIS.
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KJL
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I take it this critic never read or comprehended the lyrics to 'Piano Man.'

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"Jeez, the thread was going better when people were calling each other cokeheads and homos." -Crimson Mask from FL

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OSJ from NM by way of WA
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quote:
Originally posted by KJL:
I take it this critic never read or comprehended the lyrics to 'Piano Man.'

The ultimate dis of "cocktail culture", most music critics probably, (like most drunks) think it's a celebration of what it's actually mocking.

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Shaving Weezie Jefferson
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quote:
Originally posted by OSJ from NM by way of WA:
quote:
Originally posted by KJL:
I take it this critic never read or comprehended the lyrics to 'Piano Man.'

The ultimate dis of "cocktail culture", most music critics probably, (like most drunks) think it's a celebration of what it's actually mocking.
Bingo.
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Shaving Weezie Jefferson
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Anybody who thinks the "Glass Houses" album is "terrible" is a raging dou*chebag.
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Gov't Mule
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Love the song My Life. His other stuff is just fine. I even like We Didn't Start the Fire, although others hate it with a passion.
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Starchild0224
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
If all critics were murdered in the forest and everybody heard it, would anybody give a sh*t?

So long from the Sunshine State!

No

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I agree with James Beard.

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DR. PAPUFNIK
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Up until the mid or late 80's, a number of critics hated Billy Joel. As I recall, in the late 70's, it was almost to a Michael Bolton level where he'd sell a ton of records but he was almost universally despised by critics. Billy Joel used to read his bad reviews on stage. Here's Rolling Stone's review of Glass Houses.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/glass-houses-19800501

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Just more conformist f*ckery, like dissing Phil Collins. Beening like the Kewl Kids. No matter your musical prejudices, there's so much way worse sh*t out there than them.

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If you lames are the master race, my money's on the mud people.---Andrew Vachss

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Outcool THIS:



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If you lames are the master race, my money's on the mud people.---Andrew Vachss

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oblongo
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quote:
Originally posted by DR. PAPUFNIK:
Up until the mid or late 80's, a number of critics hated Billy Joel. As I recall, in the late 70's, it was almost to a Michael Bolton level where he'd sell a ton of records but he was almost universally despised by critics. Billy Joel used to read his bad reviews on stage. Here's Rolling Stone's review of Glass Houses.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/glass-houses-19800501

I read a story a few years ago about how some critics changed their minds about Joel after he and Bruce Springsteen sat in on some of each other's concerts and Springsteen gave some interviews where he talked about how well written Joel's songs are.


Some of those guys had blasted Joel for over 40 years, but after the Boss gave them the OK to like him they suddenly changed their minds.

[ 05-10-2017, 08:57 AM: Message edited by: oblongo ]

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A Gene Wilder Somersault
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
Just more conformist f*ckery, like dissing Phil Collins. Beening like the Kewl Kids. No matter your musical prejudices, there's so much way worse sh*t out there than them.

I don't give a rats's ass what anyone thinks...Phil Collins is a hell of a talent and Genesis had some excellent stuff in the 80's.
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davephlegmball
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Phil Collins on South Park was great. Other than that, he sucks. Genesis was way better and far more interesting when Peter Gabriel was fronting.
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NJRob65
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quote:
Originally posted by Firebreaker Pauly from NY:
In my opinion, other than a handful of songs, starting with An Innocent Man and everything since, it is fair to crap on him. (And to be fair, those albums moved, so somebody loved them). But everything before An Innocent Man is at worst solid and at best great!

I pretty much agree with this assessment.
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mr. disco
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I used to be a huge fan. Then I got kind of tired of him (same holds true for other artists, like Steve Miller, or the Eagles). Now I've warmed back up to him listening with an older ear.

The one thing I would say about BJ as opposed to his contemporaries, like Springsteen or Petty etc. is that his music doesn't age well. Many of his songs feel stuck in the EXACT moment that they were released. I don't know a better way to describe it. Stuff like "Big Shot" or "Allentown" are snapshots of that exact time and place, but don't endure.

I think that's why I like to this day the "Innocent Man" album. Because it's basically a throwback to 50's - 60's doowop.

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The Saviour of Misbehaviour
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As a Long Islander, it pains me that he is one of the first thing people think of when discussing our fair isle.I think it's more his clueless fan base that people find irksome. Walk into any crappy bar in LI and some jackass will play "Piano Man" and sing along to it , thinking it celebrates their drunken existence. I enjoy some of his stuff, but having heard it millions of times due to audio provincialism kind of spoils it.

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mrslinky
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I see both points. I don ot hold him up as some profound artistic heavyweight, but he's otherwise decent. It was when Innocent Man came out that he declined. Innocent Man is just baby boomer drivel.
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Crimson Mask from FL
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quote:
Originally posted by davephlegmball:
Phil Collins on South Park was great. Other than that, he sucks. Genesis was way better and far more interesting when Peter Gabriel was fronting.

As I attempted to educate you last time you fronted off that horse sh*t...



Those who cannot remember the past, yada yada.

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If you lames are the master race, my money's on the mud people.---Andrew Vachss

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Wolverine
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
quote:
Originally posted by davephlegmball:
Phil Collins on South Park was great. Other than that, he sucks. Genesis was way better and far more interesting when Peter Gabriel was fronting.

As I attempted to educate you last time you fronted off that horse sh*t...




Those who cannot remember the past, yada yada.

Wasnt "Take Me Home" the closing credits music for SNME in the early years of that show? Proof that you can connect almost anything to wrestling!

Getting back on topic, werent Duran Duran also dismissed as lightweight fluff by critics in the 80s? Now most music critics consider them one of the best bands of the 80s (and even their later stuff has gotten acclaim), and legends of New Wave. Heck, Rolling Stone in the past badmouthed legendary albums like High Voltage, Mob Rules, and anything by Queen (im still wondering how "we will rock you" is a "facist anthem"). Critics can change.

[ 05-10-2017, 10:34 AM: Message edited by: Wolverine ]

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A Gene Wilder Somersault
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
quote:
Originally posted by davephlegmball:
Phil Collins on South Park was great. Other than that, he sucks. Genesis was way better and far more interesting when Peter Gabriel was fronting.

As I attempted to educate you last time you fronted off that horse sh*t...



Those who cannot remember the past, yada yada.

Yes. Just yes. Thanks for posting that.
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