Personalities | Billy Joel | Eighties | Rock

(Singer-songwriter, b. 1949)

New Yorker William Martin Joel released his first solo album in 1972, and broke into the US Top 30 with his second set, Piano Man, in 1975. The quality of his classic pop rock songwriting and equal skill with a ballad was obvious, and ‘Just The Way You Are’ became his first major hit in 1977. 1980’s chart-topping Glass Houses also furnished his first No. 1, the infectious ‘It’s Still Rock‘n’Roll To Me’. The apex of his career came with 1983’s Innocent Man, which generated three US Top 10 singles – the title track, the ubiquitous ‘Uptown Girl’ and ‘Tell Her About It’. Joel’s output began to slow in the latter half of the decade, though 1989 produced the splendid list-song ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’. Joel will be remembered for his engaging stage shows and a large portfolio of some the best songs of the 1970s and 1980s. He now works in the classical world.

Styles & Forms | Eighties | Rock
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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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