10 Essential Billy Falcon Songs

Billy Falcon Songs

Photo: CJ Sorg from Hendersonville, United States [CC BY-SA 2.0 }

Our 10 Essential Billy Falcon songs list takes a look at an artist and songwriter who hailed from Long Island, New York in the 1970’s. Struggling to make a name for himself in the shadows of Long Island musicians like Billy Joel, Harry Chapin, Blue Oyster Cult and many others, Billy Falcon signed a major label record deal with United Artists Records in the late 1970s. His debut album was released in 1978. The album featured the song “Friday Night,” which had become the highlight of Billy Falcon’s live shows in the late 1970’s. The album entitled Billy Falcon’s Burning Rose was followed up in 1979 by Billy Falcon’s sophomore record entitled simply Billy Falcon. 

There is not a lot of information out there on Billy Falcon. He is an artist that deserves more credit for his contributions to classic rock history. While Billy Falcon’s early performances always delivered high energy rock and roll shows, his career has defined the growth a brilliant songwriter. An an observer of Billy Falcon’s career over the years, it’s become interesting to see the different paths the artist has chosen to take. On one hand, Billy Falcon is the solo artist releasing albums filled with wonderful original material. On the other hand, Billy Falcon is the consummate professional songwriter. Billy Falcon has written close to forty songs with Jon Bon Jovi that have been released on Bon Jovi albums since 2000. Billy Falcon has also co-written songs released by Meat Loaf, Faith Hill and his daughter Rose Falcon.

As a Long Islander, I first became aware of Billy falcon from a group of my friends who went to see him at My Father’s Place in 1979, Billy Falcon was from Rosedale. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the show. However I will never forget the group of my friends singing the lyrics to “Friday Night,” over the entire weekend. I went out and bought the United Artists album Billy Falcon had just released. It instantly became one of my favorite albums. The My Father’s Place show created a heavy buzz about Billy Falcon. Eventually, Billy Falcon’s followed up his self titled 1979 record album with an album on MCA records entitled Falcon Around. The album was released in 1980. It was a hell of a record, but just like his first two records, not many people seemed to know about it.

Billy Falcon’s 1980s period is a little cloudy. In 1983 Billy Falcon released an EP entitled School of Hard Knocks EP under the name Billy & Myla. It was a different sound from Billy Falcon’s earlier albums. There was new wave dance edge to it. It also included vocals by his wife Myla. In the mid 1980s Billy Falcon also released a single entitled “Spark In The Dark.” In 1988, Billy Falcon released an album on JAWs records in Holland entitled Haunted Guitar.

The buzz that centered on Billy Falcon in the late 1970s seemed to fade away for Billy Falcon in the 1980s. Acts like Springsteen, Prince , Madonna and Huey Lewis dominated the commercial airwave. Hair bands and metal was huge with groups like Def Leppard, Poison, Iron Maiden etc selling like crazy. Then there were groups like U2, Van Halen, Journey, Bon Jovi and of course Guns N’ Roses selling out stadiums and millions of records and CDs at the same time. Everything about the 1980s was big. It was not the greatest time period for a singer songwriter like Billy Falcon. And of course, the 1980s was the time period in which Billy Falcon got married and had a daughter.

I lost track of Billy Falcon’s music over the years until he returned in 1991 with an album entitled Pretty Blue World. Billy Falcon has finally scored the solo hit he deserved. The album’s first single, “Power Windows,” was a pop rock music gem. It was brilliantly written, produced and sung by Billy falcon. It’s one of the best songs of the 90s. However, the record’s most beautiful moment and also the saddest, was focused on the song that Billy Falcon had written for his wife entitled “Heaven’s Highest Hill.” It was a song about Billy Falcon having to tell his young daughter that her mother had passed away. Billy Falcon’s wife had passed away from cancer at only 29 years old.

Since 1991, Billy Falcon has continued to release solo albums. Most of the solo albums were released on Independent labels. Nonetheless, each Billy Falcon album released has continued to define his brilliant songwriting talents. Like many great songwriters, Billy Falcon headed to Nashville almost 20 years ago to continue writing and releasing music.

This top 10 Billy Falcon songs list takes a look at Billy Falcon songs that were released on his own solo records. It does not take into account any of the songs Billy Falcon composed for or with Bon Jovi or any other artists. This is simply our subjective list of favorites. There are so many great ones missing from this list. We hope that this small sampling will ignite a spark in the dark that opens your eyes to the great artist Billy Falcon.

# 10 – Wonder Years

We open our Top 10 Billy Falcon songs list with a song from the album Letters From A Paper Ship. The album was released in 1994. Letters From A Paper Ship was the follow up album to Billy Falcon’s breakthrough record Pretty Blue World which had been released three years earlier. The song features Billy Falcon’s trademark rock and roll acoustic guitar opening.

The song’s lyrical content defines the loss of innocence that we all experience as we grow older. Billy Falcon references pop culture icons like Clint Eastwood while also referencing and Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer,” theme. At this point in his career, Billy Falcon had become the quintessential songwriter. His ability to blend the his conusmate skills as a crafty songwriters with his emotional essence had made for an artist of the highest caliber. Somewhere in between Carole King and Mose Allison lay the pen of Mr. Falcon.

After the release of Letters From A Paper Ship, it would be close to ten more years until Billy Falcon released his next album entitled Songs About Girls in 2003.

# 9 – Haunted Guitar

Haunted Guitar was the title track from Billy Falcon’s Haunted Guitar album. The record was released in Europe in 1988 It seems it was re-released in the early 1990s. I missed this one in the 1980s so I am not really sure of its origins. It’s available on Itunes and some used online record stores. It’s not on Amazon or CD Baby where you can find many other Billy Falcon cds. It’s also not available on the Billy Falcon official website.

This great track was selected because Billy Falcon turns in one of his greatest, raucous, rock and roll vocals captured on any of his records. The chord structure of the song sticks to standard blues changes, but it’s the melody and phrasing of Billy Falcon’s vocals that makes this one a real keeper.

# 8 – Flying

Billy Falcon’s “Flying,” is the opening track to his 2008 album When. This beautiful song is co-sung with Billy Falcon’s daughter Rose Falcon. Just like her Father, Rose Falcon signed her own recording deal with Columbia Records. She was only fourteen at the time of her signing. Rose Falcon has since enjoyed a career as a solo artist and a songwriter. She has penned songs for artists such as Faith Hill, and  Lady Antebellum.  She has co written many songs with her father while also performing together with her dad Billy Falcon over the years.

 

# 7 – Made Man

“Made Man,” is the title track to Billy Falcon’s 2006 album Made Man. The song has a certain Lynyrd Skynyrd  feel due to its somewhat southern groove and guitar licks that drop in and out between the verses. The songs on the album all have a great band feel as opposed to a songwriter using studio musicians to complete a record. A great album and a great song that easily finds its way on our top 10 Billy Falcon Songs list.

# 6 – The Girl Who Changed The World

Hands down, this is one of the most beautiful songs Billy Falcon has ever composed. This gorgeous heart warming song “The Girl Who Changed The World,” was released on Billy Falcon’s album Released. The CD was issued in 2004. However it seems that this album was actually completed in 1995 as the follow up to 1994’s Letters From A Paper Ship. The album’s title is an apparent reference to the album being long overdue to be…released.

# 5 – Girls

“Girls,” is the opening track to side two of Billy Falcon’s great 1979 self titled album. The record was released on United Artists Records. This was Billy Falcons second album.  The album has been referred to as also titled Improper Attire. However there is no such title on the original album. “Girls,” is a party song in every sense of the phrase. Its pure Billy Falcon, clever lyrics, passionate  singing and high energy. Why this was never a big hit made no sense. It still doesn’t. That’s pretty much the story of Billy Falcon. A brilliant songwriter and artist that should have been a much bigger star than he ever became.

Billy Falcon had major label support at the time in 1979. Most of the record was recorded at The Hit Factory in New York in 1978. The song “Girls,” was recorded at The Record Plant in New York City. These were big time major label studios. Springsteen’s Born To Run and Darkness On The Edge of Town were recorded at The Record Plant. Prince’s Purple Rain, most of John Lennon’s solo albums, Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland, The Who’s Who’s Next and so many more iconic records were made in the same studio Billy Falcon recorded “Girls.”

# 4 – Friday Night

Billy Falcon’s concert staple “Friday Night,” was released on the singer’s first album entitled Billy Falcon’s Burning Rose. The album was recorded in 1977. The song’s loose feel was somewhat reminiscent of Springsteen’s “Rosalita.” Springsteen’s second album The Wild Innocent and the E Street Shuffle seemed to have a heavy influence on Billy Falcons first record. However, Falcon was not the only artist heavily influenced by Springsteen in the 1970’s. Bob Seger’s Night Moves, Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of HellJohn Miles’ Stranger In The City, Garland Jefferys’ Ghost Writer and so many others great 1970s records all paid a debt of gratitude to that 1970’s Springsteen sound.

# 3 – Blue Smoke

Billy Falcon’s “Blue Smoke,” is our favorite Billy Falcon song. Now you may ask why is it not number one on our top 10 Billy Falcon songs list? Well that’s a good question. When you get to the next two songs you will understand why. Nonetheless, “Blue Smoke,” is just one of those great rock and roll songs that presented listeners with a great original story defined by clever lyrics and a killer hook. In other words a Billy Falcon song. This album and song are very hard to find. The album has been long out of print. It was also never released on CD.

# 2 – Power Windows

After fifteen years releasing music, Billy Falcon finally had the hit he deserved. While Power Windows might not had been a monster hit, the song’s popularity helped Billy Falcon generate a whole new audience that had never heard of the singer before. The song was released on Billy Falcon’s 1993 album Pretty Blue World. It was an album filled with so many many great songs that could have easily filled up this top 10 Billy Falcon songs list. In fact it was very difficult not to include songs such as Still Got A Prayer,” “Married In The Morning,” and “Oh Boy,” on this Billy Falcon songs list. If your a fan of great music and do not own this album, what are you waiting for?

# 1 – Heaven’s Highest Hill

We conclude our top 10 Essential Billy Falcon songs list with this wonderful song Billy Falcon wrote as a memorial to his wife Myla who had passed away. The song “Heaven’s Highest Hill,” was released on Billy Falcon’s Pretty Blue World album. The song appeared as the second track on the CD right after “Power Windows.”Billy

Its unimaginable how difficult it must have been to compose this song. This is as personal as it can get. It’s a beautiful song that seems to be almost written out of this world. It’s difficult to describe.There is an incredible sense of healing that echoes through the song. Within that healing is an extreme message of hope. A message that has seemed to fuel the career and life of this incredible person and artist known as Billy Falcon.

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