Billy Joel’s Best Song On Each Of His Albums

Billy Joel's Songs

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Billy Joel’s Best Song On Each Of His Albums list presents a fun run through one of the most loved single artists ever. How many rock artists do you know have not released an album in over 30 years, yet still continue to sell out concerts worldwide? It was nice to have him back briefly a few months ago when he released his first new pop single in a very long time. Hopefully, it will finally lead to a new album. Of course, that’s up to the man who said he’s not going to do it anymore. Although I sense some cracks in that statement. Nonetheless, it was fun to run through all of the studio albums and pick our favorite song from each one of them.

Cold Spring Harbor – “Got To Begin Again”

Billy Joel’s debut album, which was mastered at the wrong speed, was pretty much shelved after it had been released at the wrong speed. It would be re-released a few years later. The album’s opening song, “She’s Got Away,” became a hit many years later when a live version was released as a single form Songs in the Attic. The album also includes the excellent track “Everybody Loves You Now.” However, our favorite is the closing number, “Got To Begin Again.” It’s a little sentimental and syrupy but still the favorite.

Billy Joel – “Captain Jack”

Yes, most people would probably pick “Piano Man” from what many believe is Billy Joel’s debut album. The song sure has stood the test of time. Nonetheless, I remember in the mid-70s, the song most people loved from this album was “Captain Jack.” With its honest lyrics and thrilling soaring chorus, it’s still the favorite here.

Streetlife Serenade – “The Great Suburban Showdown”

No song ever captured the boredom of living on Long Island as a teenager or, for that matter, any Suburban town than Billy Joel’s fabulous “The Great Suburban Showdown” song. I grew up in the Bronx, so when I moved out to Long Island when I was 13, I was devasted by how boring Suffolk County was. They’re a lot of great songs on the Streetlife Serenade album, including “Root Beer Rag,” “The Entertainer,” and the title track, but in the end, this was the one that resonated the most.

Turnstiles – “I’ve Loved These Days”

There are so many great choices to pick from on this one. From the album’s opening track, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” to the classic “New York State of Mind,” to the very underrated “James,” to the poignant “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway),” up to the fan favorites “Prelude/Angry Young Man” and “Summer, Highland Falls,” all these songs made it very difficult to choose our favorite. So we went back to the beginning and remembered the song we fell in love with the most at first listen. The pick here is “I’ve Loved These Days.”

The Stranger – “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant”

Even though this was the album that broke all sales records at the time and made sure pretty much everyone in the world knew who Billy Joel was, the pick here was pretty easy. Billy Joel’s “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” may just well be his greatest song and recording of all time. You won’t go to a Billy Joel concert and not hear him play this one. He knows better.

52nd Street  – “Zanzibar”

After releasing one of the most successful albums of all time with The Stranger, the pressure was on Billy Joel to follow that mega-selling up with another hit. He met those expectations, and then some. 52nd Street is a fabulous album. It’s one of his finest releases, from songwriting to production to musicianship. It’s perfectly titled. There are a lot of big hits on this album, like “My Life,” “Big Shot,” and “Honesty,” but our choice here is the jazz-infused track “Zanzibar.”

Glass Houses – “Sleeping With The Television On”

It’s amazing how different the Glass Houses album sounded from 52nd Street and even The Stranger. Billy Joel turned up the guitars on this one. One can also hear the new wave influence scattered throughout this record. So many great tracks like “You May Be Right,” “Don’t Ask Me Why,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “All for Leyna,” and “Sometimes a Fantasy,” but our favorite was the seldom played “Sleeping with the Television On.”

The Nylon Curtain – “Laura”

Billy Joel has always called the album The Nylon Curtain his Beatles Sgt. Pepper or at least his most Beatles-inspired record. You can hear how purposeful he was in that and how he replicates many of those Beatles harmonies throughout the album. Nonetheless, despite the Beatles’ influence, which is a good thing, this is one of his strongest records and our favorite Billy Joel album. From the first time we heard this album, the intensity behind the song “Laura” always made it one of our favorite Billy Joel songs.

An Innocent Man – Keeping The Faith

Billy Joel’s An Innocent Man album was a remarkable tribute to his musical idols. What made this such an outstanding album was that he did not just record a covers album, which would have been easy. Instead, he wrote a collection of songs that paid tribute in style to certain individual artists. Even more brilliant was that all these original songs were so well written that many looked past the stylistic tributes. The choice here is “Keeping The Faith” because it has always been the one song that always made us feel better about things when times got a little tough.

The Bridge – “This Is the Time”

A lot of people had mixed feelings about The Bridge album. I have always enjoyed it, and I thought it sounded great. It was cool to hear some other musicians on it, especially Steve Winwood and Cyndi Lauper. I thought the song “Baby Grand” would become a classic. “Big Man on Mulberry Street” was a really fun listen. In the end, the favorite on this one was “This Is The Time.”

Read More: Top 10 Billy Joel Love Songs

Storm Front – “The Downeaster ‘Alexa'”

After the release of The Bridge, Billy Joel came roaring back with one of the greatest albums of his career in Storm Front. This one was a huge success, going all the way to number one. It was fueled by the bigger-than-life song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” But, that wasn’t all. Seven of the 10 songs on the album were released as singles. It’s funny, but the song “The Downeaster Alexa” was one of my least-liked songs on the album when I first purchased the record. Over time, it has become my favorite.

Read More: The Top 10 Billy Joel Albums

River Of Dreams – “All About Soul”

While so many pop-oriented artists had a hard time releasing albums in the early 90s because of the dominance of Grunge music, Billy Joel had no problem making River Of Dreams a huge success. Great music defies time and culture as it stands on its own. As a huge Billy Joel fan, I’m really sad that this was the last Billy Joel album ever released, way back in 1993. The pick here is the great grooving song “All About Soul.”

Read More: Complete List Of Billy Joel Albums And Complete Discography

Billy Joel’s Best Song On Each Of His Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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  1. Avatar Howard Alperin May 29, 2024

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