It's Still Rock and Roll to Me

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"It's Still Rock & Roll to Me"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album Glass Houses
Released May 12, 1980
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1979
Genre Rock
Length 2:57
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Phil Ramone
Certification Platinum (RIAA)
Billy Joel singles chronology
"You May Be Right"
(1980)
"It's Still Rock & Roll to Me"
(1980)
"Don't Ask Me Why"
(1980)

"It's Still Rock & Roll to Me" is a hit 1980 song performed by Billy Joel, from the hit album Glass Houses. The song was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for two weeks, from July 19 through August 1, 1980. The song spent 11 weeks in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and was the 7th biggest hit of 1980 according to American Top 40. The song is an examination of the themes of a musician's degrading fame and public tastes that were expressed in his 1975 hit "The Entertainer".

The single reached Platinum certification from the RIAA for sales in the U.S.

Content[edit]

The song is a cynical look at the music industry as a publicist/manager begs the protagonist (Joel) to remain hip for the younger crowd ("What's the matter with the car I'm driving? / "Can't you tell that it's out of style?"), and the protagonist's refusal to change, claiming his music will remain relevant regardless of his appearance. The song was a stab by Joel at the new music genres that were around in the late 1970s (punk, funk, new wave) and uses a new wave sound, and was inspired by the realization that, after reading a review about a particular (unnamed) band, Billy had no idea what their music sounded like.

During the Top of the Pops 2 Billy Joel Special, Billy revealed that he wrote the song in the back of the car taking him to a recording session, because he didn't have anything written down.

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song depicted Joel mixing elements of new wave, punk, and funk as he records a music video.

Personnel[edit]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

The song appears on the game Karaoke Revolution Presents: American Idol Encore.[1] It is also available as a downloadable track for Rock Band 3.[2]

Covers and parodies[edit]

"Weird Al" Yankovic did a parody of the song entitled "It's Still Billy Joel to Me". However, the song was never included on any Yankovic studio album because of fears that Joel would be insulted if Yankovic released the parody. Years later, however, Yankovic was granted permission by none other than Joel himself to release "Ode to a Superhero", a parody of Joel's first major hit and signature song "Piano Man" that retells the story used in the film version of the Spiderman comic books. "It's Still Billy Joel to Me" was eventually released on the CD set, Dr. Demento's Basement Tapes.

The song was later covered by Pretty Boy Floyd on their demo compilation The Vault 2.[3]

Pop rock musician Drake Bell covered the song in 2014 on his album Ready Steady Go!.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
position
Australian Singles Chart 10
Canadian Singles Chart 1
French Singles Chart[4] 61
Irish Singles Chart 11
New Zealand Singles Chart 21
UK Singles Chart 14
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 45

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Position
US Billboard Hot 100 9

References[edit]

Preceded by
"Coming Up" by Paul McCartney
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
July 19, 1980 - July 26, 1980 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Magic" by Olivia Newton-John
Preceded by
"Little Jeannie" by Elton John
Canadian RPM number-one single
July 26, 1980 – August 9, 1980 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Misunderstanding" by Genesis

External links[edit]