Piano Man (album)

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For the greatest hits album, see Piano Man: The Very Best of Billy Joel.
Piano Man
Studio album by Billy Joel
Released November 9, 1973
Recorded September 1973, Devonshire Sound, Los Angeles, California
Genre Rock, soft rock
Length 42:51
Label Family Productions/Columbia
Producer Michael Stewart
Billy Joel chronology
Cold Spring Harbor
(1971)
Piano Man
(1973)
Streetlife Serenade
(1974)
Singles from Piano Man
  1. "Piano Man"/"You're My Home"
    Released: November 2, 1973
  2. "Worse Comes to Worst"
    Released: 1974
  3. "Travelin' Prayer"
    Released: 1974
  4. "The Ballad of Billy the Kid"
    Released: April 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C[2]
Rolling Stone positive[3]
A sample of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" from Piano Man

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Piano Man is the second studio album by the American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on November 9, 1973. Joel's first recording with Columbia Records, Piano Man emerged from legal difficulties with his former label, Family Productions, and became his breakthrough album. However, the Family Productions print logo was used until 1986.

The single "Piano Man", a fictionalized retelling of Joel's days, as based on real people Joel met as a lounge singer in Los Angeles, peaked at #25 on Billboard's Pop Singles chart, and at #4 on the Adult Contemporary singles chart. "Travelin' Prayer" and "Worse Comes to Worst" peaked at #77 and #80, respectively, on the Pop Singles chart, while the album reached #27 on the Pop Albums chart. ("Travelin' Prayer" later earned Dolly Parton a Grammy Award, when she covered it in 1999.)

Legacy edition[edit]

Columbia Records released a 2-disc legacy version of Piano Man in November 2011.[4]

This edition included a live 1972 radio broadcast of early songs that Joel recorded at the Philadelphia radio station WMMR's Sigma Sound Studios. This radio broadcast was extremely important to the success of Joel's music career because, after the show was recorded, the live recording of "Captain Jack" was played by the station and quickly became "the most requested song in the station's history". Once the popularity of this live recording was known, people working for Columbia Records heard the recording and signed Joel to the label.[5] The radio broadcast included three songs ("Long, Long Time", "Josephine" and "Rosalinda") that were never on any of Joel's studio albums.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Billy Joel.

One Side
  1. "Travelin' Prayer" – 4:16
  2. "Piano Man" – 5:37
  3. "Ain't No Crime" – 3:20
  4. "You're My Home" – 3:14
  5. "The Ballad of Billy the Kid" – 5:35
Another Side
  1. "Worse Comes to Worst" – 3:28
  2. "Stop in Nevada" – 3:40
  3. "If I Only Had the Words (To Tell You)" – 3:35
  4. "Somewhere Along the Line" – 3:17
  5. "Captain Jack" – 7:15

2011 Legacy Edition bonus disc[edit]

Disc 2
Live at Sigma Sound Studios, April 15, 1972
  1. "Introduction By Ed Sciaky" - 0:29
  2. "Falling Of The Rain" - 2:33
  3. "Intro To Travelin' Prayer" - 0:17
  4. "Travelin' Prayer" - 3:11
  5. "Intro To Billy The Kid" - 0:50
  6. "The Ballad of Billy The Kid" - 5:36
  7. "Intro To She's Got A Way" - 1:03
  8. "She's Got A Way" - 3:08
  9. "Intro To Everybody Loves You Now" - 1:19
  10. "Everybody Loves You Now" - 2:56
  11. "Intro To Nocturne" - 0:59
  12. "Nocturne" - 2:46
  13. "Station ID and Intro To Turn Around" - 1:31
  14. "Turn Around" - 3:26
  15. "Intro To Long, Long Time" - 1:19
  16. "Long, Long Time" - 4:46
  17. "Intro To Captain Jack" - 1:19
  18. "Captain Jack" - 6:56
  19. "Intro To Josephine" - 1:40
  20. "Josephine" - 3:23
  21. "Intro To Rosalinda" - 0:33
  22. "Rosalinda" - 3:03
  23. "Tomorrow Is Today" - 5:11

Personnel[edit]

Live at Sigma Sound Studios, April 15, 1972[edit]

  • Billy Joel – piano, harmonica, vocals
  • Rhys Clark – drums
  • Al Hertzberg – acoustic and electric guitars
  • Larry Russell – bass guitar
  • Dennis Wilen – producer

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Piano Man". AllMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Billy Joel: Piano Man > Consumer Guide Album". robertchristgau.com. Robert Christgau. Retrieved August 25, 2011.  Originally published in Christgau, Robert (March 1974). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem.  Posted at "The Christgau Consumer Guide: March 1974". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Breschard, Jack (March 14, 1974). "Billy Joel Piano Man > Album Review". Rolling Stone (156). Archived from the original on November 11, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2008. 
  4. ^ Billy Joel website
  5. ^ Online Billy Joel Interview
  6. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 21, No. 9". RPM. April 13, 1974. Retrieved September 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ "allmusic ((( Streetlife Serenade > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". allmusic.com. Retrieved March 19, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Chart Stats – Billy Joel – Piano Man". UK Albums Chart. Chart Stats. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  10. ^ "ビリー・ジョエル-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック" [Highest position and charting weeks for Piano Man: Legacy Edition by Billy Joel]. oricon.co.jp (in Japanese). Oricon Style. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 24, 2013". Chart-Track.co.uk. IRMA.
  12. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1974". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on 2012-12-31. Retrieved 2014-04-29. 
  13. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Billy Joel – Piano Man". Music Canada. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Billy Joel – Piano Man". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 25 July 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH