Sometimes a Fantasy

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"Sometimes a Fantasy"
Single by Billy Joel
from the album Glass Houses
B-side "All for Leyna"
Released 1980
Format 7"
Recorded 1979
Genre Rock, new wave[1]
Length 4:19 (3:40 on Album Version)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Billy Joel
Producer(s) Phil Ramone
Billy Joel singles chronology
"Don't Ask Me Why"
"Sometimes a Fantasy"
"Say Goodbye to Hollywood"

"Sometimes a Fantasy" is a song by Billy Joel released as the last single from his album Glass Houses. The single peaked at #36 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The song starts with Joel dialing a number on a telephone (which he is depicted doing on the single cover). The telephone number dialed is 516-673-1112.[2] The lyrics are about a sexually frustrated man who tries to convince his significant other to have phone sex. He explains that he is lonely since they are far away from each other (which is implied by the fact that his phone call is "long distance").

Music video[edit]

The video starts with Joel in bed, dialing a woman's number. She then picks up the phone and the music starts playing. While on the phone, Joel sings the song's lyrics to her throughout the video. Then, in the end, it turns out the entire call was just a fantasy, and no one picked up.


The single version of "Fantasy" has a running time of 4:19, making it 39 seconds longer than the album version, which runs at 3:40. The album's version ends with a fade out, while the single version falls apart by Joel letting loose a Beatles' honoring yowl of "I got blisters on my blisters,"[3] a reference to Ringo Starr's outburst, "I got blisters on my fingers" at the ending of "Helter Skelter."

The extended version of the song only exists on its original 45 RPM format and promotional DJ 12". It is not available on any of Joel's compilation albums, nor re-issues, and not available in CD or mp3 format.

The version of this song on the music video soundtrack has a live lead vocal that is different from both the album and single version.


Chart positions[edit]

Charts Peak
Canadian Singles Chart[4] 21
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 36


  1. ^ "This Week's Forgotten Gem of the '80s - Billy Joel's "Sometimes a Fantasy"". 2006-12-27. Retrieved 2013-08-26. 
  2. ^ "Billy Joel - SOMETIMES A FANTASY". Retrieved 2014-02-16. 
  3. ^ "Billy Joel - Sometimes A Fantasy (LONG SINGLE VERSION) (1980)". Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  4. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2013-08-26. 

External links[edit]