Attila (rock band)

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Origin New York
Genres Progressive rock, hard rock, heavy metal, psychedelic rock, acid rock
Years active 1969 (1969)–1970 (1970)
Labels Epic Records
Associated acts The Hassles, Billy Joel
Members Billy Joel
Jon Small

Attila was a short-lived heavy-metal band featuring a young Billy Joel. After The Hassles[1] disbanded in 1969, Joel and Hassles drummer Jon Small formed Attila.[1] The new band's instrumentation was organ and drums,[1] with Joel also handling the bass lines with a keyboard, similar to the Doors' Ray Manzarek. Joel and Small's creative partnership ended in 1970 when Joel ran off with Small's wife, Elizabeth,[2] although this did not end their collaborations, as Small produced Joel's Концерт video as well as the Live at Shea Stadium performance.

Their only album, Attila, was released on July 27, 1970. Attila has been selected by AllMusic critics as one of the worst rock albums of all time.[2] Joel himself has gone on record as describing the album as "psychedelic bullshit".[2]

End of the sixties, I was in a two-man group. We were heavy metal, we were going to destroy the world with amplification, we had titles like 'Godzilla', 'March of the Huns', 'Brain Invasion'. A lot of people think [I] just came out of the piano bar... I did a lot of heavy metal for a while. We had about a dozen gigs and nobody could stay in the room when we were playing. It was too loud. We drove people literally out of clubs. 'It was great, but we can't stay in the club'

— Billy Joel, Interview with Billy Joel by Dan Neer in 1985

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote, "Attila undoubtedly is the worst album released in the history of rock & roll - hell, the history of recorded music itself. There have been many bad ideas in rock, but none match the colossal stupidity of Attila."[2]

One track from the album, "Amplifier Fire, Part 1 (Godzilla)," appears on Joel's 2005 boxed set, My Lives.

Track listing[edit]

  • Songs written by Billy Joel and Jon Small.
  1. "Wonder Woman" (3:38)
  2. "California Flash" (3:32)
  3. "Revenge Is Sweet" (4:00)
  4. "Amplifier Fire (Part I: Godzilla/Part II: March of the Huns)" (7:39)
  5. "Rollin' Home" (4:52)
  6. "Tear This Castle Down" (5:49)
  7. "Holy Moses" (4:30)
  8. "Brain Invasion" (5:41)


  • Produced By Irwin Mazur, Billy Joel and Jon Small.


  • Billy Joel: vocals, keyboards, songwriter
  • Jon Small: drums, songwriter
  • Glenn Evans: road manager and creator of the direct input of a Hammond organ to Marshall amplifiers.


  1. ^ a b c "Here's The Thing: Billy Joel". 
  2. ^ a b c d Proefrock, Stacia. "Attila - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 

External links[edit]